Responsibility for policy:  Pro Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning
Approving authority: Academic Board
Last reviewed:  December 2020
Next review date:  December 2025

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  1. This policy applies to all staff of the University of Waikato.


  1. The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for the determination of an annual timetable of teaching activities within the University that:
    1. contributes to the delivery of a high quality learning experience for students, and
    2. supports the efficient use of University resources, particularly teaching space.


  1. This policy applies to all scheduled teaching activities excluding:
    1. programmes delivered off-campus by partner organisations, or
    2. programmes delivered off-shore by Hangzhou City University.

Related documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:


  1. In this policy:

    core teaching hours   means the hours within which the majority of undergraduate and taught postgraduate teaching activities take place

    non-teaching day   means a day, excluding weekend, public holiday, study week and examination days, reserved for a significant University event, such as Kīngitanga Day; the determination of non-teaching days is made by the Vice-Chancellor

    teaching activity  means a teaching event scheduled in the University timetable system, e.g. lectures, tutorials, laboratories, field trips, studios, tests and workshops

    teaching period  means a  trimester  or other clearly identified teaching period with specified start and end dates

    teaching space   means a space where timetabled teaching occurs, e.g. lecture theatre/room, tutorial/seminar room, scientific laboratory or workshop, computer laboratory or rehearsal/performance space

    teaching stream   means a set of teaching activities (such as a series of lectures and tutorials) where the content is repeated to cater for teaching to groups of students within a class; where a paper has multiple streams, a student is generally expected to attend the activities associated with one stream only.

Teaching hours

  1. The University’s core teaching hours are between 8.00am and 6.00pm inclusive Monday to Friday during University teaching periods.
  2. Teaching activities may occur outside core teaching hours.
  3. Teaching activities are scheduled to last 50 minutes and begin on the hour until (and including) 12 noon, and at 10 minutes past the hour from 1.10pm; this allows a break of 20 minutes from 12.50pm to 1.10pm.


  1. Student Services is responsible for scheduling the annual teaching activity timetable using the University’s central electronic timetabling system and information provided by Divisional or School timetable representatives or equivalent; this responsibility may be delegated.
  2. All teaching activities requiring student participation or access on a set day and at a set time, whether face-to-face or online, must be centrally timetabled; this applies to all undergraduate papers and taught postgraduate papers.
  3. In scheduling the annual timetable of teaching activities, priority will be given to maximising opportunities for students to attend and participate in the papers of their choice.
  4. While every effort will be made to accommodate student choice, in scheduling teaching activities Student Services or delegated authorities cannot guarantee a clash-free timetable for all students.
  5. No teaching activity may be scheduled on any day that the University determines is a non-teaching day; Divisions, Schools and equivalent are responsible for ensuring that Public Holidays and non-teaching days are taken into account when planning their annual teaching schedules.
  6. No teaching activity may be scheduled for a paper outside that paper’s start and end dates.
  7. No teaching activity may be scheduled during the Cultural Hour (from 1.00pm to 2.00 pm on Wednesdays) during teaching periods; this hour is reserved for cultural and recreational activities and events.
  8. Every effort must be taken to ensure that the annual teaching activity timetable is published in sufficient time prior to the H trimester enrolment period each year in order to enable students to make informed decisions on their study options and to allow enrolment approval processes to take timetable clashes into account.

Teaching space availability

  1. As set out in the   Space Allocation and Management Policy, the Director of Student Services is responsible for the timetabling of all teaching space.
  2. All teaching space must be recorded in the central timetable system managed by Student Services or delegated authorities so that it is bookable.
  3. The booking of teaching spaces for non-teaching days, e.g. Kīngitanga Day, must be undertaken as early as possible.
  4. All requests for teaching space must be submitted and administered in accordance with the Timetable Procedures.
  5. With the exception of non-teaching days referred to in clause 19 of this policy, teaching activities will have priority over all other activities when booking teaching space.
  6. Wherever possible, classes will be scheduled in teaching spaces that are appropriately equipped and suited to the mode of teaching delivery and the number of students enrolled in the class, not historical use or preference.
  7. In developing the annual teaching activity timetable, Student Services or delegated authorities will generally apply the following priorities:
    1. avoidance of timetable clashes within recommended programmes of study
    2. larger classes will have priority for larger teaching spaces
    3. coordination of papers jointly taught in both Hamilton and Tauranga
    4. activities requiring specialised equipment, technology or facilities over those with no such requirements.
    5. regular activities before ad hoc activities
    6. pedagogical requirements, e.g. clinical experiments, requiring a set time between classes.

Timetable changes

  1. After the publication of the annual teaching activity timetable, changes may be made only in exceptional circumstances after all other available options have been considered and must be endorsed by the relevant Division Director or equivalent or their nominee and the Pro Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning or delegated authority prior to being made.
  2. In endorsing and making changes to the timetable, care must be taken to minimise flow-on effects or create clashes with other timetabled activities.
  3. In instances where a timetable change will affect a student or students whose programme has already been approved, the relevant Paper Convenor must take steps to ensure that the student or students are made aware of the change and Student Services must ensure that the student or students are given reasonable opportunity to alter their previously approved programme of study.
  4. The cancellation of any scheduled activity in any teaching space must be notified to Student Services or the relevant delegated authority so that the space may be made available for use by others.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Pro Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.