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Joint and Dual Awards Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Introduction

(1) This Policy establishes the framework under which the University of Wollongong (UOW) can offer Joint or Dual Award programs with other partner institutions.

(2) This Policy aims to protect the integrity of UOW’s higher education awards and ensure the academic standard of any course offered or conferred by UOW, whether or not this is in collaboration with one or more other higher education providers.

(3) The Collaborative Delivery of a UOW Course Policy outlines the various models of collaborative Delivery (Collaborative UOW Award, Joint Award, Dual Award and Twinning) and key principles and thus should be read in conjunction with this Policy.

(4) All proposals to offer a Joint or Dual award with one or more other institutions will be collaboratively developed and approved in accordance with this Policy (in conjunction with other relevant policies as required) taking into account the roles and responsibilities outlined in Section 6. The development process will involve, but is not limited to, consultation with the Future Education Division, the Transnational Education Unit, and if applicable, UOW Global Enterprises (UOWGE), and the relevant UOW Faculty.

(5) UOW enters into arrangements for the delivery of courses jointly with other institutions in a number of ways, including by establishing:

  1. a Joint Award, under which a course is delivered jointly by UOW and one or more partner institutions and upon completion of the course a student receives a single award conferred jointly by those institutions; and
  2. a Dual Award, under which a student is enrolled concurrently at two institutions and is conferred an award from each institution.
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Section 2 -  Scope

(6) This policy applies to all courses that lead to a Joint or Dual award with the exceptions noted below.

(7) Approval of a course leading to a Joint or Dual Award and that is not yet an approved UOW course is regulated by the Course Policy and related procedures (see clause 22).

(8) This policy does not apply to:

  1. cotutelle arrangements and jointly badged PhD awards, which are covered by the Joint Doctor of Philosophy Policy;
  2. collaborative courses where the University of Wollongong is the sole awarding institution, which are covered by the Collaborative Delivery of a UOW Course Policy;
  3. formal credit arrangements with other institutions and articulation arrangements which are covered by the Credit for Prior Learning Policy.

(9) The availability of study abroad or exchange studies at another institution within an award course does not, by reason of this alone, constitute a Joint Award program.

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Section 3 - Policy Principles

(10) The academic standards of Joint and Dual awards will be equivalent to those of comparable awards conferred solely by the University.

(11) Partner institutions will have the demonstrated capability to deliver the program to the academic standards required by the University and to sustain those programs financially and the legal standing to enter into an agreement with the University. Additionally, the educational quality, availability of academic staff expertise and student support services must be sustained to ensure the continued success of the program.

(12) Typically partner institutions will be an Australian registered higher education provider or training provider, an international institution with which the University has an agreement under the International Alliances Policy, an institution assessed under the Department of Education Country Education Profiles assessment process as offering university standard qualifications or an institution managed through UOW Global Enterprises.

(13) The student learning experience in Joint and Dual awards will be comparable to those of students in sole UOW programs and enable students to achieve the required course learning outcomes.

(14) Except in special circumstances approved by the Delegated Authority, the University will not partner with more than two other institutions in any one Joint Award. These restrictions do not apply to partnerships between UOW and UOW Global Enterprises managed institutions. A Dual Award, by definition, involves the University partnering with one institution.

(15) Where a Joint or Dual award includes both a research and coursework component, the coursework component should be approximately equal. With regard to the research component, the following conditions must be met under the agreement:

  1. the research training standards at the partner institution(s), are at least equivalent to those of the University and this alignment can be substantiated through institutional policy documents;
  2. the arrangements for the supervision of the research component for each student must be endorsed by the Directors of the course at both institutions or upon recommendation by the Director of the relevant Research Institute (if relevant);
  3. the arrangements for supervision of the research component must make provision for ongoing and effective management of the research component;
  4. the rules for research supervision for students, including provisions relating to training, research misconduct and student appeals, are determined in accordance with the regulations and policies of the institution administering the research component.

(16) The above requirements do not apply to undergraduate honours programs, which are covered by the UOW Honours Policy, or jointly badged PhD awards, which are covered by the Joint Doctor of Philosophy Policy.

(17) For Joint Awards, there will be evidence of collaborative curriculum design leading to the joint award with all institutions involved.

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Section 4 - Approval and Administration of Joint and Dual Awards

(18) Arrangements for establishing, delivering, monitoring and reviewing Joint and Dual Award programs will be specified in a legally binding agreement between the partner institutions.

(19) The agreement will be approved at a faculty level by the Executive Dean and at a central level by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy.

(20) The agreement will set out clearly the responsibilities of each partner institution and address the matters listed in the Checklist for Developing New Joint and Dual Awards (Schedule A).

(21) Selection of Partner Institutions will be guided by the Criteria for Partner Institution Selection (Schedule B).

(22) The course of study that is the subject of the agreement, either a new course proposal or an existing course previously approved for offering as a UOW course, will be approved by the Delegated Authority through the process set out in the Course Policy and Course and Subject Approval Procedures - New Offerings and Significant Amendments to Existing Courses. Any new Joint or Dual Award that relates to a course registered by UOW on the CRICOS Register must be registered as a jointly delivered course on the CRICOS Register. Provision for payment of related fees must be covered in the agreement.  

