Learning Pathways

Learning Pathways Policy

Policy Code: LT1432

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to encourage a diverse set of arrangements and models for developing learning pathways and qualification linkages at the University.  

Scope

This Policy is potentially relevant to every course and program offered by the University. The principles described apply to the development of learning pathways between Secondary qualifications, VET qualifications and Higher Education qualifications.  They also apply to the development of learning pathways between qualifications within one sector.  The policy is a key reference document to guide Schools and Federation College as they review and develop and/or implement courses and programs.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Higher Education Admission: Selection and Offers Procedure and/or the VET Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer Assessment Policy and the VET Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer Assessment Procedure

Definitions

Articulation: Articulation is a process that enables students to progress from one completed qualification to another with credit in a defined pathway.
Credit: Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications which reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification.
Credit Transfer Credit transfer is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications.
Learning Pathways: Learning Pathways are formally approved links to enable students to enter and move between courses and programs in different sectors or within the same sector.  Pathways may link courses and programs in the same or different areas of study. (Students may also develop their own informal learning pathways.)
Recognition of Prior Learning: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that assesses the individual’s relevant prior learning to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

Policy Statement

  1. Learning pathways are critical to the achievement of efficient, open, integrated and relevant education and training sectors that can meet the challenge of rapidly changing needs and priorities for knowledge and skill development, including continuous skilling and lifelong learning.  The University is committed to providing learning pathways, within and across sectors, to facilitate the movement of students between chosen courses and qualifications.  Such pathways may include access to qualifications, articulation arrangements and/or credit granted within qualifications.
  2. The University, through consultation with Schools and other relevant stakeholders, will take advantage of its multi-sector structure to maximise the development of pathways.  All Schools and Federation College will consider formal lateral or vertical pathway options in the design and/or implementation of new courses and programs and when reviewing existing courses and programs. 
  3. In the development of learning pathways, the University will maintain the integrity of its academic programs and protect the academic standards and reputation of its awards in all sectors.  The level of RPL and credit transfers awarded within a specific learning pathway will be guided by University RPL and Credit Transfer Policy and Procedures and the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). If appropriate, a Credit Matrix devised by a national or state authority will be used as a tool to support the determination of credit between Secondary and VET qualifications, or VET and Higher Education Qualifications.
  4. Learning pathways can be established between any qualifications offered by the University or any qualification offered by an external institution, which has been approved by the University or an appropriate external regulatory body. Pathways will generally be developed between qualifications involving the same, similar or complementary fields of study. Where appropriate, pathways may be between general and specialised qualifications
  5. Learning pathways will seek to add value to the learning outcomes for students through the development of different approaches to qualification structures.  These structures can take a variety of forms including sequential, integrated and concurrent studies or double awards.
  6. An established learning pathway will have general applicability for all eligible students but may not guarantee admission to specific courses or programs where demand exceeds the number of places available. Pathway agreements with an approved external institution may extend to such arrangements as guaranteed entry, co-branding and co-marketing activities.
  7. Learning pathways based on credit and articulation arrangements, when applied, will not unfairly advantage or disadvantage either the students entering the courses and programs with credit transfer or articulation or those students who enter directly. 
  8. The developers of learning pathways will take into consideration whether students will need transition support as they move from one qualification to the next and, if required, build appropriate support into the pathway model. Such support will pay due attention to similarities or differences in education processes (including processes of delivery, teaching methodology and assessment) between the courses and programs that are linked in the pathway arrangement.
  9. Individual learning pathway rules and regulations will be transparent and publicly available to all intending students prior to submissions of enrolment and include applications for credit in an easily accessed format. 
  10. Pathway arrangements will be reviewed whenever there is a change in any of the courses or programs that are linked in that arrangement.  This review will include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the pathway in facilitating the mobility of students within and across sectors.

Responsibility

The Chair of Academic Board is responsible for the implementation of this policy.

Associated Documents

  • Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.
  • Assessment Policy.
  • Learning and Teaching Policy.
  • Assessment (Higher Education) Procedure.
  • Assessment (TAFE) Procedure.
  • Credit Transfer (TAFE) Procedure.
  • Recognition of Current Competency (TAFE) Procedure.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (TAFE) Procedure.
  • Block Credit (TAFE) Procedure.

Implementation

The Learning Pathways Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews’ on the ‘FedUni’ website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. inclusion on the University's online Policy Library; and
  3. information Sessions.