Academic Board news – Meeting: 5/2022 – 18 October 2022

18 October 2022

Academic Board News  

Meeting 5/2022

18 October 2022


Academic Board held its fifth meeting of the year on 18 October 2022.

Report from the Vice-Chancellor
The Vice-Chancellor discussed key items contained in his report with members, including; ANU participation at the Jobs and Skills Summit, continued ANU engagement with defence and the AUKUS alliance, highlights from the Senior Management Retreat, revisions to the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) stipend, and the management of COVID-19 on campus and in residences.

Preliminary Analysis of 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) Qualitative Data
Discussion at AB5/2022 highlighted the necessity for future reporting on GOS results to include a thorough analysis of qualitative data. Following AB5 a preliminary analysis of GOS data was undertaken by the DVCA, several broad themes relating to course structure and content, assessment and exams and student well-being matters were identified. Identified themes align with work already underway to support the ANU 2025 Strategic Plan though some gaps were identified, justifying the need for regular and detailed analysis of GOS qualitative feedback.

Partnering with Companies which Contribute to High Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Following an investigation to understand the scale of ANU relationships with high GHG emitting companies the University Research Committee GHG working group drafted a statement and set of principles to guide ANU researchers in their assessment of partnerships. There was broad support for the statement and principles. Discussions also highlighted the following complex themes; reputational issues, the utility of blacklisting and concept of greenwashing, utilising models adopted by other Universities and the prospect that a consistent policy approach will improve and increase the number of HDR partnerships.

ANU Research Strategy
Academic Board discussed the three indicators as outlined in the ANU Research Strategy; research income, publication rates and HDR completions and the sets of quantitative targets that underpin each indicator.
Members supported the development of metrics that recognise the unique and distinct character of ANU when assessing research income. Some members raised concerns in respect of quantitative publishing rate targets, specifically that targets could result in a deterioration in quality of research and that such targets do not necessarily recognise that work in some fields of research that may not translate to publications. To manage these risks, Board recommended that metrics be developed to evaluate qualitative targets as well.
In summary, while the Board noted the need for metrics as baseline indicators of research performance and endorsed these as proposed, Board also recommended that further work be conducted to set standards for, and motivate, research excellence, be monitored and reported upon to the Board and the Council every six months.

ANU Learning and Teaching Strategy
Board approved the ANU Learning and Teaching Strategy. During discussions it was noted the strategy is an integrated piece of work and redesign which provides a foundation to implement and monitor existing learning and teaching initiatives and frameworks. Members discussed contemporary understandings of teaching and learning as encompassing research and learning.  Members also noted the importance of the strategy to emphasise initiatives aimed at provide the development of researcher pathways.

Academic Board approved the following policy documents:

  • HDR Supervision Development and Registration Procedure
  • Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure
  • Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Policy and Procedure
  • Revisions to the Underage Student Management Policy
  • Revisions to the Admission of under 18 Students Policy and Procedure
  • English Language Admission Requirements
  • Infectious Diseases Screening and Immunisation for Students Undertaking Clinical Placements in Health Facilities Policy and Procedure.

Other matters
Academic Board also considered other significant matters, including: the TEQSA Risk Assessment Report, TEQSA Re-registration Update, the ANU Research Integrity Annual Report, Self-Assessment Survey Reports 2021 from Academic Board and Sub-Committees; HDR Program Reviews 2022 and the Report on 2005-2016 Cohort Analysis of Undergraduate Completion Rates.