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					          An Coiste Feabhais Acadúil
  The Committee on Academic Quality Improvement




The Academic Quality Assurance
     Programme 2009-10




              GUIDELINES
                        Guidelines for Academic Quality Reviews 2009-10                  2




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                        Guidelines for Academic Quality Reviews 2009-10                   3



                                          Contents
1     Achieving a Total Quality Culture                                                   5
      1.1 Strategic and Academic Plans                                                    5
      1.2 The Universities Act 1997                                                       5
      1.3 The Irish Universities Quality Board                                            5
      1.4 Reviews of Irish Universities and Sector 2005                                   6
      1.5 Upcoming IUQB Reviews of the Universities                                       7

2     Quality Activities at NUI Galway                                                    8
      2.1 Activities to Evaluate and Promote Quality                                      8
      2.2 Continual Revision                                                              8
      2.3 Annual Report to Údarás na hOllscoile                                           9
3     Administrative Structure and Processes                                             10
      3.1 An tÚdarás and an Coiste Feabhais                                              10
      3.2 An Coiste Feabhais Acadúil                                                     11
      3.3 A Six Year Review Cycle                                                        11
      3.4 The Overall Review Process                                                     11
      3.5 Criteria                                                                       14

4     Self-Assessment                                                                    15
      4.1 Purpose of Self Assessment                                                     15
      4.2 Consultation                                                                   15
      4.3 The Self-Assessment Group                                                      16
      4.4 The Self-Assessment Report                                                     17
      4.5 Document to be Provided                                                        18

5     The Review Visit                                                                   20
      5.1 The Review Group                                                               20
      5.2 Inputs to the Review Process                                                   21
      5.3 The Visit                                                                      21
      5.4 Notes on Events                                                                23
6     The Review Group Report                                                            26
      6.1 Characteristics of Report                                                      26
      6.2 Writing the Report                                                             26
      6.3 Finalizing the Report                                                          27
      6.4 Accessibility of the Report                                                    27

7     Following Up the Review Reports                                                    29
      7.1 The Response                                                                   29
      7.2 The Follow Up Meeting and the Action Plans                                     29
      7.3 Reporting on Individual Reviews to Údarás na hOllscoile                        29
      7.4 The Implementation of Agreed Actions                                           30
      7.5 Progress Reports                                                               30
Appendix 1: The NUI Galway Quality Initiative: Milestones                                31
Appendix 2: Units at NUI Galway Reviewed to Date and Planned                             32
Appendix 3: An Coiste Feabhais Acadúil: Terms of Reference                               36
Appendix 4: Pro Forma for Self Assessment Report                                         37
Appendix 5: Reviewer Declaration Form                                                    44
Appendix 6: Checklist of documents etc to be provided for the Reviewers                  45
Appendix 7: Format of Review Report                                                      46
Appendix 8: Format of Action Plans                                                       48



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                        1 Achieving a Total Quality Culture
1.1 The Strategic and Academic Plans
The Strategic and Academic Plans (2003) built on the commitment to the
development of a ‘total quality culture’ in the 1997 Plan by detailing how
continuously improving quality is essential to the attainment of the University’s
strategic and academic objectives. The Strategic Plan committed the University to
the completion of reviews of all administrative, service and support units, including
an institutional review and a review of senior management functions, by 2007–08.
Regular review is an effective way to promote the creation of a quality culture, and
the importance of continuous improvement between reviews has been demonstrated
as Units have been reviewed again.
        Work on developing a new Strategic Plan for 2009–14 is nearing completion.
This new Plan will be grounded in institutional research and have evidence-based
objectives for all strategic aims. This will make more effective the focus on quality
improvement.

1.2 The Universities Act 1997
The Universities Act 1997 obliges all seven Irish universities to implement
comprehensive quality assurance procedures. Section 35 (2)(a) of the Act requires the
establishment of procedures for:
           ‘the evaluation, at regular intervals [ ], of each Unit [ ] and any service provided by the
           university [ ] by persons [ ] who are competent to make national and international
           comparisons [ ].’
Section 35.(4) of the Act requires that the:
           ‘Governing Authority shall, from time to time, [ ] arrange for a review of the
           effectiveness of the procedures provided for by this section and the implementation of the
           findings arising out of the application of those procedures.’
 Under Section 49 of the Act, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) is granted the
power to review, on its own initiative, a number of named university policies and
activities. ‘Procedures for quality assurance’ are included on this list. Such a HEA
review, initiated jointly with the IUQB (see 1.3) and carried out by the European
Universities Association (EUA), took place in 2004. For further details see Section
1.5.

1.3 Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB)
Foundation
In parallel with the drafting of the Universities Act, the seven universities began to
develop appropriate quality review systems. Gradually an ‘Irish model’ for quality
assurance and improvement was developed and is increasingly recognised
internationally as an effective system.
        In 2003, the Governing Authorities of the seven Irish universities, acting via
the Irish Universities Association formally established the Irish Universities Quality
Board (IUQB). Its Primary Aims and Objectives are:
          To maintain and promote co-operation between the Irish universities in quality
           assurance procedures and processes, supporting the universities in their goal of
           achieving a culture of quality through continuous improvement in all their activities


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          To arrange regular, cyclical reviews or evaluations of the effectiveness of quality
           assurance and quality improvement procedures in the Irish universities as may be
           required by law (as required by Section 35.(4) of the ’97 Act)
          To identify international best practice in maintaining and improving quality and to
           promote its adoption by the Irish universities
          With the co-operation of the Irish universities and other higher education partners, to
           organise and direct cross-university projects in quality improvement, with the goal of
           establishing and publishing national guidelines of good practice in specific areas
          To co-operate and interact with national and international organisations in relation to
           quality assurance in higher education
          To provide a source of information to stakeholders on important Irish, European and
           other international developments in the quality assurance of higher education.

 ‘A Framework for Quality’
The IUA/IUQB booklet ‘A framework for Quality in Irish Universities: Concerted
Actions for Institutional Improvement’ (2nd edition 2007) is a comprehensive
description of the common features of the systems used internally and externally by
the IUQB. The procedures used at NUI, Galway are based on the ‘Irish Model’.
They also take into account the procedures and practices in the other universities to
identify ones that can usefully be adopted here.
         The IUQB also supports ‘sectoral projects’, each with the participation of all
seven CHIU universities. These include processes to develop and publish profiles of
good practice for universities, benchmarked internationally. Projects completed and
published to date include:
          Organisation of PhD programmes
          Organisation of Student Support Services
          Institutional Research
          Strategic Planning for Academic Units

Review of IUQB
IUQB itself recently underwent a quality review that was commissioned by the HEA.
The review report was published in September 2008. The Terms of Reference for the
review are available at http://www.iuqb.ie/info/quality_review_of_iuqb.aspx.

1.4 Reviews of Irish Universities and Sector 2005
Immediately after the establishment of the IUQB in 2003, the HEA and IUQB
agreed to engage the EUA to undertake two parallel review processes.
   1. Review and report to the HEA on the quality procedures established by the
      universities (Sectoral Review)
   2. Review and report to the IUQB on the quality assurance procedures of each
      university and the implementation of findings, including:
              Design, planning and effectiveness of existing internal quality processes
              Relevance of processes and degree to which outcomes are used in decision-
               making and strategic planning
              Perceived gaps in the internal mechanisms.


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The resulting Report: ‘Quality Review of the National University of Ireland, Galway’
and the other documents related to that Report are available at the Quality Office site
(http://www.nuigalway.ie/quality/quality_review_nuigalway.html). The EUA
Sectoral Report ‘Review of Quality Assurance in Irish Universities’ may be down-
loaded from the website of the Irish Universities Quality Board (http://www.iuqb.ie/).
TheEUA review reports on the other six universities in the Republic of Ireland may
also be accessed through this website.

As part of this overall process, a comprehensive Action Plan for the Universitywas
developed and approved by Údarás na hOllscoile. Implementation of many of these
actions has involved making changes to these guidelines. These include the
following:
          New procedure for the independent selection of members of review groups.
          The Quality Office now makes annual written reports to Údarás na hOllscoile.
          Full review group reports are now published on the University Website.
          Full involvement of all staff categories in reviews is emphasised more.
          Option of separate, written, confidential submissions to review groups.
          External reviewers are requested to declare any previous relations with Unit
           under review.


1.5 IUQB Reviews of the Universities
Review of Administration of PhD Programmes
This thematic evaluation of all seven universities took place during winter 2008 and
spring 2009, and at NUI Galway the internal self-assessment process was overseen by
the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Reviews of Irish Universities and Sector 2009–10
The second omnibus round of reviews of the seven universities is scheduled for 2009
and 2010, and will be organised directly by the IUQB in accord with terms of
reference developed after consultation with the universities. The review of NUI,
Galway will take place between January and Autumn 2010.




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                        2 Quality Activities at NUI Galway
2.1 Activities to Evaluate and Promote Quality
It is essential that NUI, Galway act to ensure its status as a world-class academic
institution in the coming era of performance accountability and competition for
students. This is the principal objective of the activities related to the assessment and
improvement of quality that have been established. They are also designed to support
the achievement of the aims of the Strategic and Academic Plans and to meet the
requirements of the Universities Act.
Appendix 1 lists a selection of the quality-related initiatives that have been undertaken
at NUI, Galway in recent years. The core activity has been reviews of academic and
administrative, service and support units. However, other regular assessment and
support measures have also been undertaken, for example:
    Surveys of undergraduate students’ satisfaction with the University and its
     services were carried out by Millward Brown IMS in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
     This repetition has allowed trends to be discerned and the effects of reforms to be
     assessed. The fourth survey in 2007 was duplicated by an on-line method, to
     which over three thousand students responded. The Institutional Research Officer
     carried out the fifth (bi-annual) survey online in 2009. Copies of survey reports
     are distributed to senior managers, Deans and all Heads of academic units.
    The annual ‘Deans and Heads Conferences is organised by the Quality Office with
     funds from the HEA Training for Trainers Programme. Feedback on the utility of
     these events has been excellent and they will continue, with a different theme each
     year. The full list is now:
         o October 2002, The Academic Plan and Its Implications,
         o May 2003, The Physical Development of the Campus
         o April 2004, NUI Galway: A Student-Centred University?
         o April 2005, The Assessment of Student Learning
         o April 2006, Restructuring NUI Galway for Greater Effectiveness
         o April 2007, The First Year Experience at NUI Galway
         o April 2008, Fourth Level NUI Galway
         o April 2009, Shaping our Future


    Following a number of events and workshops for managers on the value of
     Institutional Research to support planning, management decisions and quality, the
     University appointed an Institutional Research Officer in January 2007.

