Quality assurance process approved
Queen’s has passed an important milestone in establishing a new, streamlined system to ensure the continuing high quality of both existing and new undergraduate and graduate programs.
Queen’s University Quality Assurance Processes (QUQAPs) were recently ratified by Ontario’s Quality Council of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), and implementation will begin this fall.
“This is a very significant achievement and the result of an ongoing process in the Provost’s Office, consulting with many parts of the university community – in particular, the School of Graduate Studies – for more than a year,” says Deputy Provost Susan Cole. “It is the first important step in introducing the new processes mandated by the COU Quality Assurance Framework and helping maintain the university’s reputation for excellence, while preserving autonomy and control over our own programs.”
Queen’s suspended its internal academic reviews for 2011-2012 in anticipation of the COU Quality Assurance Framework. The framework was approved in April 2010 by the Executive Heads to ensure consistency and cohesion among all Ontario university programs.
During the transitional period, the Provost and VP (Academic) office has been developing the new quality assurance policy that covers new programs and modifications to existing programs, as well as a consolidated process for cyclical program reviews. A key feature of the new policy is that it provides the option of reviewing undergraduate and graduate programs at the same time.
“The new framework requires academic units to think about the graduate and undergraduate programs they offer or wish to introduce in a way that is more student-centric,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.
At the end of 2010, each Ontario university was required to submit its own quality assurance policy to the COU Quality Council. Last week Queen’s received word that its proposal – approved at Senate last November – has been ratified. The next step is to develop the specific protocols and forms for implementing QUQAPs, a process that is well under way in the Provost’s Office.
“We’re excited to move forward with this new system, which will enhance our ability to maintain and monitor the high quality for which Queen’s is renowned,” says Dr. Cole.