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Timetable Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This purpose of this policy is to set out the scheduling principles and organisational arrangements for producing and managing teaching space within the context of the University-wide Class and Exam timetables including casual room bookings. It is based on the principles of equality, efficiency, and decisiveness taking into account the needs of both students and academic staff whilst striving to achieve the most efficient use of space and resources on campuses. It also seeks to inform SCU staff of their responsibilities in providing accurate and timely information, in order to facilitate the efficient and effective allocation of SCU teaching space.

Scope

(2) The policy applies to all teaching facilities covered by the Space Management Policy and to bookings made for exams, timetabled teaching activities and casual bookings during designated teaching periods.

(3) The University-wide class and exam timetables will be produced centrally by teaching periods (sessions and trimesters) for all campuses.

Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Core Unit:
    1. a mandatory unit taken to fulfil the requirements for an award;
  2. Course:
    1. a set of units and Study Areas that lead to the granting of an award registered with the University Academic Board;
  3. Elective Unit:
    1. a free choice unit drawn from anywhere within the University undertaken to fulfil the requirements for an award;
  4. Resources:
    1. teaching rooms, teaching equipment;
  5. Special Examination:
    1. means an examination offered in lieu of the normal examination. A student may apply to sit for a special examination if, for medical or compassionate reasons or in other circumstances beyond the student's control, he or she was or will be unable to sit for the examination. Special examinations are not normally granted to candidates who misread examination timetables;
  6. Student/Staff with Special Needs:
    1. students/staff who require reasonable adjustments arising from their disabilities, religious beliefs etc;
  7. Teaching Space:
    1. any location used to conduct classes;
  8. Teaching Staff:
    1. academic staff with responsibilities for teaching;
  9. Unit:
    1. a coherent set of learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and workshops assigned a unit code number by the University.

Section 3 - Policy Statement

Class Timetable General Principles

(5) The class timetable for the forthcoming study period will be published at a time, and in a manner, which permits enrolling students to be informed of the timetable in a reasonable timeframe.

(6) At SCU the class timetable is constructed using the principles of equality, efficiency, and decisiveness. The timetable process will consider the needs of both students and academic staff whilst striving to achieve the most efficient use of space and resources on campuses.

(7) Given the importance of the class timetable in relation to work/life balance decisions, changes to the timetable after publication will be kept to a minimum. The acceptable standard and benchmark for timetable changes which affect the time, day, date (not location i.e. room) of a class during a study period should be no more than 5% overall of all number of classes for the University and each individual school.

(8) Students progressing through a standard course structure should expect over time to be able to attend classes in all core units and have a reasonable selection of electives to choose. The Student experience will be a major decision when priorities are considered in the construction of SCU timetables, and this reflects SCU goal of core learning experiences through agreed University standards.

(9) Classes should be scheduled so as to maximize the use of University teaching resources, teaching staff and facilities. Teaching will always have priority over casual bookings.

Exam Timetable General Principles

(10) The examination timetable for the forthcoming examination period will be published at a time, and in a manner, which permits students required to sit an examination to be informed of the timetable when planning their study time and organising family, work and other commitments.

(11) As students will use this timetable to make work, family and other arrangements, changes to the examination timetable after publication will be kept to a minimum.

(12) Examinations shall be scheduled at times and locations that will facilitate student attendance.

(13) Students enrolled in a standard course program should expect to have a reasonable spread of examination times across the examination period.

Teaching Space

(14) The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) has delegated authority for managing teaching space. All general teaching space is administered by Student Services who are responsible for the efficient utilisation of space through timetabling and room allocation.

(15) University teaching space will be available for bookings for all weeks of the year (excluding the University's official shutdown period — except in special cases as determined by the Timetable Manager).

Timetable Construction

(16) University class and examination timetables are developed using the corporate timetabling system, and coordinated by the Timetabling and Examinations & Progression teams in Student Services: Planning and Operations Unit. Data required to create timetables is entered online by Academic Staff, then collated and coordinated by School Timetable Officers (STTO) nominated by each school. All known requirements and constraints on the timetable should be applied prior to its production.

(17) Timetabling of teaching activities is scheduled from Monday to Friday between the hours of 0800 and 2200 on each campus, however, generally it is scheduled in the hours of 0800-1800. Classes will commence on the hour or half hour. When a course is available in a full-time mode classes it may be scheduled any time during these hours, however, where necessary classes may be held on weekends or evenings.

Timetable Changes

(18) When making timetable changes, decision makers shall consider the effect on students primarily and staff secondary. Students plan their forthcoming academic program based on knowledge of their timetable, (i.e. campus, day, time and location of teaching activities in their units). Consequently, changes to the Final published timetable should be kept to a minimum, i.e. less than 5% of changes overall.

(19) It is the responsibility of Heads of Schools to ensure that changes to the FINAL timetable are only made with valid reasons. Valid reasons could include:

  1. unexpected staff turnover;
  2. clash in units;
  3. superior timetable for students;
  4. unexpected surge/decline in student numbers enrolled;
  5. a location is an Workplace Health and Safeyt matter for staff or students; or
  6. reasonable adjustments to accommodate students with special needs.