22 July 2009

The University of Queensland has gained 13 commendations from the nation’s peak higher education quality auditor, which highlighted UQ’s “robust academic quality assurance system” and strong academic culture.

A new report by the independent Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) praises a range of UQ teaching and learning initiatives, including strong links between research and teaching, and new learning spaces.

It finds “that good teaching is embraced by many academics not only as a matter of importance but as a matter of pride. The University has demonstrated in a range of ways that it values academic staff for good teaching as well as for good research, thus reinforcing a strong academic culture”.

AUQA, which periodically audits individual Australian higher education institutions, also says UQ “has robust academic quality assurance systems for its major academic processes and its senior leaders are energetic in identifying opportunities for improvement”.

Other areas earning a commendation include:
- ongoing attention to addressing assessment issues and policies;
- the review processes that drive curriculum renewal and ensure appropriate academic standards; and
- increasing engagement with communities surrounding the UQ Ipswich campus.

The two themes of the UQ audit were quality of teaching, and ‘academic quality assurance – curriculum and assessment’. AUQA focussed on UQ early in 2009, having previously audited the University in 2003.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Greenfield, thanked the panel for its stringent review, which he said was important to UQ’s continuous work to improve its performance in all areas.

The University is well on the way to completing implementation of AUQA’s six recommendations, he said.

“The independent scrutiny has strengthened UQ’s resolve to continue implementing, monitoring and strengthening policies and practices that uphold high quality teaching and learning.

“The panel was satisfied that UQ has effective procedures to address problems that arise.

“UQ is committed, without compromise, to addressing areas that need improvement, including those identified by the panel. We will continue follow-ups with AUQA, and continue to focus on monitoring and enhancing academic integrity, performance and culture,” Professor Greenfield said.

Media contact: Fiona Kennedy 07 3365 1384.