Short Courses Policy

Application

This policy applies to all short courses developed or delivered by the University and its subsidiaries. It does not apply to for-credit courses, formal programmes or micro-credentials.

Purpose

To establish a set of rules for the development, approval, delivery, quality assurance and recognition of short courses.

Introduction

The delivery of short courses is an important activity of the University. Short courses provide an extension of core teaching and research, and strengthen the University’s connections with working professionals, alumni, industry, professions, students, public and communities.

The quality assurance approval and reporting arrangements described in this policy ensure the quality of short courses offered by the University. They also ensure the University meets Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) requirements and government reporting requirements.

Policy

Requirements

Development

1. Proposals for new short courses must be developed by, or in conjunction with, an academic unit which will be responsible for maintaining the quality of the course.

2. Proposals for new short courses must be completed on the short course approval template and include details of the proposed title, description, learning outcome(s), fees, duration and, where applicable, a summary of assessment.

3. Short courses must be designed and delivered in a way that reflects the University’s commitments and objectives outlined in its Strategic Plan, including those relating to the Treaty of Waitangi and creating an equitable and inclusive environment.

4. Where there is an intention to develop or deliver a short course in conjunction with a third party, the proposal must include details of the respective roles of the parties in the development and delivery of the short course.

5. To avoid confusion the names of short courses must not be the same as for-credit courses, programmes or micro-credentials.

6. Academic units should only offer short courses in areas of study where they have recognised expertise.

7. Short courses must adhere to the requirements of the CUAP Handbook Appendix H: Quality assurance of university courses and programmes not leading to a qualification.

Approval

8. New short courses, or changes to existing short courses, of less than eight notional hours of learning must be approved by the relevant faculty, or delegated authority.

9. New short courses, or changes to existing short courses of eight or more notional hours of learning must be approved by the Chair of the Academic Programmes Committee, following endorsement by the relevant faculty and the Academic Programmes Sub-committee.

10. Re-approval is required prior to the promotion and delivery of any short course which has been significantly amended, or not delivered in more than five years.

11. Academic units must maintain appropriate records of the content, and where applicable, assessment, of short courses in line with the University’s record-keeping requirements.

Delivery

12. Short courses may be delivered face-to-face, online, by distance, or through a combination of these methods.

13. Short courses must utilise the services of University of Auckland staff members or staff employed specifically for the purpose of conducting a specific short course.

14. Deans and directors are responsible for ensuring that all staff members who deliver short courses have the necessary disciplinary knowledge, teaching skills and awareness of the University’s policies and requirements for quality assurance to deliver the course to the University’s standards. They must also ensure that short courses are delivered in a suitably resourced learning environment.

Quality assurance

15. The head of the academic unit is responsible for ensuring short courses meet appropriate standards and for ensuring that quality assurance is maintained.

Evaluation

16. All short course participants must be given the opportunity to provide feedback at the conclusion of each short course. Feedback must be analysed and the results reported to participants.

Note - It should be used to inform ongoing development and viability of the course.

Participants

17. A record of participant details, including name, date of birth, gender, citizenship, iwi affiliation, National Student Number and ethnicity must be kept to enable the University to meet government reporting requirements. Note – The Government reporting requirements will be automated if the enrolment is processed through ARLO.

18. Participants in short courses are not enrolled students of the University but are required to comply with the University’s Code of Conduct, policies and all behavioural expectations of students.

19. Participants are not eligible for a Campus Card and will not have access to other University services unless this has been negotiated with the relevant University divisions, is included in the fee, and is clearly notified to the student.

20. The University’s existing processes for handling complaints, grievances and disciplinary matters extend to participants in short courses.

Recognition

21. Completion of a short course may result in the award of a certificate of attendance signalling participation in the course. These certificates must be issued by the academic unit delivering the course.

22. Short Course certificates must adhere to the University’s prescribed format. Templates have been developed for this purpose.

23. Completion of a short course may result in the issuance of a digital badge when the University introduces digital badging, in line with the proposed Digital Badging Policy.

Finances

24. Short courses must be subject to a level of market and financial analysis commensurate with the size of the course. Short courses are expected to generate a positive return for the University.

25. The academic unit proposing the course is responsible for market and financial analysis which must include the costs of delivery including academic time, professional staff administration and assistance, any room hire, materials, travel and catering.

26. All revenue and expenditure associated with the development and delivery of short courses must be directed through the appropriate OOA cost centre or a dedicated operational cost centre, and not RDA accounts.

27. Each short course must have a unique project code to distinguish it from other short courses tracked in the cost centre.

28. Short courses will normally be fee-paying. The level of fee is to be approved by the head of the relevant academic unit after taking into consideration the costs of developing and delivering the course, including any opportunity cost, and must be published in promotional material, along with any applicable conditions on bookings, refunds or exchanges.

Refunds and withdrawals

29. The following table outlines the minimum withdrawal periods and refund amounts for short courses.

Domestic students

Course length Withdrawal period Refund amount
Refund amount   Discretionary
More than two days but less than 5 weeks Up to the end of two calendar days of the course commencing At least 50% of the amount paid in respect of the course
More than five weeks but less than three months Up to the end of five calendar days of the course commencing At least 75% of the amount paid in respect of the course
More than three months Up to the end of the eighth day after the start of the course At least 90% of the amount paid in respect of the course 

International students

Course length Withdrawal period Refund amount
Two days or less   Discretionary
More than two days but less than 5 weeks Up to the end of the second day after the start of the course At least 50% of the amount paid in respect of the course
More than five weeks but less than three months Up to the end of the fifth  day after the start of the course At least 75% of the amount paid in respect of the course
More than three months Up to the end of the tenth working day after the start of the course At least 75% of the amount paid in respect of the course

Reporting

30. Each academic unit must report annually to Education Committee on the short courses approved and/or offered during the year and confirm that the courses offered meet minimum expectations for quality assurance. Reports should be made on the short course annual review template.

Information for participants

31. Relevant information must be made available to all participants, and include:

  • The aims, objectives and learning outcomes for the course
  • Any applicable assessment requirements
  • The timetable for the course
  • Any resources required to complete the course
  • The fees and any conditions on bookings, refunds or exchanges.

Definitions

The following definitions apply to this document:

A Digital Badge is a visual and electronic representation of accomplishment, achievement or activity awarded to a participant or student and designed to be displayed electronically, for example on social media or in emails.

For-credit course refers to an approved course which have a credit value.

Formal programme means a degree, diploma or certificate approved by the Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) and able to be awarded to a student.

Micro-credential means a micro-credential approved under the University’s Micro-credential Policy.

Notional hours of learning include all learning associated with the course, including any required pre-reading or self-directed learning outside of the structured teaching time.

Participant means a person attending a short course.

Short course means any not-for-credit learning activity offered by the University, or its subsidiaries, including hobby/interest, executive education, seminar, training or professional development activities which do not lead to the award of a qualification. This includes activities that are open to members of the public as well as activities designed for specific organisations or professional groups or organised as part of a consultancy project. Participants in short courses are not enrolled students of the University.

Staff member refers to individuals employed by the University on a full or part-time basis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all of its subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Include the following:

Document management and control

Owner: Provost
Content manager: Manager, Academic Programmes
Approved by: Council
Date approved: 8th June 2020
Review date: 8th June 2022