(23) The agreement will provide for comparable rules and policies to be applied by the partner institution(s) to students undertaking the Joint or Dual course regarding matters including, but not limited to, assessment and academic misconduct, as applicable.

(24) In the case where University policies need to have their application modified to suit the needs of partnership arrangements, all variations from standard University policies will to be brought to the attention of the relevant Policy Custodian, the Academic Quality and Standards Division and UOWGE. Exceptions to University policies will be approved by the relevant Delegated Authority. Exceptions are not permissible if, in the opinion of the Delegated Authority, they will compromise the University's standards, reputation or assets.

(25) All promotional and marketing material related to a Joint and Dual Award will be approved in accordance with the Brand and Reputation Policy and will reflect all partner institutions as specified in the agreement.

(26) The conferral requirements for Joint Awards are outlined in the Conferral and Issuance Policy.

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Section 5 - Review and Monitoring

(27) A Joint or Dual Award course will be reviewed in accordance with the University's Course Monitoring and Review Procedures.

(28) The course review process will involve input and feedback from the partner institution(s).

(29) Before a renewal of the legal agreement, the arrangement will be reviewed to ensure that the contractual obligations of each partner are being effectively implemented and that the academic, business and strategic case for continuing the arrangement is considered.

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Section 6 - Roles and Responsibilities

Part A - Faculties

(30) The Executive Dean, Associate Dean Education and Associate Dean International, if applicable, will ensure that all proposed arrangements advance faculty education objectives, and that academic standards and quality can be achieved and maintained.

(31) The Executive Dean will confirm in writing that the faculty will be able to resource the arrangement.

(32) The Executive Dean will approve the Joint or Dual Award course at the faculty level prior to submission of the course approval documentation to the Course Portfolio Development Group (CPDG) and in accordance with course approval processes outlined in clause 22.  

(33) The Executive Dean will approve the partnership agreement at the faculty level prior to submission of the signed agreement to the Delegated Authority for final approval.

(34) The Executive Dean will ensure that the course and partnership arrangement is reviewed in accordance with section 5 (clauses 27-29).

(35) Faculty staff involved in negotiating with partner institutions are required to consult with the relevant Professional Units as listed below in conjunction with those negotiations.

(36) Agreements pertaining to Higher Degree Research studies require consultation with the Graduate Research School.

Future Education Division

(37) The Future Education Division will facilitate and coordinate the course approval process.

Office of General Counsel

(38) The Office of General Counsel will work with relevant staff to prepare the legal agreement.

(39) A number of standard terms and conditions are also likely to be required in the Legal Agreement. While these may be the subject of negotiation, it is likely to be between the legal officers of partner institutions, rather than Faculty-based academic staff. The standards terms and conditions normally cover matters relating to insurance, indemnities, severance, dispute resolution, etc.

Global Strategies Division

(40) The Transnational Education Unit (TNE) will conduct due diligence checks and facilitate the agreement for international partner institutions and provide recommendations on the quality of the proposed partner institute.

UUOW Global Enterprises

(41) UOW Global Enterprises (UOWGE) will provide governance, advise on and assist with due diligence checks for UOWGE controlled entities.

Academic Quality and Standards Division

(42) AQS will advise on academic standards and quality matters,  coordinate the quality assurance and final course approval stages and manage course review processes.

Academic Quality and Standards Division

(43) The Academic Quality and Standards Division will work with relevant faculty staff to arrange Council approval of joint testamurs (where applicable) and advise on governance issues more broadly, including referring any request for variation of the application of University policies to the relevant Policy Custodian.

Financial Services Division

(44) The Financial Services Division will advise on matters relating to tuition fee setting and disbursement.

Student Administration Services Division

(45) The Student Administration Services Division will advise on matters relating to student admission, enrolment, student record keeping, graduation and conferrals.

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Section 7 - Definitions

Word/Term
Definition (with examples if required)
Award course or course
A program of study consisting of a combination of subjects and other requirements, leading to a UOW award.
Collaborative course
A program of study leading to a UOW award, which is solely conferred by UOW, and which is either, wholly or partially collaboratively designed, delivered and/or assessed by UOW and one or more partner institution(s) with or without degree awarding powers.
Dual Award
A Dual Award offered by UOW and another entity results in two separate qualifications being conferred by each of the two institutions. A dual award may involve one AQF level, or two sequential AQF levels - for example, two Masters degrees or a Bachelor and Diploma award. Dual awards may provide students with the opportunity to complete two awards in a shorter timeframe than if completed separately. (TEQSA 2017)
Joint Award
(may also be referred to as a Jointly Conferred Award)
A single qualification which is jointly conferred by UOW and one or more higher education providers. Joint Awards typically involve close cooperation in curriculum development, design, organisation, course delivery, and assessment of learning outcomes as well as requirements necessary for awarding the qualification. (TEQSA 2017)
Partner institution
Another institution or organisation (typically another higher education provider or registered training provider) with whom the University has a partnership arrangement to deliver a joint or dual award. This includes affiliated entities under the management of UOW Global Enterprises.
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Section 8 - Schedule A: Checklist for Developing New Joint and Dual Awards

(46) Checklist for Developing New Joint and Dual Awards

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Section 9 - Schedule B:Partner Institution Selection Criteria (Joint and Dual Awards)

(47) Schedule B:Partner Institution Selection Criteria (Joint and Dual Awards)