Section 4 - Support, Guidance and Responsibilities

PARTNERSHIP PROJECT – KEY STAFF

 

Area:

Learning

 And

 Teaching

 

Quality Assurance,

Contract and

Project Administration

 

Project

Finance

 

Faculty

 Resources

 

Responsibility – University Level

Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Experience / Vice-Chancellor

University Department:

Academic Department

 

Academic Registry

Finance Department

Faculty Administration

Faculty

Finance and Resources

Lead:

Academic Champion / Programme Director

 

Deputy Registrar – Academic Partnerships

Deputy-Head of Finance

Faculty

Pro Vice-Chancellor

 

Associated staff:

 

Academic Partnerships Manager

Finance Project Management Accountant

 

Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience

 

Link

Tutor (s)

Head of Academic Department

 

 

 

Faculty

Registrar

 

Head of Academic Department

 

External Examiner (s)

Exam Board Chair

 

 

 

Head of Academic Department

 

Faculty Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to the nature of collaborative partner provision, varying in scale, complexity and risk, collaborative projects will involve a number of academic and professional services staff who will support the development and management of the provision. The processes outlined in this chapter are designed to support Academic Departments and Faculties to develop proposals in a way which manages potential risks and promotes sustainable development. Throughout the lifecycle of a collaborative project, Departments and Faculties will be supported by the Academic Partnerships Office in the Academic Registry.

As a minimum, each project designated as a medium to high risk collaborative Partnership Project will be supported by:

 

  1. Academic Department
  • Partnership Programme Leader:

The Academic member of staff from the proposing Department/Institute responsible for the academic development and design of the project. Where the Partnership Programme Leader is absent, the Head of Department will have responsibility for the project in the short-term until a suitable replacement can be appointed.

The Partnership Programme Leader will have responsibility for:

  1. Managing the project through the approval process;
  2. Ensuring that all paperwork is submitted to the appropriate committee(s) ;
  3. Acting as key academic liaison with the partner and with professional service departments as appropriate;
  4. Overseeing the management of the project once approved;
  5. Provide reports or verbal updates to CPB as appropriate;
  6. Liaising with other academic members of staff as appropriate;
  7. Overall responsibility for Academic Content and Standards relating to the project.
  8. Link Tutor(s) / Link Academic(s):
  9. Academic Partnerships Office:

For full job description of Partnership Programme Leader see below.

Each programme within the project will be appointed a link tutor who has expertise in the subject area. For smaller projects, the Partnership Programme Leader and Link Tutor may be the same person, whereas in larger projects multiple Link Tutors may be assigned to cover different subject areas. The role of the Link Tutor is to facilitate two-way communication between the programme level staff teams within the partner and key staff in Aberystwyth University. Link tutors will maintain contact with partner staff and students (where appropriate) on relevant programmes electronically and through face-to-face visits. Link tutor duties are carried out under the direction of the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor in Aberystwyth, but also involve close liaison with, and support from other key members of the relevant department such as the Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience, and the Head of Department. The Link Tutor will be supported by the partnership programme leader. The Link Tutors play a key role in the quality assurance process and are responsible for all aspects of day to day academic and administrative management of modules on a particular scheme. They are the first line of referral for all academic support issues.

For full job description of Link Tutor / Link Academic see below.

  • Deputy Registrar - Academic Partnerships

The Deputy Registrar for Academic Partnerships acts as the senior contact person in providing support and guidance for staff developing and managing collaborative programmes both in the University and partner organisations. As a member of the Collaborative Provision Board, the Deputy Registrar for Academic Partnerships has oversight of collaborative partnership projects through approval and subsequent delivery, ensuring adherence to operational processes and relevant QA regulations.

 

       2.Academic Partnerships Office

  • Academic Partnerships Manager

Each project will be assigned an Academic Partnerships Manager from the Academic Partnerships Office who will act as a primary project liaison manager. The Academic Partnerships Manager will be supported by the wider team in the Academic Partnerships Office and overseen by the Deputy Registrar for Academic Partnerships, and will support the Programme Director and Academic department in coordinating  approval, development, monitoring and review processes.

