An external academic audit has found that Lincoln University students receive excellent support during their transition to University life, are well looked after throughout their studies, and enjoy a “strong and effective voice” on campus.
The Academic Quality Agency (AQA) carried out its fifth audit of Lincoln earlier this year, as part of a series of evaluations given to all New Zealand universities. The fourth audit cycle took place in 2012.
This year’s audit focused on learning, teaching and student support.
“Lincoln University is committed to providing support to all students, particularly first year students,” says Interim Chief Academic Officer Professor Bruce McKenzie.
“This includes monitoring student progress and providing peer support through our PASS programme.”
The audit report indicated that students surveyed were enthusiastic about the “open door policies” of their lecturers and benefited from the study support offered by the Library, Teaching and Learning (LTL) department.
LTL was further commended for its leadership in developing new digital systems to facilitate learning.
Auditors were impressed with the Lincoln University Students’ Association (LUSA) members’ commitment and enthusiasm when it came to voicing their opinions and concerns.
The audit report also highlighted the improvements Lincoln has made in the application and enrolment process for students, which adds to the support they receive.
Another strength included excellent processes around thesis supervision, with highly qualified, trained and supportive staff assigned to assist postgraduate students.
Lincoln’s Whenua Kura and Poutama Whenua initiatives also drew praise. Auditors said the strategies had made good contributions to facilitating Māori student participation in tertiary study and specifically encouraged recruitment and support for them.
The audit contained several recommendations for improvements, which the University is working to implement. These include exploring opportunities for benchmarking academic practice, completing a policy review process that was initiated last year, progressing a proposal for a strategy to support Pasifika students and reviewing provisions for appeals and academic grievances.
Auditors also expressed concern that some recommendations from a previous audit had not been implemented.
“Changing circumstances led to some delays and different priorities,” says Professor McKenzie. “However, we take the recommendations seriously and they are key priorities for 2017.”
PHOTO: Interim Chief Academic Officer Professor Bruce McKenzie