SCU investigates anomalies
SOUTHERN Cross University vice-chancellor Professor Peter Lee yesterday admitted to "irregularities" in admission processes and assessments within two of SCU's international programs.
But he said the matters were being "rigorously investigated".
Prof Lee denied that courses on local campuses could be affected and said the university had notified the new national regulatory body, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, about the issues.
"We have alerted TEQSA to these issues and the actions we are taking," Prof Lee said.
"We have outlined to TEQSA our capacity to continue to meet the provider standards; and we have indicated the risk management processes we have in place."
An internal SCU investigation identified concerns with a course being run through the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management.
A staff member had provided statements of completion for students who had studied elsewhere in order to trigger admission to SCU.
Prof Lee said it appeared it was done to "fast-track our admission procedures, which require that previous qualifications from institutions other than SIPMM be considered by SCU on a case-by-case basis".
"The investigation established that the students concerned were, in fact, well-qualified for entry to our degree and would have received an offer if our admission processes had been followed," he said.
"Their academic performance as students of SCU was also well within normal bounds.
"This does not mitigate the fact that admission processes were not followed by SIPMM and appropriate actions will be taken."
A second issue related to an SCU program run through the Hong Kong Institute of Technology.
Prof Lee said an anonymous complaint was received last month concerning the prior academic qualifications of new students.
He said the issue was still being investigated by the university.
"I want to put on record my confidence in our international activities and the academic standing of all SCU degrees," he said.
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency was contacted but did not provide a comment before deadline.