There is substantial commonality in the procedural requirements for establishing a dual award or a joint degree program with a partner institution.
The governance arrangements for managing a joint degree program will, however, entail more rigorous responsibilities, owing to the nature of the ownership of the program.
For procedures concerning joint PhD programs please consult the relevant MRGS webpage.
Definition of terms
Dual awards: are where Monash and another education institution offer a course of study which results in two awards from two institutions, eg, Bachelor degree and Diploma award or two Masters degrees from each institutions. Note: collaborative double degree programs are a subset of this category.
Joint degrees : are where Monash and another education institution jointly develop a degree-level course of study for which a single degree is awarded.
The proposer of the agreement undertakes a scoping exercise in which the basic rationale for the partnership is set out, including:
- Comprehensive but relevant background details on the proposed partners
- The grounds for the proposed arrangement
Heads of Schools/Departments teaching the related course of study must provide advice and support at this stage. Particular care must be taken to ensure that other faculties providing components of the course are consulted.
The Faculty Dean, Associate Dean (Education) and Faculty Manager must ensure that the proposed arrangement advances faculty education imperatives, and that academic standards and quality can be achieved and maintained. The Faculty Dean must confirm in writing to the arrangement proposer that the faculty will be able to resource the initiative.
Associate Dean (Education)
Preparing the Agreement
Proposers must include the following in the agreement.
Formal market research about the potential partner must be undertaken and must cover:
- For joint degrees, the partner institution must meet the TEQSA threshold standards
- Compatibility with Monash's education objectives
- Safety and security of facilities and physical resources
- Demographic profile
- Student demand
- Fee policy considerations relative to Monash
- Competition from domestic and offshore providers
- Facilities, including virtual learning environmental technologies
- Any government approvals and accreditation requirements for non-Australian partners
- Compliance with appropriate Australian regulatory requirements
Formal due diligence must occur with the partner. This should include:
- Organisational ownership, governing body, legal status and structure
- Capacity of the organisation to enter into a contract with Monash
- A statement of mission and purpose, and evidence of its compatibility with Monash objectives
- Evidence of adequate consideration of financial probity concerns in the partnership
- Evidence of stable financial status of the partner organisation
- Recognition and support for the organisation in both the partner country (particularly by its government), and Australia if relevant
- The organisation's business plan for the proposal
- Capacity to ensure secure appropriate approvals
- Experience in education
- Academic staff and employment processes
- Physical resources and facilities
- Student admission, enrolment, fee collection procedures and support services
- Quality Management System
In assessing the financial viability of a proposed dual award or joint degree, a financial case must be provided and approved by the Faculty in consultation with Financial Resources Management Division. The proposed program must by financially viable with a rate of return to Monash equivalent to at least 15% on full costs.
Course of Study
The course of study that is the subject of the agreement must be approved by Academic Board through the process set out in the Coursework Accreditation Policy and Procedures.
In developing the course of study, the following conditions must be met:
- Monash's admission standards and English language requirements must be met.
- All Monash course requirements must be met for a student to qualify for a Monash award or degree.
- Credit for study undertaken at the partner institution may be granted towards the Monash award, in line with the requirements of the Monash Credit Policy and Procedures.
- Monash must be responsible for assessment and the setting of academic standards with regards to its units.
- Where students are enrolled in a Monash unit, Monash policies with regard to units must be adhered to; where students are enrolled in Monash courses, Monash policies with regard to units must be adhered to.
The agreement will generally cover the following matters:
- Monash must nominate its own course coordinator.
- Entry level requirements and subsequent academic performance of students will be monitored to ensure appropriate admission standards.
- Time, unit load and sequencing of the course of study, at each institution.
- Monash must also determine fees, by negotiation and ensure that they are compatible with the Monash fees policy.
- Living and other costs to students must be considered.
- Students will be enrolled as Monash students upon commencement of the Monash component of the course.
- Students must be given appropriate access to the broad range of Monash resources through the Portal system and/or other mechanisms.
- A process for notifying the partner of changes to the course of study.
- In the case of partnerships with non-Australian providers, the language of instruction and assessment must be identified.
- Where credit is to be granted towards whole stages or components of a qualification, as part of the program, the credit arrangements and sequencing of units must be mapped. Note Monash Credit Policy
- is credit granted towards whole stages or components of a qualification.
- Monash must award numerical marks and grades in accordance with Monash Grading Policy.
- Grievance and appeal processes for students.
- Monash-enrolled students who successfully complete all the requirements of their course will graduate with a Monash degree.
- Conditions for the extension or termination of the program must be set out.
- The end date of the agreement must be identified, and provisions included for students enrolled at that date. The agreement must state that no obligations to students will be made that might extend beyond the agreement expiry date.
Joint Degree Administration Arrangements
In addition to the above matters, the agreement for a joint degree should note that:
- A mechanism for overseeing and resolving academic governance issues between the institutions should be agreed. The policies of each institution will be adhered to under the agreement, with any conflict between policy generally resolved in favour of the more stringent requirement. Matters requiring further resolution should be referred to the Academic Boards of each institution.
- Each higher education provider offering the joint program must confirm the student's eligibility to enrol.
- The academic governance responsibilities and arrangements for discipline and academic progress matters must be specified by each higher education provider.
- Suitable grievance and appeal processes for students must be determined, including contact points for students and responsibility within each organisation.
- A timetable for enrolment at the partner higher education provider/s must be submitted with the application for enrolment at Monash in a joint degree.
Joint Degree testamur
The form of the joint degree testamur must be approved by University Council.
The result of the jointly awarded program is the award of a single degree, jointly conferred by both institutions. The certification documentation may take the form of a single testamur or two separate testamurs each recognising that the degree was undertaken through a joint program.
Monash's preference is to confer a single testamur.
Faculties should allocate sufficient time to negotiate testamur issues with the partner institution (and should be aware that this may take considerable amount of time to finalise).
Director, Student Administration, Student and Community Services Division
Manager, Graduations Unit, Student and Community Services Division
The agreement between Monash and the partner must be prepared by the University Solicitor's Office in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or where non-Australian partners are involved, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement). For agreements involving an Australian vocational education and training (VET) institution, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Inclusion) must be consulted.
University Solicitor’s Office
The dual award or joint degree agreement must be approved by the Dean of the faculty and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) in the case of Australian agreements. In the case of international agreements the Dean of the faculty and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) must approve the agreement.
A copy of the agreement will be kept with the Faculty Dean.
In the case of International agreements the Office of Global Engagement must keep a copy on the International Agreements Database Webpage.
In the case of Australian agreements involving a VET provider, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Inclusion) must keep a copy on the VET Agreements Database.
Faculty proposer for the dual award, double degree or joint degree program
Associate Dean (Education)
Office of DVC Global Engagement
Review and Monitoring
The agreement must be monitored on an on-going basis, and it must be reviewed after three years to ensure that contractual arrangements are suitable and effectively implemented and that the academic, business and strategic case for continuing each agreement is considered.
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