Guidelines for development and approval of new degree-granting programmes of study at NMBU.

Norwegian Universities are self-accrediting, and can establish new programmes at all levels themselves. They are also themselves responsible for quality assurance of their programmes, through internal systems for quality assurance of education; systems that are to provide the necessary knowledge about the quality of their own educational programmes.

NMBU's University Board makes the decision to establish or terminate programmes of study. NMBU's portfolio of programmes of study is reviewed annually, and the portfolio for the next academic year is approved by the University Board in November/December each year.

Develope new programmes

About the guidelines for approval of new degree-granting programmes of study at NMBU

This guideline apply to approvals of new degree-granting programmes of study at NMBU.

This guideline shall contribute to that NMBU's programmes of study maintain a high academic and pedagogical level, help NMBU fulfil its social mission and its own strategic plans as well as secure that the programmes of study comply with applicable Norwegian laws and regulations and NMBU's Academic Regulations.

The following documents belong to the guideline

Strategic anchoring and initiating the process for new programme of study:

For new study programmes, the faculty must first send a proposal outline to the Pro-Rector for Education, with a copy to the Director of Academic Affairs. This must at the latest take place in connection with the Faculty's discussion of the portfolio in October, the year before the programme is to be included in the discussion of the portfolio (this means approximately two years prior to first semester).
The proposal outline shall contain the following overarching assessments:

  • The programme of study's conformity with the University and Faculty's strategy and social mission, including research strategies
  • The overarching expected learning outcomes/goals
  • Relevance, recruitment basis and labour market, expected number of students
  • Robust academic environment, interdisciplinarity and use of synergies with other academic communities, ties to research
  • External partners to be used in the design of the new programme
  • Funding

The faculty creates a case in the archival system where the proposal outline is archived. This case number shall follow the entire processing of the case.

The Pro-Rector for Education, in cooperation with the director of Academic Affairs, presents the outline to Rector's management team, which assesses it in relation to the existing programmes at NMBU and in the rest of the country. It should also be considered whether mergers or other restructurings of the current portfolio should be carried out in connection with the creation of the programme, or whether the planned programme can be created as a specialisation within an existing programme.

Rector gives its approval for the faculty to continue to work on plans to create the programme, based on whether the programme significantly contributes to NMBU fulfilling its social mission and strategic plans. The management team is asked to provide input in the further process with a view to exploiting synergies, economic sustainability and contributions to external participation in the development of the study programme.

In connection with the University Academic Affairs Committee (USU) of the programme portfolio, the Director of Academic Affairs informs the Committee about the outline of the new programme and the management team's discussion of it.

After Rector has given its approval, the Faculty starts its study of issues relevant to starting the programme, the detailed planning of the programme and completes the application.

Planning of the new programme of study at the Faculty:

The Faculty involve external partners in the work on planning the programmes of study. The external contributions shall be described in the application.

The Faculty fill in a learning outcomes form (LO) for each programme of study at the relevant level. The LO form describes the students' learning outcomes in accordance with the NMBU Key to the National Qualifications Framework. The form also describes the contents and structure of the programme, teaching and working methods and forms of evaluation related to each item in the list of student learning outcomes.

The Faculty develops the programme and prepares a programme description in line with the "Template for description of programmes of study at the bachelor's and master's degree levels". The programme description shall conform to the LO form.

The Faculty reviews the quality criteria in the specification of requirements for the approval of programmes (can be found in "Guidelines. Requirements for degree granting programs at NMBU") and if necessary makes changes in the programme description to fulfil the criteria.

The Faculty writes an application for programme approval in line with the criteria in the "Guidelines. Requirements for degree granting programs at NMBU". The Education Committee processes the application and confirms that the application is ready to be sent to the expert(s) for assessment.

One to two experts are suggested by the Faculty and appointed by the Pro-Rector for Education. NMBU uses the same requirements for expert competency as NOKUT: see Guidelines for the appointment of experts for programme approval. The Faculty sends the application, with the programme description and the learning outcomes form, to the expert(s). The expert(s) reviews the application, assesses whether the programme fulfils each quality criterion in the specification of requirements and sends their assessments and conclusions to the Faculty. If necessary, the Faculty revises the programme description, learning outcomes form and application.

The Faculty Board processes the application, makes an assessment of whether the criteria for approval have been met and adopts a recommendation for the approval of the programme.

Approval of quality criteria and decision on programme creation:

The Faculty sends the application with appendices and the Faculty's decision to the Director of Academic Affairs for discussion by the University's Academic Affairs Committee (U-SU).

The University's Academic Affairs Committee assesses whether the quality criteria for approval have been met and makes a decision on recommending the approval of the programme pursuant to the criteria.

After the Committee has assessed the criteria for approval, the Rector's leading group processes the application from the Faculty about the creation of the new programme.

Both the University's Academic Affairs Committee and Rector's leading group can comment on items that must be improved and decide that the programme is to be given provisional approval for a period.

Each year, the University Board determines which programmes are to be offered in the coming academic year. Only programmes of study approved in accordance with this procedure are considered for inclusion in NMBU's portfolio of degree-granting programmes.

The Faculty is responsible for the electronic version of the study guide / programme register being updated at all times for its programmes.

Renewed approval

In the event of a significant change to a programme of study as a result of continuous development work or as a result of periodic external programme reviews, a renewed approval of the programme may be necessary. For renewed approvals, the Director of Academic Affairs should consider whether the use of experts is necessary.

 

Published 1. August 2016 - 10:33 - Updated 4. October 2018 - 9:47

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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