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Papers, Enrolments and the Use of Resources Policy

Category Academic
Type Policy
Approved by Council, 10 December 2002
Date Policy Took Effect 1 January 2003
Last Approved Revision 25 September 2020
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible Officer Senior Analyst, Research and Policy (Student Development), Academic Division
Review Date 25 September 2025

Purpose

1. To ensure that papers offered by the University are reviewed regularly to determine whether they are still viable in terms of resources required compared to enrolment numbers.

2. To specify how papers which are not offered every year should be managed.

Organisational Scope

This policy applies to all papers offered by the University, excluding dissertations, theses and research projects and reports, and thesis preparation papers.

Definitions

Active paper
A paper which is approved and available to be offered at the University. Details of active papers are published in relevant University media.
Deleted paper
A previously active paper which has been formally and permanently disestablished, and so is no longer available to be offered at the University. Details of deleted papers are not published.
Offered paper
An active paper which is available for students to enrol in for a given teaching period. Details of offered papers are published in relevant University media.
Special topic paper
A ‘shell’ paper that may be used with different content in different years.
Suspended paper
A previously active paper which has been temporarily made inactive. Details of suspended papers are not published.

Content

    General

  1. Papers which are active but not offered in a given year will be listed in the Guide to Enrolment, on the University website and in other relevant publications, with a note that they are not currently offered. Where possible, an indication of when the paper is expected to next be offered should be provided (e.g. “not offered in [year] - expected to be offered in [year]”).
  2. Where a paper is not offered in a particular year but may be offered again in the future without any firm commitment to do so, the paper should be suspended, and reinstated when appropriate, by a simplified process through the relevant Divisional Board. The details of suspended papers will not be published.
  3. If significant changes are made to a suspended paper when it is reinstated, a New Paper proposal will be required. Generic Special Topic papers are exempt from this requirement.
  4. To avoid ambiguity, paper codes from deleted papers should not be reused for new papers if other suitable paper codes are available.
  5. Assessment of Papers

  6. Any paper on the subject database which has not been taught for a period of five years will be considered for deletion. Papers will be deleted unless a detailed case for continuance, including the implications for the library, is made by the relevant Head of Department/Academic Unit and endorsed by the relevant Pro-Vice-Chancellor, then submitted to the DVCA for approval.
  7. An audit of the viability of every paper with low enrolment numbers (based on minima established by the Senate in October 1995) shall be carried out biennially to determine the paper’s viability. While acceptable numbers may vary depending on the specifics of each paper, papers falling below the following enrolment numbers will be included in the audit process:
    1. 30 enrolments at 100 level
    2. 15 enrolments at 200 level
    3. 10 enrolments at 300 level
    4. 3 enrolments at 400 level and above.
  8. Process for Continuation

  9. Enrolment data for the previous five-year period shall be analysed to determine which papers meet the thresholds described above – the low enrolment threshold will be based on an average of the enrolments for the five-year period in question, excluding any years where the paper was not offered.
  10. Any paper that has had no enrolments for the five-year period, or falls beneath the low enrolment threshold shall then be sent to the relevant Head of Department/Academic Unit for detailed cases for continuation to be made by Divisions.
  11. Pro-Vice-Chancellors shall provide detailed cases for continuation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for decisions on deletions to be made. Decisions are to be reported back to Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Academic Committees.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Proformas for new proposals and resources for academic approval processes

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, please contact the Senior Analyst, Research and Policy (Student Development) at policy@otago.ac.nz