       3.Finance

  • Finance Business Partner (previously named Project Management Accountant)

A Finance Business Partner from the finance office will work with the Academic department / Academic Partnerships Office and manage all financial aspects of the project and the financial Due Diligence stream. The accountant will:

  1. Be responsible for developing the business case along with the academic department in relation to the proposed collaboration and ensure that it is submitted to the Executive Committee or Finance Director for review as appropriate;
  2. Promptly notify stakeholders of the outcome of the Executive Committee or Finance Director review, as appropriate, and provide formal notification;
  3. Update relevant offices within the finance department of upcoming projects and developments in relation to projects, e.g. following CPB and following confirmation of programme creation on ASTRA/UCAS;
  4. Liaise with relevant offices and managers on finance systems, e.g. Student Finance, Payments etc.;
  5. Ensure projects are set up on ABW;
  6. Review and ensure approval of financial sections of MOA;
  7. Update project business case(s) annually and present to the appropriate committee for review;
  8. The Finance Business Partner will liaise with the Academic Department and Academic Registry in relation to the project as appropriate.

 

Support will be provided at Faculty level by an appropriate member of the Faculty management executive as appointed by the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor.

Each project team is accountable to the Faculty with the relevant Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience ensuring that Faculty Institute procedures are followed and that the proposal complies with the Faculties’ Learning &Teaching and Recruitment strategies as appropriate.

The relevant Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience will normally represent the Faculty at the Collaborative Provision Board (CPB) and support the Academic Champion on project development.

Associated Faculty staff:

  1. Faculty
  2. Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor
  3. Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience
  4. Faculty Registrar
  5. Faculty Manager
  6. Head of Academic Department

 

  1. Additional Project Support (where appropriate):

University-wide support is essential for any partnership project. Additional support from support departments depends on each individual project, the size, scale, subject/cross-subject focus, number of external agencies involved etc.

 

Academic Registry

Relevant member(s) of staff depending on Admissions, Student Records and UKVI Compliance needs

Marketing and Recruitment Department

Relevant member(s) of International Office or Marketing staff depending on partner country, marketing demands and project delivery

Department of Information Services

Relevant member(s) of staff depending on IS systems necessary for teaching and delivery

Including:

AStRA, Timetable, books/journals (and licence), Blackboard, Panopto, email and login.

Research Business and Innovation

Relevant member(s) of staff depending on research project and funding stream

Estates, Facilities & Residences Department

Relevant member(s) of staff depending on demands on facilities, residences or for building works

Planning Department

Relevant member(s) of staff depending on status and nature of student contract and data returns

Student Support

Relevant member(s) of staff depending on status and nature of student contract and relevant individual student needs

Including:

Specific Learning Difference (SpLD), welfare and careers support

Human Resources

Relevant member(s) of staff depending on project staffing requirements

Including:

Contracts, visas, payroll, staff appraisals, disciplinary

Partnerships Programmee Leader

Role

The expectation is that the Partnership Programme Leader will be an academic member of Departmental staff with sufficient seniority to represent the partnership programme at both Faculty and Senior Executive levels of the University as well as externally with the Partner Institution and associated stakeholders.

The role of the Partnership Programme Leader is to act as the key contact within the relevant academic department at Aberystwyth University.  The Partnership Programme Leader will be the main point of contact for academic related issues within their subject area for relevant programme level staff at the partner institute and key staff in Aberystwyth University.

Key areas of responsibility

Include:

  • Facilitating the approval of the partnership programme(s) through the various University Committee stages, including oversight of curriculum development and mapping as appropriate;
  • Liaising with the Academic Partnerships Office and other academic staff in the ongoing management of the partnership and adherence to QA regulatory policies;
  • Chairing the bi-annual Joint Programme Board, and ensure actions arising are dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner;
  • Attending the Collaborative Provision Board meetings;
  • Attending Examination Boards (Departmental Board at Aberystwyth and ones held at the Partner Institute as appropriate);
  • Promoting and, where appropriate, directing strategic growth of the partner provision;
  • Working with colleagues at the partner institution within the subject area to ensure that suitable ongoing programme support is provided, as appropriate;
  • Coordinating the incorporation of ‘student voice’ on proposed programme developments and modifications;
  • Directing programme enhancement and programme review.

