Jointly Conferred Academic Awards - Academic Policy

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Jointly Conferred Academic Awards - Academic Policy


Approval authority
Academic Board
Responsible officer
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Designated officer
Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Quality)
First approved
28 May 2013
Last amended
4 June 2018
Effective start date
5 June 2013
Review date
1 December 2018
Related documents
Jointly Conferred Coursework Programs - Procedures
Jointly Conferred Higher Degree by Research Programs - Procedures
Program Accreditation and Course Approval - Governing Policy
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1. Purpose of policy

1.1 The University encourages collaborative academic programs that lead to jointly conferred awards as a means of developing its education portfolio, enhancing the experience of its students and staff, expanding the career opportunities of its students, broadening its international outlook and stimulating collaborative research links. In doing so, it must also ensure that its academic standards, reputation and assets are protected.

1.2 This policy specifies the principles for establishing, managing and administering jointly conferred awards.

2. Application of policy

2.1 This policy applies to all collaborative academic programs that lead to jointly conferred awards, both coursework and higher degree by research.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and is critical to its effectiveness:

A jointly conferred award, is an award program which is delivered concurrently by two or more institutions and where upon completion of the program a student receives either a single award testamur conferred jointly badged by those institutions or receives award testamurs from each of the participating institutions on which the contribution of the other institution(s) is acknowledged on the testamur by way of note or inclusion of a logo.

4. Standards

4.1 The academic standards of jointly conferred awards must meet the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) requirements for the identified level of qualification.

4.2 Partner institutions must have the academic capacity to deliver jointly conferred awards to the required academic standards, the financial standing to sustain them, the reputation to complement that of the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and the legal standing to contract to their delivery.

4.3 The student learning experience in jointly conferred awards must be comparable to those of a student in a USC award and enable the student to achieve the required learning outcomes.

4.4 Except in special circumstances approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), the University will not partner with more than two other institutions in any one jointly conferred coursework award; and with not more than one institution for any one jointly conferred higher degree by research.

4.5 For coursework programs, each partner's contribution to the coursework component of the program must be approximately equal.

4.6 Where the award contains a research component of 30 percent or greater, the research component must be supervised jointly by each partner institution.

4.7 For higher degree by research, the period of residency to be spent by a candidate at each partner institution must be of at least 12 months duration.

5. Administration

5.1 Arrangements for establishing, recruiting, delivering, monitoring, awarding, and reviewing jointly conferred awards must be specified in a legally binding agreement and address the matters listed in the Jointly Conferred Awards Legal Checklist. All impacted areas of the University must be consulted prior to completion of the agreement to ensure that all administrative and financial implications can be addressed.

5.2 University policies may have their application modified to suit the needs of partnership arrangements, but all variations from standard University policies must be brought to the attention of, and approved by, the relevant policy’s Responsible Officer; and must not compromise the University's standards, reputation or assets.

5.3 All promotional and marketing material related to the jointly conferred award must be agreed to by all partner institutions.

5.4 In the case of a jointly badged joint award, the name and logo of each institution must be given equal status on the award testamur.

6. Authorities

6.1 The following authorities are delegated under this policy:

Activity University Officer
Approve Partner Institutions for Jointly Conferred Academic Awards Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Sign legal agreements with Partner Institutions for Jointly Conferred Awards Vice-Chancellor & President (or delegate) following legal advice
Approve Jointly Conferred Academic Programs Chairperson, Academic Board
Approve fees to be charged (if any) for Jointly Conferred Academic Programs Vice-Chancellor & President
Approve a variation to the number of partnering institutions involved in a jointly conferred academic award Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Approve testamur designs for jointly badged awards Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), (on advice of Director, Marketing and Communications and Director, Student Services and Engagement)
Approve changes to guidelines, templates and checklists under the Jointly Conferred Academic Programs - Academic Policy, as required Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for coursework programs; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) for Higher Degree by Research programs


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