2.2 Continual Revision
Progress with reviews of academic units at NUI, Galway has been substantial and
policies and procedures are constantly revised to meet changing circumstances and
expectations.
          Academic reviews at NUI Galway were commenced in 1995-96 and from 3 to
           18 Departments, programmes etc. have been reviewed every year since then
           (Appendix 2). Each year, review documentation and procedures are revised in


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           the light of feedback from staff and reviewers.
          The procedures for reviews of academic Units were radically revised before
           any Units were reviewed for the second time. Reviews are now explicitly
           criteria-based and the emphasis is on current practices, as demonstrated by
           existing documentation and records. Consequently, the Self Assessment
           Reports are now much easier to prepare.
          Implementation of the recommendations of the EUA Reviews 2004 involved
           some adjustments to the ways in which reviews are now carried out.

2.3 Annual Report to Údarás na hOllscoile
In September, the Director of Quality reports to Údarás na hOllscoile on the activities
of the Quality Office including Quality Reviews and their outcomes. Appropriate
items in this report will also be considered by relevant University committees after
they have been seen by an tÚdarás. The IUQB also requires an annual report from
each university.




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               3 Administrative Structure and Processes
3.1 An tÚdarás and an Coiste Feabhais
        It should be noted that, at the present time, the responsibilities of the members
of the UMT and the Committee structure of Governing Authority are being reviewed
and reorganised. As such, the administrative structures relevant to the quality process
may be revised. The following description relates to the structures that have been in
place until now.
        The administrative structure to implement the Quality Initiative is overseen by
the Governing Authority with the help of the Quality Committee (An Coiste Feabhais,
CF). This has two working groups, the Committee for Administration and Services
Quality Improvement (An Coiste Feabhais Riaracháin agus Serbhísí, CFRS) and the
Committee for Academic Quality Improvement (An Coiste Feabhais Acadúil, CFA).
The terms of reference of an CFA are presented in Appendix 3. The Quality Office
(www.nuigalway.ie/qualityoffice) services the activities of all these committees.

                                         Údarás na
                                         hOllscoile



                                  CF                  Academic Council




                            CFRS                CFA


The President has assigned responsibility for all activities directly relevant to the
Quality Initiative to the Vice President for Physical Resources (now Capital Projects),
Mr Keith Warnock (chair of an CF) and these are coordinated by the Director of
Quality, whose lines of reporting are shown below. The line to the Registrar and
Deputy President (chair of an CFA) is in recognition of his importance with respect to
reviews etc. of the many academic units. The chair of an CFRS, who is an
independent external person is presently vacant. The quality committees normally
assign their routine responsibilities to the Director of Quality. Ms Maureen Linnane
provides administrative assistance to the Director of Quality, and Ms Geraldine Lyons
coordinates quality reviews, external examiner reports (taught programmes) and other
related activities.

                                       President


             Registrar & Deputy President         Vice President Physical Resources



                                  Director of Quality


                             Institutional Research Officer
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Matters related to Institutional Research in general are in the domain of an CFRS but
in addition there is a Data Coordination Task Force (not shown above) Chaired by
the Vice President for Capital Projects, and of which ‘information producers’, ‘data
custodians’ and relevant senior mangers are members.

3.2 An Coiste Feabhais Acadúil
The goal of an CFA is to work with the teaching and support staff of the University,
its Schools and Colleges to develop and operate systems to assure and improve the
quality of the University’s academic services and programmes. Its membership is
broadly representative of all Colleges and there are two student members (Appendix
3). An CFA meets about four times per year and approves all significant
developments in policies and practices relevant to academic quality improvement. It
oversees the Academic Review programme by monitoring all quality-related activities
in academic Units and all relevant documentation and procedures.

3.3 A Six Year Review Cycle
The academic review system is now firmly established, and the practice whereby each
academic, administrative, service and support unit in the University must undergo a
formal review about once every five to six years is now accepted as a normal part of
academic life.
The Annual Timetable
The lists of Units to be reviewed over the following two to three years are presented
to Academic Council for approval in the early summer of each year. Following
appropriate consultation, Units may also be reviewed with less than the normal notice.
The following calendar of activities is normally followed for all academic reviews.
           June                    Publication of final list of units to be reviewed next year
                                   Formal commencement of Self-Assessment Process
           August                  Distribution of revised documentation and procedures
                                   Visits by Director of Quality to clarify procedures etc.
           September               Selection of members of review groups
           December 7              Deadline for first drafts of self-assessment reports
           December 18             Deadline for finished self assessment reports
           January to March        ‘Season’ for review visits
           April                   Preparation of Responses
           April to June           Follow Up Meetings
           May to July             Agreement of Action Plans


Deferral of a scheduled review
All units are reviewed according to the schedules approved by Academic Council
unless they provide sufficient reasons in favour of deferral in a formal application
through the Quality Office. Except in very exceptional circumstances, deferral is for
one year only.




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3.4 The Overall Review Process
The diagram below shows the structure of a review process, emphasising the reports
and action plans that arise and showing that each review is carried out in the context
of the previous review and in anticipation of the next one.
The range of academic units
The full range of academic Units in the University is subject to review under these
                                       Previous Review



                                    Self Assessment Report

                                                                                   Review
                                        Review Report
                                                                                   Group
         Unit under
                                  Response to Review Report
          review
                                                                              Follow Up
                                         Action Plans
                                                                               Meeting

                                       One Year Report



                                        Next Review
guidelines. These include Programmes, Schools, Colleges, Research Centres and
Institutes. In addition, Adult and Continuing Education and Acadamh na
hOllscollaíocta Gaeilge are also reviewed as academic units.
        For this single set of guidelines to suit this disparity of Units, they must be
seen as being inherently flexible and used with greater attention to their ‘spirit’ than
to their ‘letter’.
The objective and functions of reviews
The objective of the review process is to examine the activities of the Unit under
review in the light of the ‘Criteria for Academic Units and Teaching Programmes’ at
NUI Galway. Reviews are concerned with:
          Planning, policies, procedures and practices (at unit level first of all, but also
           at higher levels),
          Efficiency, effectiveness and innovation,
          Recognition of excellence, merit and improvements, and
      Comparisons with good practices and performance nationally and
       internationally.
However, because reviews also improve greatly the understanding of conditions in
individual Units by central University and College management, they can facilitate
the improvement of the effectiveness of administration at all levels. This includes the
more efficient and fair allocation of resources, the characterisation of extraordinary
circumstances requiring special measures and the identification of opportunities for
new strategic initiatives.


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The structure of a review
The structure of the review consists of Self- Assessment, a visit by a Review Group
with external and internal members, and measures designed to follow up matters
raised during the process, including the preparation of an agreed Action Plan for the
Unit. The process culminates with a Report to Údarás na hOllscoile that summarises
the outcomes of the review, and the publication of this report and the full Review
Group Report on the University Website.
a. Self-Assessment
Self-assessment of the Unit is a critical evaluation by the academic, administrative,
support and technical staff and students of the teaching, research, administrative and
other activities in the Unit. The group directly responsible for preparation of the Self-
Assessment Report must be representative of the members of the Unit and of its
students and should consult widely and often. The self assessment process should
normally take no longer than two-to-three months. However, other activities that
may coincide with it, such as the development of a Strategic Plan or Benchmarking,
may extend this time.
b. Review
The Peer Review Group has two external academic experts and two internal
reviewers. Usually a representative of employers or an extra external expert is also
included. The Group consider the Self-Assessment Report and other documentation
in advance of the review visit, which takes place over one to three days. Finally, a
Review Report is prepared.
c. Follow up Measures
The Unit under review submits a formal written Response to the Review Report,
which should incorporate a draft Action Plan with timelines. Together, the Review
Report and the Response are considered at a meeting between the staff related to the
Unit, the Registrar, relevant deans and officers, members of the Review Group and
the Director of Quality. A final Action Plan for the Unit is then prepared and agreed.
The Unit prepares Progress Reports about one year and about three years after the
review visit to summarise the progress that has been achieved in the implementation
of the Plan.

3.5 Criteria
Listed on the next page are a set of ‘Criteria for Academic Units and Teaching
Programmes’ that are intended for use by these units as they embark on self
assessment, and for Review Groups as they assess areas in need of advice and
recommendations.

The following chapters describe, in detail, current procedures at NUI Galway for the
conduct of reviews.




