Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

Qualification and Academic Programme Planning (Q&APP) is a new support unit that was established after the restructuring of the NWU during 2016/2017.

Q&APP supports faculties with the planning, design and development of new qualifications, academic programmes and continuing education courses, and the amendment of existing programmes. As such, it provides leadership and support to faculties for the maintenance and development of a high-quality qualification and programme, and continuing education offering in both the contact and distance modes of provision. Its aim is to increase the national responsiveness and global competitiveness of the NWU’s formal and non-formal offering to an increasing number of undergraduate and postgraduate students, while remaining financially viable.

In line with the principles and values of the NWU, Q&APP recognises that the fundamental responsibility for qualifications and academic programme planning lies with the relevant campuses, faculties, schools and support service departments. Q&APP also respects the relative autonomy of the academe and all support service departments in the planning and delivery of their activities and services. In order to deliver on its purpose, Q&APP provides expert curriculum support and advice to faculties to achieve the kind of programme qualification mix (PQM) the NWU aspires to.

 Important services offered:

  • Since this is a public university, only formal qualifications and programmes approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE), and registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) may be offered. Q&APP facilitates all these external approvals after internal approval by the Senate.
  • Academics are not necessarily curriculum specialists, and Q&APP, in collaboration with the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), provides curriculum expertise.
  • Q&APP disseminates external regulation and directives relating to qualification and programme planning and design, and makes sure that these are communicated to faculties and implemented at institutional level.
  • Internal processes are streamlined and standardised in support of sound qualification and programme planning, and improved continuity.
  • Calendar changes can only be affected through the Senate Committee for Academic Standards (SCAS) process, administered by Q&APP.
  • Continuing education courses must also be approved by the Senate through the SCAS process, and Q&APP ensures that these courses are of sound academic integrity.
  • Q&APP ensures that the electronic curriculum management system is run optimally and provides accurate qualification and programme information fast.
  • Q&APP provides an intellectual climate where undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications and programmes will have research programmes to support both undergraduate and postgraduate training.

Q&APP supports and advises faculties in line with their integrated teaching and learning plans, with:

  • The planning, design and development of new qualifications.
  • Applications for additional modes of provision.
  • Applications for additional major fields of study (classification of educational subject matter – CESM).
  • Applications for additional delivery sites/campuses.
  • New programme(s) to be added to existing qualifications.
  • Re-curriculation of programmes.
  • Calendar changes that are dependent on the approval of the Senate Committee for Academic Standards (SCAS).
  • The academic quality of continuing education offerings, which includes titles, purpose, outcomes, teaching-learning-assessment strategy, compliance-related advice such as service-level agreements (SLAs) and memorandums of understanding (MoUs).
  • Administration of the SCAS meetings. This committee considers matters with respect to compliance, quality, relevance, and the responsiveness of the NWU’s formal academic offering and continuing education courses.
  • Technical support with the curriculum management system developed by Octoplus.