Cycle 6 Academic Audit

An audit of the whole institution with an enhancement theme of "access, outcomes and opportunity for Māori students and for Pasifika students"

Background Information

From 2013 to 2016 the University of Waikato, along with all New Zealand universities, took part in the Cycle 5 Academic Audit in association with the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA). The University of Waikato had a Cycle 5 Academic Audit site visit in August 2015, and received the published audit report in December 2015.

Some of the outcomes and learnings from the Cycle 5 Academic Audit involved the implementation of strategic plans to concentrate on improving and maintaining a focus on teaching, learning and student support across the University. The Cycle 5 Academic Audit report provided the University with 5 commendations, 7 affirmations, and 11 recommendations.

The University reviewed the recommendations received and agreed that changes were warranted in respect of all the areas mentioned. An Academic Audit Mid-Cycle Report has been prepared focusing on progress made to addressing the recommendations.

Next steps

Following the Cycle 5 Academic Audit, the audit process has been restructured and each audit cycle will now be 7-8 years long. The upcoming Cycle 6 Academic Audit will thus be broken into three main phases:

  1. The enhancement phase (2017-2019)
  2. The audit phase (2021-2024); and
  3. The review, evaluation and planning phase (2025)

Beginning in April 2017 the AQA, in conjunction with representatives from all New Zealand universities, has been developing relevant guideline statements and schedules for the Cycle 6 Academic Audit. The upcoming Cycle 6 Academic Audit handbook will elaborate on each of these phases and links will be made available once it has been published.

The Cycle 6 Academic Audit will also include the enhancement themes of "access, outcomes and opportunity for Māori students and for Pasifika students". This theme has been agreed by all New Zealand universities as an issue that is of strategic priority and of national importance. An enhancement theme provides an overall objective for all universities, but the specific objectives and paths taken by each university will differ. The enhancement theme will be the focus of the audit process for the first 2-3 years of Cycle 6, and will then be expected to be absorbed into business as usual to inform overall university progress against the relevant guideline statements which will be audited between 2020 and 2023. The University of Waikato will be setting up its own Enhancement Theme Steering Group to address the University's progress towards improvement against this theme.

To read more about the purposes and objectives of the Cycle 6 Academic Audit, visit the AQA website.

The indicative Cycle 6 Academic Audit schedule for New Zealand universities is set out below:


Cycle 5 report

Midcycle report

Cycle 6 report

University of Auckland

October 2014 October 2018 October 2022

Victoria University of Wellington

November 2014 November 2018 December 2022

Massey University

February 2014 June 2018 June 2023

The University of Canterbury

February 2015 February 2019 October 2023

The University of Waikato

October 2015 June 2019 December 2023

Lincoln University

December 2016 June 2020 June 2024

The University of Otago

September 2016 June 2020 October 2024

Auckland University of Technology

April 2016 September 2020 December 2024

The University of Waikato has undergone a period of significant change since the start of the Cycle 5 Academic Audit in 2013 and the Cycle 6 Academic Audit is an opportunity for us to self-evaluate and demonstrate our strengths and progression.

Key Dates

Below are key dates of the audit process. These dates are indicative only and are subject to change. As the documentation for the Cycle 6 Audit becomes more concrete, full dates will be added.

Self-Review Portfolio development


Self-Review Portfolio and key documents submitted to AQA and members of the Audit Panel

May 2023

Academic Audit Site Visit

September 2023

Academic Audit Report received from AQA

December 2023

12 month report on Audit outcomes submitted to AQA

December 2024

Mid-cycle report on Audit outcomes and progress made since the 12 month report submitted to AQADecember 2027 (TBC)

Self-Review Portfolio

The Self-Review Portfolio will comprise of a report plus key supporting documents and will be developed in accordance with the five key Academic Activity Themes and 30 Guideline Statements. The Self-Review Portfolio will also outline the University's response to the Cycle 5 recommendations. For each key Academic Activity Theme, we will provide evidence to assure we are meeting our own expectations and the AQA Guideline statements. In reporting within each academic activity area, we will respond to the Guideline Statements by addressing the standard audit questions:

  • What is our university's particular objective/commitment? (university expectations)
  • What do we do to meet – or exceed – this objective/commitment? (verification)
  • Do we succeed in meeting the expectation and our own objectives/commitments? (quality assurance – evaluation)
  • How do we know? (quality assurance - evidence)
  • What are we going to do about it? (enhancement)

The University will be developing its Self-Review Portfolio during 2022. The audit panel will review the Self-Review Portfolio and corresponding supporting documents focussing on the quality of our processes and activities prior to the site visit.

Academic Audit Panel Site Visit

The Academic Audit Panel Site Visit will be scheduled for September 2023 and usually takes place over three days.  The aim of the site visit is to conduct interviews with an appropriate range of staff and students within the University. The panel will also use this time to read supplementary material and to consider and develop the report.

When the University receives confirmation of the Academic Audit Panel, further background information on the panel members will be provided via this website.

This website will be updated on a regular basis as the University progresses with the development of the Self-Review Portfolio.

If you have any questions or concerns about the audit process, please contact the Academic Projects and Quality Manager, Cassandra Jutsum, on [email protected] or ext 9308.

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