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                        Criteria for Academic Units and Teaching Programmes
Formal criteria act as clear guides to the levels of quality that it is intended to attain consistently in all
the academic units of the University. The word ‘School’ is used throughout. However, these criteria
apply to all academic units including programmes, disciplines, centres and institutes, and colleges.
1.   Aims, Objectives and Planning
     1.1. The School has clear, and easily accessible, aims and objectives that are appropriate to the
          Strategic Plans of the University and College.
     1.2. The School has a current strategic plan that describes how its present and planned activities
          support its aims.
2.   Organisation and Management
     2.1. The School has a system of management that facilitates the successful accomplishment of its
          aims. This system is periodically evaluated and improved.
     2.2. The general duties and responsibilities of each member of administrative, academic, support
          and technical staff of the School are clearly understood and are equitably distributed.
     2.3. The management system involves the participation of all sections of its staff and ensures
          efficient communication with all staff.
     2.4. Mechanisms are in place to facilitate feedback from students on teaching and administration
          and to communicate improvements made in response.
3.   Programmes and Instruction
     3.1. The primary focus of the School, and the objective of every one of the educational
          programmes that it provides, is optimal learning and self-development by every student.
     3.2. Each Programme:
          Actively engages students in the learning process, and prepares them for life-long
             learning by promoting generic competencies, such as reasoning, communications skills,
             information retrieval and teamwork.
          Has a coherent rationale and prepares graduates to be productive members of the
             community.
          Has a curriculum that is appropriate, coherent and balanced.
          Has clearly formulated learning outcomes.
          Involves a variety of teaching methods appropriate to specific learning and skills
             acquisition.
          Is designed and operated to accommodate traditional and non-traditional students
          Is regularly reviewed with inputs from students and past graduates, and employers as
             appropriate.
     3.3. Student assessment procedures:
          Are fair and impartial, and capable of accurately discriminating between students with
             different levels of knowledge, understanding and skills.
          Are varied and appropriate to the learning being assessed.
          Include controls to facilitate their proper preparation and implementation, so as to
             eliminate mistakes.
          Have adequate marking schemes, and open and clear standards that define what is
             required for a given mark or grade.
     3.4. Provision is made for students with special needs, in accord with University policy
4.   Scholarship and Research
     4.1. The School has a culture of scholarship and learning which supports and nurtures creative
          activities, research and scholarship.
     4.2. Academic members of the School pursue creative activities, research and scholarship and are
          accorded academic freedom to do so.
     4.3. The research activities of the School inform and support its programmes, courses and
          teaching.
5.   Community Service
     5.1 The School and its individual members of staff contribute to the University as a whole and to
     the broader community.


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                                  4 Self-Assessment
4.1 Purpose of Self Assessment
Self-assessment provides a critical evaluation of the quality of the student experience
in the Unit and of its teaching, research and administration. Because it is carried out
by ‘those in the best position to know’, it should provide a comprehensive and
accurate analysis of the Unit. A successful self-assessment exercise involves the
participation of all staff and students, is characterized more by self-reflection and self-
criticism rather than by self-justification and self-congratulation and is the most
important part of the whole review process. Preparation of the Self-Assessment
Report has four main purposes:
     (1) To represent the Unit’s own views of its organisation and management, its
         associated strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats, its teaching
         programmes and courses, the effectiveness of learning by its students, the
         scholarship and research carried out, and the Unit’s direct contributions to the
         University and to the broader community.
     (2) To describe the quality systems already in place (e.g., student feedback
         processes, defined procedures for routine tasks, external examiners) and to
         develop or enhance links between all such systems leading to a framework
         within which the Unit works towards quality improvement.
     (3) To outline the present and possible future links with other internal academic
         units, with other universities and institutions and, not least, relevant university
         services.
     (4) To be a source of basic information for the Review Group.
The EUA Sectoral Report (Section 1.4) expressed concern that self assessment
processes that continue for longer than three months may be unduly onerous for the
staff involved. The Quality Office at NUI Galway agrees strongly with this advice but
also recognises some Units may decide that a longer process is necessary, especially
when it incorporates benchmarking and/or strategic planning.

4.2 Consultation
Compared with early reviews, the staff of the University are now significantly more
experienced with all aspects of the process, including strategic planning, and
collecting and acting on student feedback. They have also received more training.
Most have experienced at least one review, many have acted as members of Review
Groups and some have served as external reviewers in other universities.
In advance of each annual set of academic reviews, a workshop is held with the
following objectives:
          To improve the understanding of best practice and the interpretation of quality
           criteria by members of Units to be reviewed.
          To promote interactions with staff from other Units under review.
          To provide general feedback on the review process and on how the review
           process impinges upon and benefits Units.




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The annual set of review themes
At the Workshop in June 2008 attended by representatives from academic,
administrative and service units to be reviewed, the following themes were identified
as deserving particular attention in the upcoming reviews:
          Do the new academic structures support:
               o Administrative decision making,
               o The management of study programmes?
          Are student feedback mechanisms comprehensive and are students aware that
           their opinions are taken seriously?
          Are increasing numbers and available resources compatible with academic
           objectives and standards?
          Do contract staff have adequate resources and support?
          Is forward planning active and taken seriously?
          Are the views of external stakeholders taken into account in programme
           development and revision, and in strategic planning?
          Where this is the norm elsewhere, are appropriate units, programmes and
           services accredited?
          Is performance relative to important competitors considered?
          Staff professional development and opportunities, mentoring and accessibility
           of training
          Organisation of postgraduate research programme, preparedness for growing
           student numbers
          Devolution of budgets and transparency of budget determinations at all levels.

4.3 The Self-Assessment Group
The head of the Unit under review designates a Self-Assessment Group that is
responsible for preparing the Self-Assessment Report.
        The Self-Assessment Group should be representative of all the members of the
Unit, including academic, technical, administrative and other support staff, and
undergraduate and postgraduate students. However, to aid efficiency, the Group
should not be too large (eight to ten persons). The chair of the Group, who is not
necessarily the head of Unit, liaises with the Quality Office, which should be
informed of his/her identity. The importance of undergraduate and postgraduate
student involvement in self assessment and of their opinions being taken into account
in the drafting of the Report was stressed in the EUA reports.
        As the Self-Assessment Group identifies tasks to be carried out, it should
consider the formation of distinct working groups (including co-options to these if
necessary) to improve effectiveness.
        When the Self Assessment Group has been formed and its work is about to
begin, the Director of Quality should be invited to meet the Group for the clarification
of issues. A number of such meetings/visits may be requested and such requests will
always be met when possible.
        All staff of the Unit should be directly involved when appropriate and should
be kept informed at each stage of the self assessment process: for example when
Review Group members are nominated and selected, and when arrangements for the


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review visit etc. are made. Individual members of staff (or groups) are also free to
make written submissions to the Review Group via the Quality Office. Persons
availing of this option should be aware that the Review Group cannot adjudicate on
industrial relations and other matters best dealt with through specific procedures.

4.4 The Self-Assessment Report
Self assessment template
A simplified Pro Forma (Appendix 4) is supplied to help with the preparation of the
Self-Assessment Report. It can be downloaded as a Word file from the Quality Office
website (http://www.nuigalway.ie/quality/). Click on ‘Academic Reviews’ the on
‘Guidelines and related documents’ and then ‘download’ the ‘Pro Forma for Self
Assessment Report – Academic’. A soft copy of these Guidelines may also be
obtained in the same way.
        The Self Assessment template is supplied as an aid. However, any Unit under
review may propose to the Director of Quality that it employs an alternative structure.
In any case the complete Self Assessment Report should not exceed 30 pages,
excluding appendices, annexes and additional documents.
Benchmarking and SWOT analysis
Insights and ideas gained from comparisons with equivalent (high quality) Units in
other universities in Ireland or abroad (benchmarking) are invaluable. A
benchmarking exercise is now a normal preliminary to, or part of, the self assessment
process. Units to be reviewed should submit plans and anticipated costs to the
Quality Office, which will provide all the support that its resources allow. The
Quality Office can supply documentation from a workshop on the ‘Practicalities and
benefits of benchmarking’ held off campus in 2007–08 if requested.
        It is also important that the Unit takes advantage of the Self Assessment
process to involve all staff in an exercise to identify the most critical issues that it
faces and to list strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for the Unit
and its major enterprises.
General
The persons coordinating preparation of the Self Assessment Report should
constantly reflect on what information the incoming reviewers will need in order to
understand fully the Unit and its operation, and on how this may be most simply and
clearly presented, always accompanied where appropriate by tabulated data,
statistics and summary analyses.
         The Self Assessment Report is a confidential document that can be accessed
only by persons directly associated with the relevant review, by University and
College management or by express permission of the Registrar or President.
Otherwise, access to the Report must be authorized by the Head of Unit. (See also
Section 7.3.)
         Please note that there are two submission deadlines for the Self assessment
Report. The first is for an early draft of the Report and is to provide an opportunity
for discussion and feedback on what has been achieved and the approaches being
taken. The second and final deadline is for submission of the complete Self
Assessment Report and accompanying documents (see Section 4.5 below). Nine or
ten (check with Quality Office) copies of the Report and of the ‘set of documents to


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be provided’ (see Section 3.3 for annual deadlines) should be delivered to the Quality
Office before the time specified.
       When the review is of a multi-disciplinary programme (or is a thematic or
omnibus review with multiple inputs), it is essential that all contributors are
represented fully in the self assessment process and completed report.

4.5 Documents to be Provided
Course notes and manuals should not be included but can be made available for
consultation during the Review Visit. Course outlines must be provided for
programmes under review. Substantial documents cited in the Self Assessment
Report should not be included with the Report, but can be made available to the
Review Group during their visit. If it is felt that if the inclusion of more substantial
documentation (>50–100 A4 pages in total) is essential, advance notice should be
given to the Quality Office.
However, the provision of a series of standard documents is an inherent part of the
review process. Most of these correspond to routine requirements of the University
and the Colleges and all are part of good practice.
          Unit Website Address; the site should be comprehensive and well designed,
           and include information on staff, teaching programmes and research topics; it
           may include access to many of the documents below or equivalent
           information.
          Minutes of meetings of the Unit management committee and of significant
           subcommittees over the last year.
          A current strategic plan covering all activities of the unit, showing clear
           linkages to the Strategic and Academic Plans of the University and College as
           appropriate.
          A concise CV for each member of staff, including as appropriate a short
           biography, a summary teaching portfolio, statistics on publications, five most
           significant publications within the last seven years, tables of funding received
           and positions held (both internal and external) and a personal research plan.
           (Maximum total five pages.)
          Current curriculum for each programme and course with defined learning
           objectives, teaching and evaluation methods, and links with research; and
           sample examination papers.
          Minutes of meetings of staff-student committees with actions proposed and
           the effects of previous improvements over the last year. Summary reports of
           student surveys for each programme with actions proposed and the effects of
           previous improvements over the last full academic year.
           (In relation to the above item, the EUA review team (Section 1.4) noted the
           absence of ‘systematic evaluations of all courses by students’ at NUI Galway,
           making this a central area of concern in all academic reviews.)
          Reports of programme boards for the last two years including rates of
           retention, pass and honours by category
          Brochure(s) for candidate students
          Handbooks (not teaching or practical notes) for students embarking on
           programmes and/or issued at different stages of programmes.


