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Unit for Academic Advancement, Planning and Quality Assurance

The Unit for Academic Advancement, Planning and Quality Assurance (AAPQA) has evolved since its inception in 2001 as a Department of Academic Development, to its current role in fulfilling a coordinating function to the various academic departments within the faculty.  AAPQA therefore has a holistic overview of the academic project of the faculty, as manifested within 13 academic departments.   It strives to minimize variances across departments, and seeks standardized solutions to address duplication across departments, while upholding the higher value of departmental autonomy.

Currently a major focus of the Unit is to monitor and provide necessary support to the development of new and revised programmes and qualifications.   As from 2020, only academic qualifications that are aligned to the specifications of the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (2013) will be offered.  The specifications of these new qualifications have implications for the design and delivery of their underlying programmes, especially regarding articulation possibilities.  The Unit therefore provides oversight across all departments within the faculty, and introduces interventions to minimize articulation barriers (which prevent students from moving from one programme to another) in response to national requirements.

Another essential role of AAPQA is to coordinate the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) initiative. AAPQA is the home of the faculty RPL Committee. The Faculty has a proud history of being the first in the institution to have formalized its RPL processes, and is therefore proud of its ever-increasing cohort of RPL graduates who have benefitted from this. 

In addition to serving as a site from which initiatives relating to the teaching and learning domain are launched, whether through the development of guidelines for standardization of fees, or dealing with student appeals in conjunction with Heads of Department, the Unit is also responsible for reporting on RISK at a strategic level within the faculty - risk management – and works closely with the institutional Risk Manager to fulfil this role.