Feedback on programmes

What students should know about sharing their opinions during an academic programme review.

What are Academic Programme Reviews?

In 2001, Victoria University of Wellington made a commitment to “Ensur[ing] that all schools or major qualifications undergo an internationally benchmarked review at intervals of no more than seven years and that there is a formal mechanism in place to audit responses to recommendations arising from the review.”

Programme reviews focus on the quality of the programme, in terms of the content and structure of the curriculum, the learning opportunities and the research that underpins this. All qualifications, undergraduate and postgraduate, offered within the broad disciplinary category are reviewed approximately once every seven years.

Why do you want my input?

You as a student are the most important stakeholder of the programme. You follow classes, interact with staff and fellow students, move around at the university creating an academic environment, absorb current knowledge of the field, and in the future disseminate the knowledge you have learned. So you know best what’s going on. Only you can provide direct feedback on how the programme is perceived and suggest how the programme could be improved. So give us your feedback!

How can I give my opinion?

Send us a written submission on one or two pages of A4 paper or participate in the focus group and discuss your ideas directly with the members of the review panel.

Do the lecturers see my submission?

Nobody of the programme staff or management team of the programme will read your submission. The panel will have a separate session with students only, so none of the lecturers or management staff will be present. The review panel ensures that all comments will be anonymised in the review report.

What should I say?

The following questions may guide you in writing a submission or responding to questions of the panel members. Questions:

  • What do you enjoy or dislike about the Programme?
  • Do the lecturers engage you with their research and teaching, and how?
  • Are the course notes useful or could more be done? Is staff available for questions and problems?
  • Do your study experiences match with your initial expectations of the Programme?
  • What were your expectation of the programme?
  • Are you happy with the available study spaces and resources, cf. the library, lecturing rooms, computer rooms?
  • Do you think that the Programme give enough support to international students, students with a handicap?
  • Do you get enough feedback on your study progress?
  • Do you have suggestions how the programme could improve?

Make sure you give substantial arguments or examples from personal experiences when you write a contribution or discuss your ideas with the review panel. The more specific your contribution is, the better you can help the review panel to determine the quality of the Programme.

Who does the reviewing?

We invite a review panel of experts in the interdisciplinary field, an academic from another University in New Zealand, an academic from an Australian University and an academic with expertise on Māori culture. The panel is chaired by a senior lecturer from another faculty within Victoria University of Wellington. To prepare for the review the panel looks at a self-review report written by programme staff and Head of School.

Additionally, it considers statistical information provided by the university and written submissions by stakeholders. During three days the review panel talks to anyone who is involved in the programme: the lecturers, the management team, but also students and people from affiliated organisations and professionals in the field.

What do you do with my input?

After the review has taken place, the panel prepares a report in which they summarise their findings on the quality of the programme. Suggestions for improvements along with ideas raised by stakeholders are assembled into recommendations.

The recommendations that are accepted and implementable are incorporated into the operational plan for the School. In this way, the University ensures that the recommendations are adopted by the programme. The programme also reports regularly on the implementation of the recommendations, mainly for accountability but also to foster further reflection once the review is complete.

Apply for the focus group or mail your written submission to Edward Schofield.