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          Staff development policy, activities and achievements for each category of
           staff.
          Report on benchmarking exercise.
          Safety Statement

See Appendix 6 for the above items in the form of a checklist. This can be down
loaded also from http://www.nuigalway.ie/quality/doc_academ_rev.html, and should
be completed, signed and included with the submitted report.




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                                  5 The Review Visit
5.1 The Review Group
Each Unit under review has a specific Review Group, the composition of which is
decided by the Director of Quality in consultation with the Unit. The Group contains
one academic specialist from abroad, one academic specialist from another Irish
University, a senior member of University academic staff from a cognate academic
area, and another member of University academic staff who acts as coordinator in the
preparation of the Review Report (Rapporteur). A representative of employers of the
graduates of the Unit and/or another academic expert may be included if appropriate.
In order to improve the focus and effectiveness of review visits, training is provided
each year in advance to internal members of Review Groups.
         The two academic external reviewers are normally senior members of staff of
universities or equivalent institutes of higher education. When included, the
representative of employers is normally from an Irish industry or from an organisation
that is an important employer of the relevant graduates or from an appropriate
accreditation body. One of the external members acts as Chair of the Group.
         No member of a Review Group should have ongoing significant relations with
the Unit under review and all external reviewers are requested to declare previous
relations, if any (Appendix 5).
Selection of Review Group Members
The IUA Review Sectoral Report recommended that the ‘The choice of peers should
be independent of the unit under review’. The following procedure for academic
reviews was developed by an CFA, with inputs from representatives of Units to be
reviewed.
1. Principle: As far as possible, all members of Review Groups are chosen
    independently of the Unit under review.
2. The Director of Quality discusses the balance of expertise required and available
    nationally and internationally etc. with:
       a. The Unit under review,
       b. With Quality Officers in other Irish universities,
       c. Others with relevant knowledge and expertise.
3. The Director of Quality compiles lists (four per category) of potential reviewers
    for consideration by the Unit as follows:
       a. Academic from abroad,
       b. Academic from Irish university,
       c. Representative of employers,
       d. Academic member of staff from an internal cognate unit.
4. The Unit may veto one name on each list; the Quality Office contacts the others
    until one per category has agreed to serve. If none on a list are available, the
    process for that category starts again at step 2 or 3.
5. The Director of Quality nominates the Rapporteur.
6. The Chair is one of the external members of the Group and is elected by the
    Group itself at the start of the Visit. Alternatively, the Director of Quality may

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     designate the Chair.

5.2 Inputs to the Review Process
The main preliminary inputs to the review process include:
1. The Self-Assessment Report.
2. Standard documents relevant the Unit’s activities submitted with the Self
   Assessment Report (Section 4.5).
3. Other less pertinent and more bulky documents and files made available for easy
   consultation during the Visit.
4. An integrated and largely quantitative report coordinated by the Institutional
   Research Officer and the Quality Office that shows developments over recent
   years and places the activities the Unit in context within its college. The
   integrated report will normally include:
   a. Tabulated central administrative data over three to five years and lists of the
       Unit’s academic, administrative and technical personnel and of the physical
       facilities available to the Unit.
   b. External examiners reports on relevant programmes for last three years. The
       Examinations Appeals Committee is also requested to prepare a short report
       on the Unit under review, which is included also.
   c. Comments on the Unit under review by the main service and support units in
       the University with which the Unit regularly interacts, such as the
       Examinations Office, the Accounts Office, the relevant college office and the
       Library. Each service and support unit is requested by the Quality Office to
       provide comments for each Unit under review, and copies of these comments
       are also supplied to the Unit.
5. Written communications from individual members or groups of staff of the Unit.
6. Previous reports of direct relevance, such as the Review Group Reports and
   Action Plans from earlier reviews of the Unit and other relevant Units.
7. University Strategic and Academic Plans, and relevant college strategic plans.

5.3 The Visit
Deciding an adequate length for a review visit is difficult. There is so much to be
done during the visit. However, neither the reviewers nor the staff of the Unit can
afford much time. The visit timetables outlined below are designed to be efficient
and to lead to the Report being near finalisation before the Group breaks up. It is
important that the Chair of the Group limit digressions, the length of meetings and
avoids, if possible, extra meetings to allow time for Group discussions.
        Usually the Visit takes place over two full days, but for smaller or very large
Units one day or three days may be agreed. Normally, the Review Group meet for 1–
2 hours on the evening before the first full day. When this occurs a dinner with Unit
staff and students takes place immediately afterwards (see below guidance on
organising attendance at the dinner).
        Reviews are serious exercises involving much sincere commitment and effort
by the staff of the Unit, the members of the Review Group and the University. While
the review process is designed to be open, inclusive and informal, all participants
must exercise appropriate levels of discretion and confidence with respect to all


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discussions and documents.
        In general, all the formal interactions of the Review Group with the Unit take
place on the first day and up until 13.00 h on the second day. The Exit Meeting is on
the afternoon of the second day. Reviewers may seek meetings with, or visits to,
University service providers. While meetings with individual members of staff will
be limited, if possible, all staff who wish to meet the Review Group in private are
accommodated.
        The venue for most of the above meetings is arranged by the Unit and is
normally a part of the Unit’s facilities. The Quality Office arranges all catering, as
well as accommodation and travel for the reviewers. Normally, it is important that the
Group be allowed privacy at lunch times.
        The Quality Office organises and hosts a dinner for the Reviewers and staff
and students from the Unit. Decisions on who is to attend should be discussed openly
within the Unit in advance of the Visit to avoid misunderstandings or offence.
Normally about eight persons from the Unit attend, including the head of Unit, staff
who were most active in the self-assessment and review processes and two students.
        Depending on the activities of the Unit, a meeting with relevant staff from the
Library or from Computer Services will also be scheduled. A draft timetable is
supplied by the Quality Office at the start of the Visit, which for a two day process
will resemble the following model timetable.

Day 0          h
           17.30        Welcome by Director of Quality followed by preliminary meeting
                        of Review Group alone to exchange views (see Note below).
      19.30             Dinner with Review Group and staff and students from Unit
Day 1     h
      08.30             Meeting of Review Group alone
      09.00             Meeting with head of Unit
      09.30             Visit to core facilities of Unit and other facilities used (Coffee/tea
                        will be served)
           11.00        Meeting with Dean of College
           11.30        Meeting with Director of CELT
           12.00        Meeting with Vice President for Research
           12.30        Meeting with Registrar.
           13.00        Lunch for Review Group alone
           14.00        Meetings with representative selections of students and recent
                        graduates. (Coffee/tea will be served.)
           16.00        Other meetings or Group alone
           17.00        Review Group meeting alone to identify remaining aspects to be
                        clarified, to draft the Report and to identify tasks for Day 2.
           20.00        Working dinner for Review Group alone




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Day 2          h
           08.30        Meeting of Group alone
           09.00        Collective meeting with all available staff (including administrative
                        and technical staff)
           10.00        Meeting with Library or Computer Services (if and as appropriate)
           10.30        Meetings with individual members of staff (with coffee/tea).
           12.00        Group alone drafting Report
           13.00        Lunch for Review Group alone
           14.00        Group alone drafting Report
           16.30        Exit Report to staff of Unit
           17.00        Group alone drafting Report
           20.00        Working dinner for Review Group alone and End


5.4 Notes on Events
Preliminary Meeting of Review Group
A possible agenda would be:
          Welcome and introduction by Director of Quality or deputy
          Director of Quality leaves meeting
          Election of Chair
          Clarification of the roles of Chair and Rapporteur
          Confirmation that Review Group’s name badges, contact numbers and e-mail
           addresses for Group members are correct
          Consideration of alterations to proposed timetable; changes to be
           communicated as soon as possible to the Quality Office
          Airing of views on Self-Assessment Report and other documentation
          Consideration given to requesting extra information or documentation
          Listing and ranking of most important matters to be raised during the visit
          Allocation of tasks and/or special aspects to individual members of Group
          Consideration of supplied template for Review Report.
All Meetings
The Chair of the Review Group chairs all meetings and ensures that all the most
important areas are discussed. As appropriate and useful, members of the Group and
all others present should wear name badges.
Visits to Facilities
A tour of the Unit and of its facilities used for teaching, research etc. is arranged,
usually on Day One. This guided by the head of Unit or nominee. There may also be
visits to frequently used lecture theatres and other general teaching facilities. Visits to
outlying facilities of the Unit are arranged as appropriate.




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Meetings with Students
These meetings, which are normally on the afternoon of Day 1, provide valuable
insights that are difficult or impossible to obtain otherwise. Separate meetings with
two-to-four groups of different categories of students are preferable, provided each
group consists of at least eight-to-ten (but not more than 12–15) students, as they give
the opportunity for similar issues to arise repeatedly, thereby perhaps proving their
significance. The official student class representatives should always be included.
Ideally, students from an earlier undergraduate year, from the final undergraduate
year, from postgraduate programmes, and recent graduates should be available.
Topics to be raised may include:
          Advance provision of programme information, including curricula and
           information on assessments
          Organisation of courses
          Teaching methods and opportunities for learning
          Availability of advice and support
          Availability of knowledge on standards required and feedback on performance
          Organisation of examinations and assessments
          Opportunities for student feedback
          Responsiveness to student feedback.
Meetings with Senior Management and with Deans
The Group meet the Registrar (accompanied by the Director of Quality) to have
general discussions on matters pertinent to the review in progress and to raise specific
relevant matters. Meetings with the Dean(s) of the College(s) to which the Unit is
affiliated, with the Vice President for Research and with the Director of the Centre for
Excellence in Learning and Teaching (Dr Iain MacLabhrainn) are also arranged, as
appropriate. Meetings with other members of the UMT (see below) may be arranged,
or the Group may request them.


