Cycle 5 academic audits (2013 - 2016)

Cycle 5 academic audits took place between 2013 and 2016. Audit panels were comprised of auditors from AQA's Register of Auditors and Reviewers and included an overseas external member.


UniversityCycle 5 site visitPublished audit report
Massey UniversityNovember 2013March 2014
University of AucklandJuly 2014November 2014
Victoria University of WellingtonAugust 2014December 2014
University of CanterburyNovember 2014March 2015
University of WaikatoAugust 2015December 2015
AUT UniversityNovember 2015April 2016
University of OtagoMay 2016September 2016
Lincoln UniversityAugust 2016 December 2016 

The Cycle 5 academic audit was framed around academic activities related to teaching and learning and student support. The seven key Academic Activity Themes which were identified and which formed the framework for both the self-review and the academic audit were:

  1. Leadership and Management of Teaching and Learning
  2. Student Profile: Access, Transition and Admission Processes
  3. Curriculum and Assessment
  4. Student Engagement and Achievement
  5. Student Feedback and Support
  6. Teaching Quality
  7. Supervision of Research Students.

The Cycle 5 audit framework covered activities and quality assurance processes which might be expected as fundamental in a contemporary university of good standing. The framework articulated these expectations in a series of guideline statements. For each academic activity theme, universities were expected not just to address whether they had undertaken the activities or processes identified in the guideline statements, but to evaluate how well they did this, and on what evidence they based their self evaluation.

Further information is available from the Cycle 5 Academic Audit Framework brochure and the Cycle 5 Academic Audit Handbook for Universities.

Overall, results from the Cycle 5 academic audit indicate that New Zealand universities have maintained high academic quality standards and there are no issues of systemic concern. These findings are reflective of the sector as a whole and will apply differently to individual universities. 

A series of papers providing a review of Cycle 5 were published by AQA in 2018:

  1. Process Review of Cycle 5 (January 2018)
  2. Cycle 5 Academic Audit of New Zealand Universities: An Analysis of Commendations, Affirmations and Recommendations (June 2018)

Other analysis:

Thematic Notes: Teaching Quality, Development and Excellence

For more information on Cycle 5, please contact us.