Key areas of activity that the Partnership Programme Leader will be involved with:

Public Information

The approval process for marketing materials is managed within the Academic Partnership Office in liaison with the Marketing and Recruitment Department to ensure accurate representation. The involvement of the Partnership Programme Leader is needed to ensure the accuracy of details in relation to departmental processes and subject specific content.

Interaction with Partner staff

The majority of collaborative partnerships involve local staff at the partner organisation providing teaching or other academic support. The Partnership Programme Leader must ensure adequate and appropriate contact between AU departmental staff and partner staff. This may be delegated to the Link Tutor[s] whose contact is more frequent; however the Programme Leader should maintain oversight.

Student Admission, Administration and Access to Resources

The Partnership Programme Leader’s role is to enable staff at the partner institution to develop appropriate contacts within Aberystwyth University in order that they are able to liaise with admissions student records staff as appropriate. The Partnership Programme Leader must also ensure that the relevant learning resources are available and accessible at the partner institution.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

A prior learning credit refers to credit which is awarded on an AU partner programme, either via agreed recognition or articulation agreements. The Partnership Programme Leader should be involved in assessing and monitoring equivalence of the partner award to the corresponding AU credits by preparing the initial mapping using AU’s mapping document.

Learning and Teaching

The Partnership Programme Leader must support adherence to University policies and processes within the partner programmes including Unacceptable Academic Practice, Examination and Assessment conventions, Marking and Moderation procedures, Assessment policy and procedures, submission of Coursework, Special Circumstances, Reasonable Adjustments and Coursework Extensions.

Assessment

The Partnership Programme Leader should ensure that assessment processes at the partner institution are followed. The Partnership Programme Leader should also ensure that the partner institute add their comments to the external examiner report before submitted to the Faculty and Academic Registry. The Partnership Programme Leader should also attend all relevant examination boards.

Monitoring

There are many forms of monitoring within AU which allow opportunities to reflect on collaborative partnerships.

Joint Programme Board - carried out twice a year for franchise partners, but may occur less often for other collaborations. The JPB is chaired by the Partnership Programme Leader for the collaborative partnership programme and the Link Tutor(s) attendance is optional. The main role of the JPB is to manage the operation and quality of the programme.

Annual Monitoring Taught Schemes – a yearly quality monitoring document completed by both the department and any collaborative partner. The Partnership Programme Leader should lead on completing the section of the form that relates to collaborative provision for a particular programme or group of programmes with the partner and Link Tutors contributing as necessary.

Departmental Quality Audit - the collaboration will be reviewed as part of the audit and the Partnership Programme Leader should lead to complete any relevant paperwork for submission.

Partner Performance Evaluation A PPE is required within the first year of operation and should be completed by both the partner and the lead department/ institute. The Partnership Programme Leader should take responsibility for collating documents for the PPE. Further PPEs may be carried out during the term of the contract, subject to performance of the collaborative partnership.

Termination of Agreement and / or withdrawal of a programme at a partner institute.

The Partnership Programme Leader will remain in post supporting a programme until all students have completed the programme, and should retain managerial oversight during the teach out period.

For further details and information regarding scheme approval, monitoring and review please see section 2 of the Academic Quality Handbook - Development and Review:

https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/academic-registry/handbook/dev-review/

Link Tutor

Role

The role of the Link Tutor is to act as the key contact for relevant programme level staff within the partner institute and key staff in Aberystwyth University. Link Tutors may also be in occasional contact with students in the partner institute.  Link Tutors will maintain contact with the partner electronically and through face-to-face visits, with the minimum number of visits outlined in the MOA.  Link Tutor duties are carried out under the direction of the Partnership Programme Leader in Aberystwyth, but also involve close liaison with, and support from other key members of the Faculty and other academic departments such as the Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience, Faculty Registrar and Head of Department. The Link Tutor will be supported by the Partnership Programme Leader. The Link Tutors play a key role in the quality assurance process and are responsible for all aspects of day to day academic and administrative management of modules on a particular scheme. They are the first line of referral for all academic support issues.

