Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Academic Council
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Academic Council

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Institutional Collaborative Student Pathways (ICSP)

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy sets out the principles for the development, approval, ongoing operation and maintenance of Institutional Collaborative Student Pathway (ICSP) arrangements. It applies to all onshore and offshore collaborative agreements, established with partnering institutions that provide a pathway for future students into the University's undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The objectives of this policy are to support:

• the admission of students;

• recognition of prior learning;

• formation of collaborative partnerships; and

• clarification of progression routes between, and exit routes from, qualifications.

The policy and procedures are designed to meet the requirements of the University, the Higher Education Standards, including the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and other relevant regulations as they apply to collaborative pathways established for future students to enrol in courses offered by the University.


In this policy and any associated procedures,

the University means The University of Western Australia

articulation decision refers to an exercise of authority in accordance with the University's Policy on Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

articulation pathway enables a graduate or enrolled student of another educational provider to progress from a completed or incomplete qualification into a course of study at the University with pre-determined advanced standing

partnering institution refers to either a domestic provider or international provider with which the University enters into an articulation partnership

institutional collaborative student pathway refers to a formally approved admission, progression, or exit route, for a student or graduate of another institution into a qualification at the University

Letter of Intent (LOI) is a non-formal short-term arrangement that precedes the establishment of a long-term commitment through a Memorandum of Agreement

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is the formal agreement between two or more accredited academic institutions that promotes new pathways through formal identification of qualification and/or credit recognition of previous learning

relevant board(s) means a Board of the University relevant to the case in point. The relevant board(s) may include a position or a body of people with authority to carry out the function concerned

Policy statement:

1 General principles

1.1 The University is committed to building collaboration with reputable higher education providers / academic institutions to develop and enhance new academic pathways for students.

1.2 Student Pathway arrangements may occur via:

a) institutional collaborative agreements administered by the relevant office within the portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Community and Engagement) ; or

b) ordinary institutional requests administered by Admission in consultation with facult(ies). Such requests entail no more than recognition of prior learning and/or access for admission in accordance with relevant University policies. The response to such requests is not necessarily guaranteed by the University beyond the point at which the request is addressed.

1.3 Institutional Collaborative Student Pathway (ICSP) agreements are established to:

a) build defined qualification pathways for students;

b) provide certainty to partner institutions, especially where they tailor course offerings to meet the University's requirements;

c) meet national / international regulatory requirements;

d) maximise opportunities for recognising prior qualifications; and

e) establish strategic alliances with other reputable higher education providers and reputable institutions with a demonstrated record of academic credibility.

1.4 An ICSP is initiated either by a faculty and/or the University leading to the determination of the academic arrangements for admission and/or articulation, and the establishment of a formal agreement.

1.5 An ICSP, which must reflect the values, commitments and objectives established in the University's Strategic Plan, may take the following forms:

a) Domestic collaboration with onshore partners (e.g. Taylor's College, Canning College);

b) Domestic collaboration with international partners;

c) International collaboration with offshore partners.

1.6 Decisions on any student pathway proposal must:

a) be defensible;

b) be evidence-based;

c) comply with sector norms and/or best-practice; and

d) uphold the autonomy of the University.

1.7 Where practicable, ICSP decisions and agreements must be formally documented, so they are visible to potential students and partners.

1.8 ICSP agreements for HDR (Higher Degree by Research) courses are established in consultation with the Graduate Research School.

2 Criteria for institutional collaboration

2.1 The selection of potential partnering institution(s) takes account of the following criteria:

a) compatibility of the educational mission/objectives/ethos, academic standards and course structures of the prospective partnering institution with those of the University;

b) clarity of anticipated benefits of the proposed partnership to all parties;

c) clarity and appropriateness of the ownership, leadership, governance and management arrangements of the prospective partnering institution;

d) public and legal standing of the prospective partnering institution in their own country (and the implications of this for collaborative programmes and/or recognition of the qualification to be awarded);

e) the standing of the prospective partnering institution in Australia (as determined by the experience of other higher education providers within Australia), and globally (as determined by international rankings;

f) financial stability of the prospective partnering institution;

g) willingness of partnering institution to adapt to the University requirements; and

h) the level of political risk in the partnering institution's home country.

3 Academic Control

3.1 The University has sole academic control over its own degrees and awards and this is exercised through:

a) selection and admission;

b) where relevant, articulation decisions as set out in the University Policy on Credit transfer, advanced standing and recognition of prior learning (UP11/34); and

c) teaching and assessment of its own units in accordance with the University Policy on Assessment (UP15/5).

3.2 The University is responsible for the academic standards of all awards and credit granted, where relevant, in its name and must be able to satisfy itself that the quality of the learning opportunities offered through any agreement is adequate to enable a student to achieve the standards required for the award.

3.3 All student pathway arrangements are made following curriculum mapping/assessment sufficient to demonstrate clearly that applicants entering from the provider's courses have achieved comparability in terms of:

a) learning outcomes;

b) course entry requirements;

c) academic credit accumulation, where specified advanced standing is awarded; and

d) accreditation requirements, where relevant.

