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Annual Programme Review (APR) Framework

1. Introduction, Purpose and Process

(i) Annual Programme Review (APR) is an important part of the University’s quality assurance and enhancement framework and one of the elements of the University’s monitoring and review processes for taught programmes of study.

(ii) The purpose of the annual programme review is to provide each School/Academy/Centre (hereinafter referred to academic unit) an opportunity to:

• evaluate the effectiveness of the degree programmes under review, i.e. to determine whether they achieve their aims, the extent to which learning outcomes are being achieved, and the appropriateness of the curriculum and pedagogy;
• consider whether the programme(s) remain current and relevant in view of developments in the discipline and its applications in the industry;
• assess the quality of provision and the student experience;
• work out prospective actions to facilitate the programme development in 3-5 years

and provide the University with an opportunity to
• gain an understanding of how well each school/academy develops their programmes
• promote good practice more widely and address issues of common concern
• identify areas for improvement and take appropriate actions

(iii) The annual programme review is a process which supports and facilitates constructive reflection and self-appraisal, and the review outcomes are expected to be reflected in the format of action plans. The key steps are summarized below:

a) A Programme Action Plan should be produced for each programme by the programme director, and submitted to the School Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) or equivalent for approval;

b) The School/Academy Summary Report should be prepared by the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching or the equivalent, and submitted to the University Learning and Teaching Committee (ULTC) with the endorsement from School Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) or equivalent;

c) Schools/academies should take into consideration their Stage 1 modules in their respective UG programmes during their review;

d) CCTC and PEC should also develop their Centre Summary Report about their provision.


2. Review Process

(i) The Annual Programme Review should be a holistic review of the provision of each taught programme over the academic year, involving SLTCs or equivalent, boards of examiners, students, and consultations with other schools, academies and teaching centres that contribute to the taught programmes, as well as other stakeholders, as appropriate and possible, for evaluating and reviewing programmes, including review of programme specifications, programme and module assessment schemes etc.

(ii) The review process should be coordinated by the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching or the equivalent for each programme under review and involve one or a short series of meetings, attended by relevant staff from the school/academy, i.e. as a minimum, the Dean of School, Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching or the equivalent, the programme director, learning and teaching officer (if applicable), examination officer, EAP module convenor(s) from School of Languages, the programme director/module leader(s) from other School/academy for joint programme/shared module(s), school academic administrator(s), and student representatives via Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC).

(iii) The following information should normally be considered during the review meeting(s):

• the Programme Action Plans and Academic Unit Summary Report of the previous year*;
• annual action plans from Internal Periodic Reviews*;
• student data of progression, transfers, withdrawals, completions, degree classifications* , failure rate etc.;
• feedback from students, including data from module feedback questionnaires, minutes of Student-Staff Liaison Committees, student employability, student survey(s) conducted by schools and the University etc.;
• feedback from staff, including data from module review, reports prepared by every module leader and minutes of SLTCs or equivalent;
• meeting minutes of the examination boards, including data about mark distributions across all modules that contribute to the programme;
• annual reports from external examiners and status report of last year’s institutional action plan in response to EE reports drafted by Registry*;
• MoE Quality Standards of UG programmes in Learning & Teaching* and QAA Subject Benchmark Statements;
• the School Area Strategic Plan and the University Education Strategy;
• reports from professional, statutory and regulatory bodies;
• records of changes made to programme and module specifications during the past year*.

[1] For the data with *, EQA will be responsible for collecting and sharing them with the schools.

(iv) If, as a result of the review process, the programme director decides to make modifications to his/her programmes and/or any associated modules, the standard procedures and timescale stipulated in the “Policy for Modifications to Existing Programmes and Modules” and “Procedures for Online Application for Modifications to Existing Modules” should be followed.

