Theme 4: Student Engagement & Achievement


The following is a collection of AQA resources and selected external weblinks intended to assist New Zealand universities in facilitating excellent student experience and learning outcomes. These pages relate to each of the seven academic activity themes of Cycle 5, plus the overarching topic of 'self-review'. It should be noted that useful and relevant resources are not necessarily limited to those included here. In addition, because of the historical and reflective nature of audit, new or different practices may have emerged including within universities not identified here.

Please note: Where a resource does not derive from an AQA activity, we offer these on the basis that have been assessed or validated by another reputable agency. Readers should note that good practice takes place in context; any activity identified as good practice must be assessed by potential users for relevance and applicability to the context in which it might be used.

Theme 4: Student Engagement and Achievement

The Cycle 5 academic audit framework included five Guideline Statements under this Academic Activity Theme:

4.1 Student engagement
Universities should use processes for monitoring and enhancing students’ engagement with their study and learning.

4.2 Retention and completion
Universities should use processes for assisting the retention, academic success and completion rates for particular groups, including Māori and international students.

4.3 Feedback to students
Universities should use processes for providing feedback to students on their academic progress (See also 7.3 re thesis students).

4.4 Under-achieving students
Universities should use processes for identifying and assisting students at risk of under-achieving.

4.5 High-achieving students
Universities should use processes for identifying and supporting high-achieving, and/or potentially high-achieving, students.

AQA Resources

AQA, 2014. New Zealand University Cycle 5 academic audit reports. (see recommendations, commendations and affirmations) 

AQA, 2014. USP Academic Audit 2013.

AQA, 2013. Cycle 5 Academic Audit Handbook for Universities.

AQA, 2013. Academic Quality in New Zealand Universities: An analysis of academic audit findings 2008 - 2012.

AQA, 2008 - 2012. Cycle 4 academic audit reports. (see recommendations, commendations and affirmations)

Other Resources

ACER, various. Australasian Survey of Student Engagement - reports (including 2011 New Zealand Universities Student Engagement Report).

Centre for the Study of Higher Education (Australia), 2010 onwards. Research publications (link to resources).

Higher Academy (UK), various. "Students as Partners" - Student Engagement Resources. (Includes research and evidence base for student engagement).

Krause, Keeri-Lee and Armitage, Lisa (2014).Australian student engagement, belonging, retention and success: a synthesis of the literature.Commissioned by the Higher Education Academy. *

Ministry of Education (NZ), 2011. Achievement in formal tertiary education.

Ministry of Education (NZ), 2011. Doing a bachelors degree.

Ministry of Education (NZ), 2010. Academic performance of first-year bachelors students at university.

Nelson, K et al (2014). Establishing a framework for transforming student engagement, success and retention in higher education institutions. OLT (Australia) project report. Lead institution: Queensland University of Technology. Partner institutions: Griffith University and the University of Queensland.*

Office for Learning and Teaching (Australia), various. Resources database.

QAA, 2014. Analysis of the thematic elements of Institutional Review for England and Northern Ireland and Review of College Higher Education: The First Year Student Experience (2011-13) and Student Involvement in Quality Assurance and Enhancement (2012-13).

QAA, 2013. UK Quality Code for Higher Education. (see B4: Enabling student development and achievement, and B5: Student engagement)

QAA, 2012. Understanding the barriers to student engagement. (Information and good practice for higher education institutions and students' unions on the barriers to engaging students in their learning experience.)

QAA, 2005 onwards. First Year: Engagement and Empowerment. (Enhancement theme 2005-2008; resources, case studies and research).

G.M. van der Velden, R. Naidoo, J.A. Lowe, P.C. Pimentel Bótas, A.D. Pool, 2013. Student Engagement in Learning and Teaching Quality Management: A Study of UK Practices. Commissioned by the QAA (UK). Publications include a project report, research findings report and good practice guide.


Last updated: July 2018