                                University Management Team (UMT)
President                                                                Dr. Jim Browne
Registrar                                                                Professor Jim Ward
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & External Affairs              Vacant
Vice President for Capital Projects                                      Mr Keith Warnock
Vice President for the Student Experience                                Ms Mary O’Riordan
Vice President for Research                                              Professor Terry Smith
Bursar                                                                   Ms Mary Dooley
Secretary (and Secretary for Academic Affairs)                           Dr. Séamus Mac Mathúna


Collective Meeting with Staff
The staff present should include the head of the Unit, the Chair of the self-assessment
group, the members of the self-assessment group, and representatives of all categories
of staff. Normally, all the staff of the Unit, even if not engaged in teaching and other
essential activities, should be present. The seating should not be in rows, but should
be arranged as appropriate to promote open discussion involving all present.



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Meetings with Individual Members of Staff
These short private meetings are voluntary, but in any case there is usually not time
for the Group to meet everyone individually. Individuals in the same category may
opt to participate as a group or nominate a representative. In any case, these meetings
should not total more than about an hour or two; or less when the visit is for one day.
The Unit should submit a draft schedule for such meetings (based on a supplied model
timetable) to the Quality Office at least one week before the Visit. Individual
members of staff may also contact the Quality Office directly to arrange a meeting.
Exit Meeting
The Exit Meeting rounds off the visit. All the staff of the Unit and representative
students should be invited and their presence welcomed. Generally, the Chair of the
Review Group makes a brief and informal oral presentation outlining the impressions
of the group, and their major conclusions and recommendations. As is normal with
review exit meetings, normally there is no discussion on the content of the verbal
report.
        Should a Review Group feel that they have not had sufficient time to digest
and assimilate properly all of the information obtained, they may choose to give a
very brief report at the Exit meeting, without any attempt to anticipate all of the
recommendations that they will make in the subsequent written Review Report.




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                           6 The Review Group Report
6.1 Characteristics of Report
In preparing its Report, the Group should take account of the Criteria for Academic
Units and Teaching Programmes (Page 14). The Report should be short (≤ 8 pages)
and written as an independent document. The style should be professional and
dispassionate. If individuals in the Unit must be referred to, it should be by function
or title rather than by name.
         The Report Summary is particularly important. It should be representative of
the Report as a whole with a re-listing of the main recommendations, as it will be
incorporated into the Report to Údarás na hOllscoile that is prepared for each review
carried out (see Section 7.3)
         The Report should be a concise account of the present state of the unit under
review, contain recommendations aimed at quality improvement and conform with
the objectives of reviews (Section 3.4). It should comment briefly on each aspect of
the Unit’s activities, point out unambiguously any inadequacies in management and
operations and acknowledge achievements and high standards where they exist.
Comments and recommendations concerning policies, procedures and practices are
most useful. Also, the Group should always be sensitive to resource constraints when
drafting recommendations, so as to ensure that they are realistic as well as clear.
Accordingly, in the body of the Report and in the Summary any deficiencies
identified should be categorized as follows:
     Related to inadequate management, policies, or operations within the Unit,
         and rectifiable with current resources;
     Strategic i.e. involving University policies, regulations or practices, or
         dependent on the College or other Units; or
     Due to limited or deficient resources.
Matters that may arise which, according to good practice, should be dealt with by
direct interaction between the individuals concerned and the University authorities
are not appropriate subjects for direct comment in the Review Report.
         The last section of the report should concern the procedures, documentation,
and organization of the overall review processes, and should include suggestions for
improvements in any stage of the process.
         A template for the Review Group Report that contains suggested general
headings (Appendix 8) can be downloaded as a Word file from the Quality Office
website at ‘http://www.nuigalway.ie/quality/’. Click on ‘Academic Reviews’ then on
‘Guidelines and related documents’ and go to the ‘download’ option under
’Guidelines for the Academic Quality Assurance Programme’ (see Appendix 8 in this
Word file).

6.2 Writing the Report
While the content, balance and style of the Review Report all require careful
consideration, there are sound reasons for believing that reports that are written during
the Visit, and completed shortly after its end, may be the best. They certainly require
the least effort overall.
        All the members of the Review Group should be involved fully in the writing


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and revision of the Review Report. The Rapporteur is responsible for coordinating,
writing, editing and correction, and consults with the Chair in the first instance when
decisions must be made. The following may represent a useful approach:
       The adequacy and order of the headings in the supplied report template
        (Appendix 8 of the Guidelines) is reviewed and changed as necessary.
     The Chair allocates individual sections to be drafted by each group member.
     The Group discuss the potential content of each section.
     Group members prepare drafts of each section, often working alone.
     The Rapporteur combines the draft sections to make the first draft of the
        Report, lightly edits it to improve cohesion and flow, and highlights any
        duplications and omissions.
     Each group member critically evaluates the entire draft, makes suggestions for
        improvements and returns the annotated or revised draft to the Rapporteur.
     This cyclic revision process continues until a clear, coherent and concise
        document is achieved. For this to happen, the Rapporteur (in cooperation with
        the Chair) may have to act decisively in the interests of clarity, structure and
        brevity, and the other group members must repeatedly check that all of the
        points to be made are retained at full strength.
The efficiency of the preparation of the Report is aided greatly by getting a full draft
fully completed and briefly revised during the Review Visit, by prompt replies to e-
mails, and by each member revising and returning drafts quickly. The objective
should be to have the pre-final draft finished within five working days of the visit.

6.3 Finalising the Report
The pre-final draft of the report is given to the Head of the Unit and to the Self-
Assessment Group to afford them an opportunity to correct factual errors and to point
out poorly based assumptions. This feedback should not be confused with the
Response (see Section 7.1), should be almost entirely to do with verifiable facts, and
take no longer than five working days.
        Taking any points raised in the feedback into consideration, the Rapporteur, in
consultation with the Chair and the other Group members, then produces a Final
Report. When feedback from the Unit is delayed for a long time for no good reason,
the Director of Quality reserves the right to consider the pre-final draft to be the Final
Report.

6.4 Accessibility of the Report
The Final Review Report is sent to the Head of Unit and distributed to all Unit staff.
Copies of the Review Report, accompanied by the Self-Assessment Report, are made
available as necessary to the President, the Registrar, other members of UMT,
members of the Governing Authority, the Vice President for Research, the Deans of
Colleges, members of College executives and members of the Quality Committees
        In addition, in accord with a recommendation from the IUA, the University
decided that, after their consideration by Údarás na hOllscoile, full peer review
reports are to be accessible to the general public on the Quality Office website. They
will also appear on the website of the IUQB. However, also in accord with IUA
policy, Údarás na hOllscoile has decided that self-assessment reports are to be


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considered confidential, and protection sought as necessary under FOI on the
reasonable grounds that the release of such reports would undermine the very process
of self-assessment.




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                        7 Following up the Review Report
The manner in which the Unit and the University receive and act upon the Self
Assessment Report and the recommendations in the Review Report is a litmus test for
the improvement of quality. The operation of effective procedures to ensure
implementation of all of the important agreed recommendations in review reports is
essential.

7.1 The Response
As this stage in the process it is appropriate that the Report be examined and
discussed by the Unit to consider its recommendations and identify appropriate
actions.
        When the Final Review Report is given to the Head of the Unit, s/he is asked
to prepare a Response to the matters raised in it. Contained in the Response (no
longer than two to three pages), will be a draft list of actions for quality
improvement and a timetable as to how the Unit will satisfy the recommendations
that can be accomplished within current resources. In the Response also, the Head of
Unit has the opportunity to argue that identified resource limitations are of sufficient
seriousness, urgency or feasibility as to warrant immediate rectification. Comments
on, and criticisms of the review process itself are also appropriate. The Response
should be submitted at least one week in advance of the Follow up Meeting.

7.2 The Follow up Meeting and the Action Plans
The Meeting is held in a room within the Unit, arranged by the Head of Unit. The
provisional agenda for each meeting allows for brief consideration of the Self
Assessment Report, discussion of the Review Group Report and the Response to the
Report by the Unit. The agenda also includes an opportunity for feedback on the
review process.
         The attendance should include: the Head of Unit, all available members of
staff of the Unit of every category, the Registrar, the Dean(s) of the College(s) to
which the Unit is affiliated, the Vice President for Research, the Directors of CELT
and Human Resources, and two or more members of the Review Group. The Director
of Quality chairs the meeting.
         A formal Action Plan for the Unit (See Appendix 9 for the template) is then
drafted by the Quality Office, and finalized in consultation with the Unit and the
relevant senior University officers. Where appropriate, each action listed must
identify a person responsible for its implementation and specify a deadline.
         In addition, recognizing that each individual review identifies issues outside
the remit of the Unit under review, there is also an action plan for University
Management.
         These Action Plans represent a clear and formal account of the main
outcomes of the review process and are formally approved by the Unit, the relevant
deans(s) and relevant senior University officers. Action plans should be finalised and
agreed within six months of the finalisation of the review group report.

7.3 Reporting on Individual Reviews to Údarás na hOllscoile
To inform an tÚdarás of the findings arising from reviews and of the agreed actions,


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when each review is completed, the Director of Quality prepares a short report with
three sections (each of which is about one page long) as follows:
     1. A description of the Unit including its objectives, academic programmes
        contributed to, student and staff numbers and how they have changed over the
        last five years, costs and a short note on accommodation and general facilities.
     2. The Summary section from the Review Report. This may be edited or adapted
        if it is not fully representative of the Report as a whole.
     3. The agreed Action Plans.
This report is submitted via the Academic Planning and Resource Committee (APRC)
to Údarás na hOllscoile and is subsequently posted on the web site of the Quality
Office where it is accessible to the general public. At the same time, the full Review
Group Report is also posted. Publication in this way goes beyond the statutory
requirements of the University as laid down by the Universities Act 1997, Section 35
(2).

