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Timetable Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope


(1) This Policy sets out:

  1. the principles for scheduling the University's teaching timetable; and
  2. the process and responsibilities for allocating teaching and casual room bookings and producing the University's timetable.


(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. all teaching and learning activities that students are required to attend in order to complete their course, including online delivery; and
  2. casual room bookings across all University campuses.

(3) This Policy does not apply to:

  1. professional placements
  2. bookable library study spaces
  3. bookable music spaces  
  4. other bookable laboratory spaces.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

  1. Casual room booking means an ad hoc activity requested by staff or students for meetings, seminars, teaching activities for non-award courses, conferences, orientation activities and any other activities that are not incorporated in the University timetable.
  2. External room booking means a booking for university space made by an external organisation or individual for a non-university related activity.
  3. Final Timetable means the timetable, approved by the Vice President (Students) and Registrar.  A version of the Final Timetable is published to members of the public (future students, parents etc) but is limited to unit activity day and time, and excludes any student specific information.
  4. Teaching and learning activities means all educational activities (both on and off campus and online) that a student is required to undertake to complete a course, with the exception of practical placements, optional seminars and student-initiated study groups.  
  5. University Timetabling System is the technology system used for scheduling the University's teaching timetable and casual room bookings.
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Section 3 - Principles

(5) The University’s teaching timetable is constructed on the basis of the principles of student centricity. A student-centric focus aims to enable student participation in teaching and learning activities by delivering a final and reliable timetable:

  1. in advance of the teaching period to enable students to plan other aspects of their lives.
  2. that is clash-free, i.e. where attendance is not required for more than one activity at the same time.
  3. that offers attendance options (where possible) to support participation and accessibility for our diverse student groups.

(6) The teaching timetable is constructed to ensure the efficient and effective use of the University's resources.

(7) The teaching timetable is published in half year blocks:

  1. H1 includes teaching activities that commence in January to June.
  2. H2 includes teaching activities that commence in July to December.

(8) To permit enrolling students to plan and organise their study and other life commitments, each half year Final Timetable is published at least six weeks prior to the commencement of the relevant half year activities.

(9) All bookings for teaching and learning spaces must be centrally scheduled and allocated and published in the University's Timetabling System.

(10) The Final Timetable for each Half Year period is approved by the Vice President (Students) and Registrar.

(11) Changes to the Final Timetable may be permitted in exceptional circumstances. Change requests are to be submitted to the Timetable Team, with confirmation that the proposed change:

  1. is endorsed by the relevant Executive Dean/College Dean;
  2. has been consulted with the Vice President (Students) and Registrar regarding the impact on students; and 
  3. is to take effect more than four weeks prior to the commencement of Term. 

(12) Changes to the Final Timetable to take effect within two weeks immediately prior to the commencement of Term, required the approval of the Vice President (Students) and Registrar. 

(13) The total number of changes affecting time or date (not room) made to each Half Year Final Timetable must not:

  1. exceed 5% of class activities; or
  2. affect more than 5% of enrolled students in each individual Faculty or College.

(14) Approved changes to the Final Timetable must be communicated to students via the University's Timetabling System. Changes to the Final Timetable are not to made by alternate methods (e.g. learning sites or email communication).

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Section 4 - Timetable Construction

(15) The University-wide teaching timetable for each Term is produced by the Timetables, Progression and Scholarship Team in Student Administration Services, based on information submitted by Faculties/Colleges. 

(16) Faculties/Colleges submit information ensuring requests:

  1. are compliant with the Southern Cross Model;
  2. adopt hybrid teaching arrangements for units with lower enrolments;
  3. for long term/residential learning activities do not conflict with the Southern Cross Model. 

(17) The annual schedule of activities required to deliver the Final Timetable will be approved by the Vice President (Students) and Registrar and will be provided to Faculties and Colleges by the Timetables, Progression and Scholarships Team.

(18) Timetables are developed using the University's Timetabling System based on:

  1. the approved Schedule of Units offered in each teaching period as per the Curriculum Availability Procedures
  2. enabling a clash-free timetable for students following a standard course progression.
  3. the Southern Cross Model and associated principles. Requests from Faculties/Colleges that are not compliant with the Southern Cross Model will not be actioned. 
  4. allocation of specialist teaching spaces and equipment applying appropriate prioritisation of needs.
  5. teaching activities may be scheduled between the hours of 8:00am and 10:00pm from Monday to Friday. Teaching activities may also be scheduled on weekends at the request of the Faculty or College.
  6. classes are scheduled to commence on the hour or half hour.
  7. a minimum of one hour between online and on-campus activities will occur where appropriate, to allow travel to and from campus.
  8. Faculty/College staff may request changes to the draft timetable where these requests are consistent with the Principles of this Policy.  Changes based solely on a staff member's preferences for a particular day, time or room will not be accommodated. Change requests must be reviewed and approved by the Faculty Manager (or nominee) and submitted to the Timetables Team prior to the published cut-off date and time.

Booking Prioritisation

(19) Room bookings are normally prioritised in the order as follows:

  1. University teaching and learning activities.
  2. Non-teaching University events such as graduations, research events, marketing and promotional events.
  3. Requests from on campus partners (Lismore Campus: TAFE NSW, Trinity Catholic College Lismore and The Living School, Lismore).
  4. Requests from external organisations (an external room booking), which are considered on a case-by-case basis.

External room bookings

(20) The Vice President (Operations) approves the holding of non-core events in accordance with the Events and Facilities Hire Policy.  The allocation of the specific space, time and date is approved by the Vice President (Students) and Registrar and the booking recorded in the University Timetabling System.

(21) External room bookings cannot be made in advance of the production of the Final University-wide teaching timetable.