 

3. APR and Student Voice

It is important that students are able to contribute to the APR process, this should take place as follows:

(i) The SSLC minutes from meetings conducted during the reporting period should form part of the evidence for the reporting unit to consider whilst developing their action plan;

(ii) All of the Programme Action Plans and Academic Unit Summary Reports should be submitted to the first meeting of Undergraduate and Graduate School SSLCs in the academic year for discussion;

(iii) Any subsequent actions identified by the SSLCs should be incorporated into the Programme Action Plans and Academic Unit Summary Reports before submission.

 

4. Programme Action Plan and Academic Unit Summary Report

(i) Programme Action Plans should be prepared for each programme under review; the Academic Unit Summary Report should be prepared based on the outcomes of all these programme reviews accordingly and its academic strategy.

(ii) The Programme Action Plans and Academic Unit Summary Report should be critically reflected in appraising the academic provision during the year. While it will be necessary for the academic units to evaluate the impact of the actions in the Programme Action Plan and propose the actions at the academic units’ level.

(iii) The action plans provide the opportunity for academic units to highlight up to three examples of best or innovative practices, or areas of enhancement; and the extracurricular achievements awarded by the university and external parties, which could reflect the high quality of teaching and learning. This may be used by the University in many of its external reporting activities and is important to disseminate across the University.

(iv) A list of questions, originally prepared by the University of Liverpool, is provided in Appendix 1 for consideration by programme directors/SLTCs or equivalent to support their reflections as to what actions they want to undertake to facilitate the development of the programmes.

 

5. Role of the Committees

5.1 The School Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) or equivalent:

(i) Reviewing Programme Action Plans: Programme Action Plans should be submitted to the SLTC or equivalent in time, in order that the Academic Unit Summary Report can be completed thereafter and submitted to Education and Quality Assurance Office (EQA) (refer to 6. APR Timetable). The Committee should review and evaluate the Programme Action Plans, identify any emerging issues, common aspects of the reports, examples of good practices, points of particular interest or note, and/or matters that need to be brought to the attention of the University.

(ii) Providing feedback: SLTC or equivalent will provide feedback on the relevant Programme Action Plans. If deemed necessary, SLTC or equivalent may request further information from the programme director, or request resubmission of the Programme Action Plans if they were not sufficiently reflective or self-appraising. SLTC or equivalent should identify and address the common issues of individual programmes, and work out the prospective actions to facilitate the programme development in 3-5 years. The Academic Summary Report should cover points noted in 4 (i) and 4 (ii) above.

(iii) Ongoing monitoring of all the actions: SLTC or equivalent is responsible for monitoring actions assigned to programme directors, module leaders, and other roles (e.g. examination officer, learning and teaching officer, etc.) and ensuring that these actions are followed up and completed. It is also responsible for receiving SSLC feedback and identifying and integrating that where appropriate into the action plan and monitoring actions, as explained in Section 3 above.

5.2 The University Learning and Teaching Committee (ULTC):

(i) Reviewing and providing feedback: ULTC delegates a working group constituted by ULTC members nominated by the Chair, to review and provide feedback on each Academic Unit Summary Report.

(ii) Ongoing monitoring of APR process: ULTC delegates EQA to monitor all the proposed actions arising from the APR process at levels of both programme and academic unit and to submit the action status updates to ULTC for information.

 

6. APR Timetable

A detailed indicative timetable with a breakdown of APR activities is provided below.

Activity

UG/Y1/PGT Review Cycle

PD to start compiling Programme Action Plan

Summer

Academic unit to hold review meetings with stakeholders noted in 2(i) and 2(ii)

By September

PD to submit programme action plan to SLTC or equivalent for approval where applicable and Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching or the equivalent to prepare Academic Unit Summary Report

October

Academic unit to submit the final Academic Unit Summary Report to EQA for formality check

mid November

Reports to be submitted to ULTC

January

Academic Unit to implement the actions arising from the APR process

Throughout academic year

EQA to monitor and report back the progress of all actions to ULTC for information

 Each semester

 

Appendices:

1. Reflection Questions

(Last Review Date: June 2023)

 

  • Attached Files
  • Annual Programme Review (APR) Framework.pdf (218.13 KB) 371
  • App 1 Reflection Questions.pdf (142.56 KB) 295
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