3.4 Student Pathway arrangements must preserve the integrity of the University's qualifications with regard to:

a) meeting the University English Language Competence requirements;

b) relevant subject prerequisites;

c) completion of at least one Level 3 unit for each undergraduate major, where relevant, at this University;

d) minimal credit value, where relevant; and

e) core components completed at the University.

4 Assessment of Institutional Collaborative Student Pathways

4.1 ICSP decisions and agreements are based on assessment of:

a) content, nature, focus, level and currency of completed qualifications and components;

b) status and recognition of the partnering institution;

c) achievement and experience of the student;

d) accreditation requirements;

e) efficacy of similar decisions; and

f) national and/or international best practices.

4.2 Discretion in balancing the importance of the criteria referred to in 4.1 may be exercised by the Institutional Collaborative Student Pathways (ICSP) Committee, which operates under delegated authority of the Academic Council.

4.3 All academic arrangements made under a ICSP must adhere to the:

a) TEQSA Threshold Standards and Australia Qualifications Framework;

b) ESOS ACT and National Code for partnership with international providers; and

c) Other relevant government legislation including that with which the offshore provider must comply for international collaborations.

5 Formalising an agreement

5.1 All formal ICSP arrangements must:

a) have a formal standardised written and legally binding partnership agreement namely, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA);

b) set out the responsibilities and obligations of the University and the partner organisation, including measures for management, monitoring, review of the collaboration, exit strategies, arrangements for termination or withdrawal from the partnership;

c) ensure that the University and the partnering institution undertake a mutual obligation to disclose significant changes and events in a timely manner; and

d) accurately reflect the collaboration as agreed at validation and be signed by the relevant authorities prior to the commencement of the delivery of the pathways.

5.2 The MOA is prepared and/or coordinated centrally and a central record of all partnership activity is maintained by the University.

5.3 The MOA may be preceded by a Letter of Intent (LOI) to provide an opportunity for the University to evaluate the preparedness of students to study at UWA by admitting a 'trial cohort' prior to making a binding long-term commitment.

5.3.1 The LOI is an informal arrangement that:

a) is valid for up to two years by which time assessment of the performance of the 'trial cohort' must be undertaken to inform whether to proceed with a formal collaborative academic agreement through a MOA. The validity of the LOI takes effect from the time the first commencing student enrolls at UWA. The validity of the LOI may lapse after two years in the event that no students have entered UWA and in such situation a further two years may be granted. In the event that such an additional period of time has elapsed and no students have entered UWA no further time periods are granted;

b) must comply with all relevant University policies and rules in relation to entry requirements (including English language competence) and credits for recognition of prior learning;

c) must be accompanied by documentary evidence establishing the feasibility of the proposed partnership for consideration and approval by the Chair of Academic Board or delegated authority.

5.4 All approved ICSP formal agreements (MOA) and informal arrangements (LOI) (with both Australian and international providers) must be added to a central register managed by the relevant office within the portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global partnerships).

6 ICSP Approval / Renewal

6.1 All new ICSP agreements and proposed renewal of ICSP must be endorsed by the relevant board within a faculty / faculties prior to obtaining approval from the ICSP Committee.


For approval workflows see Appendix 1

6.2 All MOA(s) are signed by the Vice-Chancellor or a delegate authorised by the Vice-Chancellor.

6.3 Where the term of an ICSP agreement expires and has not been renewed, the University allows all students admitted under the ICSP to continue to progress towards course completion, and continue to provide the full range of support to those students.

7 Quality Assurance

7.1 Academic integrity is ensured through curriculum assessment and mapping, comparability determination and, where relevant, credit transfer evaluation by the relevant board.

7.2 Consistency of process and negotiations in agreement development is maintained through alignment to relevant University policies and compliance with relevant external regulatory requirements.

7.3 To ensure appropriate admission standards entry level requirements and subsequent academic performance of students admitted via ICSP must be monitored and reported via the ICSP Committee to the Academic Council annually by the relevant office within the portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Community and Engagement) in consultation with the faculty.

7.4 Where an issue is identified by the performance of the student cohort admitted via ICSP the ICSP Committee must ensure that adequate support is provided to the students concerned and that appropriate actions are implemented to prevent a recurrence of the problem. Appropriate steps may include the following, with an appropriate notice period:

a) reduction in advanced standing awarded to future intakes of students;

b) increases in entry cut-offs;

c) a request to the partnering institution to take steps to address the matter;

d) discontinuation of the agreement.

7.5 Quality assurance monitoring and periodic review of the MOA must be undertaken to ensure that agreements are suitable and are being effectively implemented and that the academic, strategic and reputational case for continuing each agreement is appropriately considered in accordance with Schedule A.

7.6 The University must ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to ensure that obligations to the students are protected should a partnering institution cease to operate.

Related forms: (Link)

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

University Policy on Assessment (UP15/5)

University Policy on Credit Transfer, Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning (UP 11/34)

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