General Roles of the Link Tutor

  • Contributing to/providing feedback for meetings to discuss teaching arrangements and quality of provision.
  • Maintaining appropriate levels of contact throughout the academic year to resolve queries and share good practice in a timely manner
  • Ensuring that all relevant course notes and other academic sources are available to relevant staff as appropriate on Blackboard.
  • Providing suitable guidance received from module coordinators on the appropriate marking practices expected by their department and ensure that internal moderation procedures are maintained.
  • Attending relevant review, examination and joint boards as specified by the University.
  • Ensuring University module co-ordinators are aware of any specific requirements of the franchised schemes
  • Visiting the partner as required under the terms of the agreement.
  • Other duties conducive to the successful operation of the franchised programmes

Key areas of activity that the Link Tutor will be involved with:

Interaction with Partner staff

The majority of collaborative partnerships involve local staff at the partner organisation providing teaching or other academic support. The efficacy of the Link Tutor role is dependent on regular contact between partner staff and those at Aberystwyth University, enabling early identification and management of challenges. Various methods of contact may be used including face to face, Skype, phone and email. A contact schedule or timeline can support the Link Tutor in their role.

Student Admission, Administration and Access to Resources

All students on franchise schemes register online as Aberystwyth University students. It is the Link Tutor’s responsibility to liaise with the partner and Academic Registry to ensure that student registration is completed in accordance with University deadlines. The Academic Partnerships office will ensure that Link Tutors are aware of the timetable for this activity. Once registered students will gain access to the Blackboard modules on their programme. Link Tutors should act as a point of contact between staff at the partner institute and academic and IS staff to ensure that the learning and teaching materials are accessible on Blackboard. With the support of the E-Learning team, they should help to resolve any issues that arise in student access to AU resources.

Learning and Teaching

One of the main roles of the Link Tutor is to act as a critical friend to partner programme teams by:

  • Advising on resource enhancement for the partner programme.
  • Acting as a contact for sharing of good practice between AU and the partner for areas including learning and teaching and assessment design.

Assessment

Assessment processes at a partner institution must conform to AU regulations. The Link Tutors should ensure that all assessed work is moderated according to the guidelines produced by AU and the department. The Link Tutors should also be involved in ensuring that assessments are reviewed by the department and the external examiner (if not written by the department) and facilitate mark entry for the partner. All assessments, once moderated, should be sent to the external examiner and this process should be led by the Link Tutors and the partner institute.

Monitoring

There are many forms of monitoring of collaborative activities within AU which allow opportunities to reflect.

Joint Programme Board - carried out twice a year for franchise partners, but may occur less often for other collaborations. The JPB is chaired by the Partnership Programme Leader for the collaborative partnership and Link Tutors attendance is optional. The main role of the JPB is to manage the operation and quality of the programme.

Annual Monitoring Taught Schemes – a yearly quality monitoring document completed by both the main department and any collaborative partner. The Partnership Programme Leader should lead on completing the section of the form that relates to collaborative provision for a particular programme or group of programmes with the partner and Link Tutors assisting as necessary.

Departmental Quality Audit - Link Tutors should assist the Partnership Programme Leader to complete any relevant paperwork.

Partner Performance Evaluation Link Tutors should assist the Partnership Programme Leader in collating documents for the PPE.

Student Feedback and Communication

Although the primary point of contact for the Link Tutor would normally be partner staff, contact with partner students may sometimes be appropriate. The tutor may be contacted by students if queries or problems arise. If feasible Link Tutors should attend induction/ registration at partner institute.

Link Tutors should also promote the progression of students to AU degrees after completion of the Foundation Degrees. Link Tutors should be involved in arranging opportunities to discuss progression arrangements with student groups at the partner. If students do decide to progress to AU, then Link Tutors should review the progress of students after first few weeks at AU. Progression information should be maintained and reviewed at the JPB.