University of Tasmania's academic governing body is at risk of non-compliance with the higher education standards framework, according to a report into international student admissions.
The external report, commissioned by UTAS and headed by Professor Hilary Winchester, made 19 recommendations for UTAS to improve its international student admissions policy.
Professor Winchester said from her brief review, it appeared the Academic Senate at UTAS was "unlikely to be compliant with the higher education standards framework relating to developing, monitoring, and reviewing academic policies and their effectiveness."
The Academic Senate has primary responsibility for determining standards, exercising quality control and providing quality assurance across all the university's academic activities.
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For example, it has responsibility for approving courses, monitoring courses - including consideration of student feedback, and endorsing policy concerned with academic matters such as assessment.
Professor Winchester said in her report, the Academic Senate had been stretched to its limits due to members taking on multiple roles along with changes in membership.
"The Academic Senate has also suffered from changes in membership and leadership, and from staff undertaking multiple roles," she said, in the report.
"The current acting chair is in post because of the appointment of the previous chair to a senior executive position within the university."
Several of the recommendations in her report mentioned the role of the Academic Senate and two specifically pertained to the role and function of the Senate's members.
The 17th recommendation in the Winchester report states: "it is recommended that UTAS undertake a compliance assessment of the Academic Senate and its subcommittees with the requirements of the HESF (higher education standards framework)."
The 19th recommendation also stated UTAS "extend the term of office of at least the current acting chair of Academic Senate and appoint at least one deputy chair for Academic Senate as soon as practicable."
"It is also at risk of non-compliance with 6.3.2d (maintaining oversight of academic and research integrity, including monitoring of potential risks, as, although it receives reports relating to academic integrity and misconduct, it does not have an overview of academic risks," Professor Winchester said.
A UTAS spokesman said the university had adopted all the recommendations as part of the Winchester report but would also be undertaking a compliance assessment of the Senate and its subcommittees.
"A report on compliance will be completed and submitted to Academic Senate by the end of the year. Changes resulting from the audit will them be implemented," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said work was already underway to meet those goals.