7.4 The Implementation of Agreed Actions
It is the responsibility of each Unit reviewed to ensure the implementation of the
actions in its agreed Action Plan. Monitoring of their implementation is by means of
the one year and mid-cycle Progress Reports (Section 7.5) and by subsequent reviews.
         Units that have been reviewed have reflected deeply on their objectives and
priorities, have received advice from respected experts and specific recommendations
related to national and international norms. Thereby, they are much better fitted to
make a good case to college and University managements for specific relevant
resources. The agreed actions for University management are also fed into the
University mechanisms by which priorities are set and resources are allocated in the
following ways:
     (1) The Registrar, the relevant College Deans, the Vice President for Research
         and the Directors of CELT and of Quality are full participants in review visit
         and follow up stages of every review and thereby become fully aware of the
         main issues arising. Therefore, when related issues are discussed in the
         context of resource allocation, their contexts and significance are more readily
         understood, leading to better-informed decisions.
     (2) A report on each review is considered by the APRC and by Údarás na
         hOllscoile (see Section 7.3 above).
     (3) The annual report of the Director of Quality to Údarás na hOllscoile (Section
         2.3) will repeat all significant urgent or generic issues raised in individual
         reviews, thereby providing another opportunity for their consideration by an
         tÚdarás and by relevant University committees.
Also, at the request of units that have been reviewed, the Director of Quality will
discuss with the relevant University officers responsible for resource allocation any
pertinent issue raised during the review process.

7.5 Progress Reports
The Unit prepares Progress Reports about one year and about three years after the
review visit. These Reports are used to monitor the progress that has been achieved in
the implementation of the Action Plan and the effectiveness of the review process.



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                                           Appendix 1
                        The NUI Galway Quality Initiative: Milestones
1995       Nov     • Quality Steering Committee (later Coiste Feabhais Acadúil) established
1996       July    • First review (Department of Mathematics) as part of pilot CHIU project
                   • Report of Meridian survey of student opinion
1997       June    • Review of James Hardiman Library
           Feb     • Quality the first major theme in Strategic Plan (1997–)2006
           March   • Report of Meridian survey of staff opinion
1998       Feb     • Review of Research at NUI Galway
           Sept    • Appointment of Staff Training and Development Officer
1999       Feb     • Survey of ‘First year student life’ at NUI Galway
           July    • Director of Quality appointed, Quality office established
           Oct     • An Coiste Feabhais established as subcommittee of Governing Authority
2000       May     • Focused institutional review of University
           June    • Committee for Administration and Services Quality Improvement established
                   with an external chairman
           Nov     • Pilot study of formative, ‘grouped-student’, teaching evaluation method’
2001       March   • First biannual survey by IMS of undergraduate student satisfaction
                   • Second formal Review of Research at NUI Galway
2002       March   • Qualitative surveys by Millward Brown IMS of undergraduate and taught
                   postgraduate student satisfaction
           Sept    • Appointment of Director of CELT and establishment of Centre
           Oct     • Survey of Research student satisfaction by IMS
                   • Survey of staff in academic departments reviewed recently
                   • First annual Deans and Heads Conference
           Dec     • Survey of research postgraduate student satisfaction
2003       Jan/Feb • Launch of new Strategic and Academic Plans
           March   • Second University-wide survey of undergraduate student satisfaction
           Nov     • Initiation of first round of President’s Awards for Teaching Excellence
2004       Feb     • IUQB/EUA Conference ‘Learning in the Europe of Knowledge’
                   • Department of Electronic Engineering is first unit to be reviewed for the
                   second time, initiating the second cycle of academic reviews at NUI Galway
           May/Nov • Preliminary and main visits by review team for EUA reviews of NUI Galway
           Nov     • University-wide survey of first-year student satisfaction with induction and
                   related processes
2005       Oct     • Údarás approved University’s Action Plan arising from EUA Review reports
           Dec     • Needs Analysis Report on Institutional Research by Dr Mark Putnam NEU,
                   Boston
2006       July    • Quality Office starts to administer general External Examiners Reports
2007       Jan     • Appointment of Institutional Research Officer
           Mar     • Review of Shannon College of Hotel Management
           April   • On-line University-wide survey of undergraduate student satisfaction
           Oct     • IUQB Conference ‘Institutional Research: Benefiting the Student Experience
                   and University Performance’
           Nov     • Review of University Management Team (UMT)
2008       Mar     • Review of St Angela’s College Sligo
           Dec     • Appointment of new Director of Quality
2009       April   • On-line University-wide survey of undergraduate student satisfaction


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                                             Appendix 2
              Units at NUI Galway Reviewed to Date & Planned
Academic Units
1995-96                 English
                        Mechanical Engineering
                        Mathematics

1996-97                 Chemistry
                        Medicine
                        Political Science and Sociology

1997-98                 Economics
                        Electronic Engineering
                        German
                        Marine Science B.Sc.

1998-99                 Engineering Hydrology
                        French
                        Gaeilge
                        Spanish
                        Earth Science B.Sc.

1999-00                 Ancient Classics
                        Archaelogy
                        Civil Engineering
                        History
                        Mathematical Physics
                        Obstetrics & Gynaecology
                        Physiology
                        Biotechnology B.Sc.
                        Environmental Science B.Sc.

2000-01                 Biochemistry
                        Botany
                        Centre for Nursing Studies
                        Marketing
                        Psychology
                        Health Promotion
                        Information Technology
                        Microbiology
                        Philosophy
                        Zoology
                        Master Business Admin.

2001-02                 Accountancy and Finance
                        Applied Geophysics
                        Education
                        Experimental Physics
                        Geography
                        Geology
                        Industrial Engineering
                        Management
                        Oceanography
                        BA Legal Science Programme
                        Comp. Stud’s & Math. Sc. B.Sc
                        Culture and Colonialism M.A.

2002-03                 Italian
                        Pharmacology
                        Adult & Continuing Education
                        Gaeilge Labhartha
                        Anaesthesia in a Group of four with



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                           Ophthamology,
                           Otorhinolaryngology, and
                           Radiology.
                        Bacteriology in a Group of two with
                           Pathology
                        General Practice Group of two with
                           Psychiatry
                        Paediatrics
                        Ard-dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach
                        MA in Journalism
                        Master of Medical Science

2003-04                 Chemistry (second cycle review)
                        Electronic Engineering (second cycle review)
                        German (second cycle review)
                        Irish Human Rights Centre (founded 2000)
                        Medicine (second cycle review)
                        B.Comm. Programme
                        Denominated BSc in Marine Science

2004-05                 Economics (second cycle review)
                        Engineering Hydrology (second cycle review)
                        English (second cycle review)
                        French (second cycle review)
                        Mechanical Engineering (second cycle review)
                        Political Science and Sociology (second cycle review)
                        Scoil na Gaeilge (second cycle review)
                        Surgery

2005–06                 Anatomy
                        Archaeology (second cycle review)
                        Civil Engineering (second cycle review)
                        Classics (second cycle review)
                        Physiology (second cycle review)
                        Spanish (second cycle review)

2006-07                 Botany (second cycle review)
                        Biochemistry (second cycle review)
                        Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Studies (second cycle review)
                        Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI)
                        HDip/Masters Health sciences (Primary Care)
                        Mathematics (second cycle review)
                        Microbiology (second cycle review)
                        Zoology (second cycle review)

2007-08                 Department of Mathematics (second cycle review)
                        Department of Applied Mathematics (second cycle review)
                        School of Psychology (second cycle review)
                        History (second cycle review)
                        MA programmes in College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies
                        Higher Diploma in Business Studies
                        Higher Diploma in Systems Analysis
                        BSc (Biotechnology) (second cycle review)
                        BSc (Environmental Science) (second cycle review)
                        BA (Public and Social Policy)

2008-09                 BSc (Biomedical Science)
                        BSc (Business Information Systems)
                        EMBA (second cycle review)
                        MSc in Biotechnology (second cycle review)
                        BSc (Occupational Health and Safety)
                        BSc (Financial Mathematics and Economics)

2009-10                 School of‘Business and Economics
                        School of Health Sciences
                        School of Physics
                        School of Law (including programmes in College of Arts and Celtic Studies) (second cycle


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                        review)
                        Adult and Continuing Education
                        BSc (Earth and Ocean Sciences)
                        MBS (Corporate Strategy and People Management)
                        BSc (Occupational Health and Safety
                        Master of Medical Science
                        Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters in Health Sciences (Clinical Teaching)

2010-11                 Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge
                        School of Chemistry
                        School of Humanities
                        School of Geography and Archaeology
                        School of Natural Sciences
                        School of Education


Faculties / Colleges
1999–00                 Faculty of Law
2002–03                 Faculty of Commerce
2003–04                 Faculty of Arts
2005-06                 Faculty of Engineering
                        Faculty of Science
                        Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
2009–10                 College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies
2010–11                 College of Science
                        College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
                        College of Engineering and Informatics

Research Centres
2005–06                 National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science
2006–07                 Environmental Change Institute
2008–09                 Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI)
                        Irish Centre for Social Gerontology
2009–10                 Irish Centre for Human Rights
                        Moore Institute
                        Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC)
2010-11                 Martin Ryan Institute
                        Huston School of Film and Digital Media



Administrative, Service and Support Units
1996–97                 James Hardiman Library
2000                    Institutional Review: Focused Review of Quality
2001–02                 Department of Human Resources
2002–03                 Careers Service
                        Placement Office
                        Research Administration and Accounts
2003–04                 Buildings Office
2004–05                 Computer Services
                        Student Services
2005–06                 Examination Office
                        James Hardiman library (second cycle review)
2006–07                 Academic Affairs (Admissions, Student Records, Mature Students & Schools Liaison)
2007–08                 University Management Team (UMT)
                        Bursar’s Area (including Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Management
                        Information services, Conference and Catering Office, Procurements and Contracts Office,
                        Secretarial Services)
2008–09                 Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)
                        Department of Human Resources (second cycle review)
2009–10                 Research Office
                        Technology Transfer Office
2010-11                 [To be decided by UMT early in first semester 2009–10]




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Associated Colleges
2006–07                 Shannon College of Hotel Management
2007–08                 St Angela’s College, Sligo
2008-09                 Bachelor of Education Programme, St Angela’s College, Sligo
2010-11                 H.Dip. and Masters in Fine Art, Burren College of Art
                        Bachelor of Nursing Science Programme at St Angela’s College, Sligo
2011-12                 Postgraduate Programmes at St Angela’s College, Sligo




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                                        Appendix 3
                         An Coiste Feabhais Acadúil
                         Committee on Academic Quality Improvement
                                       (Revised Spring 2006)


Reports to:     Quality Committee
Aims: To work with the staff, the management and other committees in NUI Galway
to implement a total quality culture throughout the University, and to develop systems
to assure and improve the quality of the University’s services and programmes to
students, staff and its external publics.


