Team Profile: Policy and Governance Unit

The Policy and Governance team
Who works in the Policy and Governance team?

The Policy and Governance Unit is within the Office of Governance Services. The team members are:

  • Nicole Malone, Manager, Policy
  • Amanda Dickson, Administrative and Systems Support Officer
  • Jo Rooke, Delegations Maintenance Officer
  •  Geza Karacsony, ESOS Compliance Officer

What does the team do?

We provide a range of services to ensure effective governance within the University. This includes:

  • Managing the University's policy suite of over 200 documents and the Policy Document Development System (DDS)
  • Managing the Delegations Register to ensure delegation records are accurate
  • Facilitating the University's compliance with Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) requirements
  • Providing advice and training on policies, delegations, and ESOS and student visa processing (SVP) requirements.

Where is the team located?

We are located on the Werrington North Campus, in Building AD.

Who does the team work with?

For policies and delegations, we work with staff across the University as many operational units have developed and implemented specific policies in their areas of expertise, and many staff in these Units and Schools have delegations.

For ESOS, we work with professional and academic staff; international students; government departments, such as the Department of Education and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection; national peak bodies, including Universities Australia, ATEM, the International Education Association of Australia and the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency; as well as with other universities in NSW and the ACT.

What would be a good example of the work that you are involved in?

Almost every aspect of the international student lifecycle is covered by some kind of regulation, from recruitment through to enrolment, progression to graduation and beyond. These regulations cover education quality, consumer protection and visa integrity issues. The role of the ESOS Compliance Officer is to help all staff and students to meet their various regulatory obligations covered by 'mandated best practice', also known as the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislative framework.

What challenges does the team face?

One of our biggest challenges is finding ways to let staff know the services we offer. For example, did you know we can help you find relevant policy information, help you understand your delegations, help you set up a new delegation as soon as you know a new staff member is starting, and help you review your policies and set up consultation groups?

We are working on some new resources and have set up a University Policy Network for policy owners to come together to discuss issues and share experiences.

Another particular challenge is the complexity of legislation and requirements international students must comply with. Working with other institutions, peak bodies, regulators and government departments is important. Team member and ESOS Compliance Officer, Geza is part of a number of networks across the international education sector, is the convener of a national peak body compliance group and chairs the NSW University ESOS Reference Group.

What is the team focusing on in the next 12 months?

Both the student visa regulations and the ESOS legal framework are currently under review and changes will come through in 2016. Our focus will be on implementing these changes and keeping everyone involved (staff and students), informed and up to date.

We will move to a new Policy DDS framework which will streamline the policy process and provide useful policy reports. We will also be focusing on whether we can reduce the number of University policies, making sure the policies are easy to read, linking the policies to strategic priorities, ensuring policies are up to date, and identifying how we can work better with our stakeholders.