Programme Reviews have three main objectives:
- to provide decision-makers (in the higher education institutions, the SACAB, students and their families, prospective employers of graduates and other stakeholders) with evidence-based judgements on the quality of learning programmes;
- to support the development of internal quality assurance processes with information on emerging good practices and challenges, evaluative comments and continuing improvement; and
- to enhance programme International Compliance with the Seoul accord.
The outcomes of the Programme Reviews are:
- a written report prepared by the Review Panel, approved by SACAB and endorsed by the Dean for each programme reviewed;
- an improvement plan, for each programme reviewed, prepared by the department based on the outcomes of the Programme Reviews; and
- follow-up visit(s) for programmes receiving a ‘Conditional Accreditation’, or ‘No accreditation’ judgement.
On completion of a site visit and programme review, the Panel Chairperson with the assistance of the Panel members compile a Programme Review Report indicating the Panel’s programme accreditation evaluation findings and recommendations. The report will indicate the outcome of the evaluation for each of the four Review Criteria for the programme and the outcome of the programme review.
- The Learning programme (RC1): The programme demonstrates fitness for purpose in terms of mission, relevance, curriculum (ACM/IEEE) pedagogy, intended learning outcomes and assessment;
- Efficiency of the programme (RC2): The programme is efficient in terms of the admitted students, the use of available resources – staffing, infrastructure and student support;
- Academic standards of graduates (RC3): The graduates of the programme meet academic standards compatible with equivalent programmes in South Africa and internationally; and
- Effectiveness of quality management and assurance (RC4): Arrangements are in place for managing the programme, including quality assurance and continuous improvement, contribute to giving confidence in the programme.
The evaluation of the four review criteria will be recorded with motivation as in the example (Table 2) below:
The panel states in the Review Report whether the programme satisfies each of the four (RC1-RC4) programme review criteria. If the programme satisfies all four sets of criteria, the concluding statement will indicate that the programme is “Accredited”.
If two or three review criteria are satisfied the programme will receive a ‘Conditionally accredited’. If one or no review criterion is satisfied, the judgement will be “Not accredited”. Detailed motivation wand feedback will be provided by the SACAB and recommendations for improvement.
Review Criteria 1: The Learning Programme
This Indicator is a limiting judgement; i.e. if this Indicator is not satisfied, irrespective of whether the other Indicators are satisfied there will be a ‘Not Accredited’ judgement in the programme. The summative outcome and judgement made as a result of the conclusion regarding each review criterion is shown in Table 3.
Table 3: Summative outcome and judgement of academic programme
|Programme Review Criteria
|Outcome and judgement
|All four review criteria (RC1, RC2, RC3, RC4) satisfied
|Two or Three review criteria satisfied, including RC1
|One or no review criteria satisfied
|All cases where Indicator 1 is not satisfied