Terms of Reference
1. The Committee is responsible to Údaras na hOllscoile for the formulation of
   policies and procedures relating to quality assurance and improvement in the
   context of the Strategic Plan of the University, and for ensuring the
   implementation of such policies and procedures as are agreed by an tÚdaras. The
   quality of the student experience shall be a primary concern in all evaluations of
   the success of quality related activities.
2. Accordingly, the Committee shall:
       Develop and recommend policies to Údaras na hOllscoile, its own
          subcommittees and to other University bodies,
       Promote collective responsibility for the quality of all the activities of the
          University,
       Oversee activities and procedures for the identification and dissemination
          of best practice, including an annual Deans’ and Heads’ conference,
       Oversee the commissioning or organisation of University-wide reviews of
          quality,
       Oversee and support the Quality Office with respect to new, relevant
          functions that may be assigned to it, and
       Ensure that University policy and procedures in relation to quality are in
          compliance with the requirements of the Universities Act, 1997.
3. The Committee shall establish such sub-committees and working groups, with
   specific briefs, as are deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the
   Committee.

Membership 2005 – 2009
Ex officio: Professor Jim Ward (Chair), Professor Keith Warnock, Dr Séamus
MacMathúna, Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Dr Maire Hiney, An tUasal Seosamh Mac
Donnacha, Ms Aisling Fahy
From Academic Council: Professor John Laffey, to include two students to be
nominated in October 2008
Co-opted: Dr Maria Tuohy, Dr Michael Carty, Dr Philip Dine, Dr Karen Doyle, Dr
Adrian Frazier, Dr Niall Geraghty, Mr Brendan Kennelly, Dr Kate Moore, Dr Piaras
O’Eachteirn, Dr David O'Sullivan, Dr Martina Prendergast.

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                                         Appendix 4
                        Pro Forma for Self Assessment Report
This template is intended to make the task of preparing a self-assessment report easier
and is included here as an easily accessible guide to what is involved. In practice, the
corresponding Word file is down-loaded from the Quality Office web site.
    1. Download the ‘Pro Forma for Academic Self Assessment Reports’ from the
        Quality Office Website, ‘www.nuigalway.ie/qualityoffice’. Click on
        ‘Academic Reviews’, click on ‘Guidelines and related documents’ and go to
        the ‘download’ option under ‘Pro Forma for Self Assessment Report –
        Academic’
    2. Rename the file, including a version number (e.g. ‘EconSelfAssRep1.doc’).
        Update the version number at the start of each editing session and always keep
        recent versions as well as a back up of the latest one.
    3. Change the running header so that your Unit name appears on each page.
    4. Prepare the Report.
    5. Finally, edit the contents page.
When a College or an academic programme (separate from a School) is under review,
this form should be adapted to suit. For a programme this may be done in either of
two ways: (i) By adapting the main body of the form and eliminating sections IV and
V and the sections numbered with an ‘A’ prefix, or (ii) By elimination the main body
of the form and adapting sections A1 to A4.

[compressed version of cover for Report]


                                         [University logo]
                      An Coiste Feabhais Acadúil
              The Committee on Academic Quality Improvement
        THE ACADEMIC QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAMME 2009 – 2010

                                  NAME OF UNIT
                         SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT
                                   Self-Assessment Group
Name 1, Senior Lecturer, etc                                     Signed   ___________________
Name 2, Senior technician/Secretary/administrator                Signed   ___________________
Name 3, Lecturer (Chair)                                         Signed   ___________________
Name 4, Under/postgraduate student                               Signed   ___________________
Name 5, Professor                                                Signed   ___________________
Name 6 etc.                                                      Signed   ___________________
                                                                                     [Date] 2009


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                                               Contents
I          Aims, Objectives and Planning.........................…………………..……….....                 x
II         Organisation and Management.......................................…………………....           x
III        Programmes and Instruction........................................…………………......         x
IV         Scholarship and Research..................................………..………………........           x
V          Community Service ……………...................................………………........                x
VI         Present Position and Plans for Improvement.........…………………..…                           x

Programme A: [Change to name of Programme] ….......................                                x
A1    Aims and Objectives ………….…………………………………........                                               x
A2    Organisation & Management ………………………………………                                                    x
A3    Instruction and Learning ……………………………………....…                                                 x
A4    The Present Position ……….....................................................                x

Programme B: [Change to name of Programme]                                                        xx
Etc.



School/College/Centre of [Name]
Short notes (in blue in the electronic version) are included under each heading below
as aids to how each section may be completed. They should all be deleted before
finalisation of the Report.


                                     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Include a brief history and information on the broader context, and a short account of
impending developments. Summarise current systems and activities, emphasise the
outcomes of planning and how this is consistent with college and university
developments. Summarise developments and changes since the last review (Two
pages maximum).

                        I      AIMS, OBJECTIVES AND PLANNING
Planning is essential to effective management and efficient development, especially at
times when external change is rapid and resources are limited. In addition, the
University is required by the Universities Act 1997 to plan strategically and this
implies planning at all levels. Because the colleges, schools and academic disciplines
and programmes are the basic academic units, each must have a plan that is realistic
and innovative and consistent with the plans of the larger units to which it belongs i.e.
School, College and University.

1.1        Aims and Objectives
These will correspond to what is in the current strategic/operational plan of the Unit,
which is included in the supplied documents and can be referred to. If brief they can
be reproduced here, perhaps with a short account of how they were developed and are
revised periodically. (One page maximum)



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1.2        Plans
The current strategic/operational, teaching/research plan or plans should be referred to
here with notes on how and when revision will be carried out. (Half page maximum)

1.3        Benchmarking
Brief summary of conclusions from bench marking exercise. (One page maximum)

1.4        Progress
Brief summary of changes and progress achieved since the last review (or in last five
years). (One page maximum)


                    II           ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT

2.1        Structures, Procedures and Responsibilities
If appropriate, append Unit statute and terms of reference for Unit committees (if
any). Name and give titles and grades of all members of staff, and for each person
give details of their duties, responsibilities and teaching contact hours, including
acting as programme, year and class coordinator. If this section is to be completed
adequately, tables and diagrams are essential. How is the fair distribution of duties
monitored? Maximum [excluding any appendices] 5–6 pages for large unit.
This is a very important section. A clear and detailed, but concise, presentation of
current arrangements may in itself emphasise clearly areas where change is needed,
but it will also maximise the ability the reviewers to advise on improvements.

2.2        Roles of Administrators and Technicians
(Maximum half page.)

2.3        Personnel Management
Give an account of the current state of career development of academic,
administrative and support staff in the Unit. (Maximum half page.)

2.4        Safety Management
This section can be limited in length by referring to the Unit Safety Statement
included in the supplied documents. (Maximum half page.)

2.5        External/International Relations
Intra college, intra university, national and international relationships and regular
contacts are relevant. Give details of major international links. (Maximum one page.)


                        III       PROGRAMMES AND INSTRUCTION
Note that a number of documents directly relevant to the Unit’s academic
programmes are to be supplied (see Section 4.5 of Guidelines) and that these can be
referred to as necessary. See Appendix 6 for the checklist which should be
completed, signed and submitted to the Quality Office with the Self Assessment


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Report.

3.1        Overall Policy on Learning and Teaching
If NUI Galway is to achieve its strategic objectives and flourish in what is an
increasingly competitive environment, every academic unit must develop and
implement clear and consistent policies on learning and teaching that are
pedagogically sound and make use of all available resources to maximise student
engagement and learning. Such an exercise is not trivial and should involve inputs
from CELT and relevant experts.
 (Maximum one page.)

3.2        Programmes and Courses
List separately undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and programmes
managed and contributed to. Use diagrams, and expand and duplicate and renumber
the format of the sample table below as necessary. (Maintain brevity consistent with
sufficient detail, clarity and logical structures. Maximum [excluding any appendices]
3–4 pages for a large complex unit, 1–2 pages for a small unit.)
Programme                               Description                            Students          Director/Coordinator
   code
                                                                              No.    FTEs
1BI1             e.g. 1stYear Italian                                         100     25    ‘name of member of staff’




3.3        Quality Assessment and Improvement
Please note that systematic use of student feedback is University policy (Academic
Council, June 2005) and will be an important focus during the IUQB review in 2009–
10 (Section 1.5). Referring to documents supplied. (Maximum 1–2 pages.)

3.4        Programme and Course Development
(Maximum one page.)


                        IV         SCHOLARSHIP AND RESEARCH
This section should cover all relevant activities in the Unit’s general subject area,
including creative activities and research on teaching and learning.

4.1        Policies and Planning
The current policies and plans should be referred to here with notes on how they were
developed and how and when revision will be carried out. The personal research plans
of staff may also be of direct relevance. (Half page maximum.) A brief SWOT
analysis of research in the Unit should also be included. (Maximum 2 pages.)

4.2        Research Projects, Groups, Centres and Institutes


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Give an account of each research group and project in Unit, including postdoctoral
and support staffing, relationships with University research centres and institutes.
Cross reference with other sections above and below. (Maximum 2 pages.)

4.3        Publications and Related Activities
Details of publications, conference presentations by Unit staff members are included
in their CVs. Here a short overview of research output with numbers and statistics
should be given, sufficient to allow an expert outsider to understand the main research
specialities of the Unit and its present and immediately past research performance.
Ancillary research activities such as reviewing or editing for research journals,
hosting or organising conferences are also relevant. (Maximum 2 pages.)

4.4        Research Income
Tabulated data of external research income over five years, listing sources, success
rates, applicants and totals per year. (Maximum 2 pages.)

4.5        Research Students
Describe Unit policies with respect to research students, supervisor training, student
generic training and publication targets. Include a table showing for each research
student: initial registration date, submission date, final thesis approval date (after any
corrections required have been approved) and total time from initial registration to
final approval (Maximum 2 pages)


                              V       COMMUNITY SERVICE
Describe college, University, local, regional, national and international contributions.
The contributions may be related the Unit’s subject area or not.

5.1        Policies
(Maximum half page.)

5.2        Activities
(Maximum 2 pages.)


             VI         THE PRESENT POSITION AND THE FUTURE
A focused analysis that may refer to current Unit, College and University Plans.

6.1        Insights Gained from Benchmarking
A report on how benchmarking was carried out should be included in the
accompanying documents. The Quality Office will provide support within the limits
of its means (Maximum 2 pages.)

6.2        SWOT Analysis
Determination of Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats should involve all
staff; the Quality Office will support the use of an external facilitator (Maximum 2
pages.)

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6.3        Priorities
(Maximum 1 page.)




            PROGRAMME A:                                             (e.g. BA, BE, HDip)
For each full academic programme managed from within the Unit.


                                          SUMMARY
Summarise current systems and activities, emphasise the outcomes of planning and
developments, and changes since the last review (one pages maximum).


                             A1      AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

A1.1 Aims, Learning Objectives and Curriculum
Summaries should be given here with references to the accompanying documentation
on the programme. Refer also to teaching policies and innovations and to how
learning objectives have influenced the curriculum and methods for teaching and
assessment. (One page maximum)

A1.2 Revision
The current operational plan and curriculum should be referred to here with notes on
how and when revision is carried out. (Half page maximum.)


                    A2      ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT
Make references to Section 2 above as appropriate.

A2.1 Managers, Structures and Contributors
Append any existing terms of reference for management committees and/or
responsibilities of the Programme Coordinator. Give details of management
committee, subcommittees (if any) and persons assigned particular responsibilities
(e.g. liaison with Library). (Maximum 1 page.)

A2.2 Evaluation and Feedback
Tabulate detailed statistics for examination results per year over the last five years.
Describe how programme organisation and teaching are evaluated and how the results
of evaluations are acted upon, including how feedback is obtained from students and
consequential changes are communicated to students. (Maximum 1 page.)



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A2.3 Recruitment of Students
(Maximum half page.)


                        A3     INSTRUCTION AND LEARNING
A3.1 Teaching
Does the curriculum conform fully to Bologna requirements? Give contact hours per
semester or year for the different forms of direct teaching (lectures, tutorials, practical
classes, case studies) and describe project assignments given. In particular, describe
how the programme actively engages students in learning, and prepares them for life-
long learning by promoting generic competencies, such as reasoning, communications
skills, information retrieval and teamwork. (Maximum 5 pages.)

A3.2 Assessment
Describe how student learning is assessed and how assessment procedures are
controlled and standardised. (Maximum 2 pages.)


                             A4    THE PRESENT POSITION
A brief overview that may refer to current Programme, Unit, College and University
Plans, and include an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
(SWOT). Finally give a list of Programme Priorities while noting relevant limitations
with respect to resources. (Maximum 1 page.)




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                                           Appendix 5
                             National University of Ireland, Galway

                                   An Coiste FeabhaisAcadúil
                           The Committee on Academic Quality Improvement

                        The Academic Quality Assurance Programme, 2009–2010
                                          Review of XXX


                                 Reviewer Declaration Form

                                  (For completion by Quality Office)
Reviewer Category:
Academic from abroad/ Academic Irish University/ Employers Representative (delete
as appropriate)

Reviewer Name, with title and home institution:



                                  _____________________________

                                     (For completion by Reviewer)
Please list briefly previous relations and contacts with Unit under Review or any
of its staff.




Since ______ years ago, I have had no substantive relations* with the Unit under
Review or with any of its staff that could compromise me in my role as a member
of the Review Group. (strike out or complete)

                                                                            Enter name as ‘signature’

                                                                                                  (date)

*For example: joint participation in a research project with a member of staff of the Unit, planned or
upcoming sabbatical visits, or ongoing personal friendships.




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                                             Appendix 6
                Checklist of documents etc. for reviewers (Section 4.5)
This list must be completed, signed and included with each Self Assessment Report:

                                                                                 Tick              Tick
                    Document(s) etc. to be provided                         (included with     (available in
                                                                                  Self       the Unit during
                                                                              Assessment        the review
                                                                                Report)            visit)
       Unit Web site address; the site should be comprehensive and
        well designed, and include information on staff, teaching
        programmes and research topics; it may include access to
        many of the documents below or equivalent information.
       Minutes of meetings of the Unit management committee and
        of significant subcommittees over the last year.
       A current strategic plan covering all activities of the unit,
        showing clear linkages to the Strategic and Academic Plans
        of the University and College as appropriate.
       A concise CV for each member of staff, including as
        appropriate a short biography, a summary teaching portfolio,
        statistics on publications, five most significant publications
        within the last seven years, tables of funding received and
        positions held (both internal and external) and a personal
        research plan. (Maximum total five pages.)
     Current curriculum for each programme* and course defined
      learning objectives, teaching and evaluation methods, and
      links with research; and sample examination papers.
  * course outlines and a sample of exam papers should be
  supplied with the SAR for the quality review of a programme
       Minutes of meetings of staff-student committees with
        actions proposed and the effects of previous improvements
        over the last year. Summary reports of student surveys for
        each programme with actions proposed and the effects of
        previous improvements over the last full academic year.
       Reports of programme boards for the last two years
        including rates of retention, pass and honours by category
       Brochure(s) for candidate students
       Handbooks (not teaching or practical notes) for students
        embarking on programmes and/or issued at different stages
        of programmes.
       Staff development policy, activities and achievements for
        each category of staff.
       Report on benchmarking exercise.
       Safety Statement


Signed                                     ___________________________                       __________
                                             Chair of Self assessment Group                         Date




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                                        Appendix 7
                               Format of Review Report




                                An Coiste FeabhaisAcadúil
                        The Committee on Academic Quality Improvement

      The Academic Quality Assurance Programme, 2009–2010

                                         Review of
                                           XXX

                                 Pre-Final Report
                                                                                      (date)
(Insert PAGE BREAK here)

This report arises from a visit by a review group to the _____________ on ______
(month), 2010. The Unit had already prepared and submitted a 'Self Assessment
Report' that, with other documentation, was made available to the Group in advance
of the visit.
        The Review Group consisted of: Ms/Mr/Dr/ Professor XXX, Dept. of
XXXXX, University of XXX (Chair); Ms/Mr/Dr/Professor XXXX, Department of
XXX, University of XXX; and Ms/Mr/Dr/Professor XXXX, Schoolof XXXXX, NUI
Galway; and Ms/Mr/Dr/Professor XXXXX acting as rapporteur.
        The report is structured to cover the following main topics (RESTRUCTURE
AS NECESSARY]:
1. Aims and Objectives
2. Organization and management
3. Programmes and Instruction
4. Scholarship and Research
5. Community Service
6. The Wider Context
7. Summary and Concluding Remarks [Should be comprehensive and capable of
representing the Report as a whole, including all the principal recommendations]
8. Comments on The Methodology of the Review Process

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1.         Aims and Objectives
2.         Organization and Management
3.         Programmes and Instruction
4.         Scholarship and Research
5.         Community Service
6.         The Wider Context
7.         Summary and Concluding Remarks
8.         Comments on The Methodology of the Review Process

Ms/Mr/Dr/Professor XXX (Chair)
Ms/Mr/Dr/Professor XXX
Ms/Mr/Dr/Professor XXX
Ms/Mr/Dr/Professor XXX (Rapporteur)                                         (Date report finalized).




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                                        Appendix 8
                                 Format of Action Plans

                             National University of Ireland, Galway
                                  An Coiste Feabhais Acadúil
                             Academic Review Programme 2009–10
                                          Unit Name
                                      Follow Up Meeting
                                             Date
                                            Venue
Present: Registrar Name, Rapporteur of Review Group Name, Dean of College Name, Vice
President for Research Name, Head of Unit, Name, Chair of Self-Assessment Group Name,
(Other Staff) Names, etc.


Action Plan for the Director / Head / Unit under review
1. The Programme Board will ….
2. The Programme Director will ….
3. The …..

 Action Plan for the School:
1. The Head of School will…..
2. The Head of School will…..
3. The ….

Action Plan for Colleges with which the Programme is affiliated:
1. The Dean will …..
2. The Dean will …..
3. The ….

Action Plan for University Management
1. The Registrar will …..
2. The Vice President for Capital Projects will ….
3. The Director of Quality will ….

To be approved by: Name, Head of Unit/Programme Director, date
To be approved by: Name, Registrar and Deputy President, date
To be approved by: Name, Dean of XXXX, date
To be approved by: Name, Vice President for Research, date
(Etc. as appropriate)
                                                                                         Finalised:
                                                                           Director of Quality, date


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