SUMMARIES OF KEY PRESTIGE ACADEMY POLICIES
This policy relates to the admission requirements for the different types of qualifications students can enrol for at Prestige Academy, according to the Higher Education Qualification Sub-framework (HEQSF). The Policy provides for different categories of student admission. It includes a “special” category that allows foreign students with an entry qualification similar to the local National Senior Certificate (NSC), those that do not meet the formal admission requirements for studying a degree to be admitted on the bases of age and life/work experience as well as a bridging option for certain applicants from Namibia. It specifies specific conditions such as the requirement to submit a portfolio of evidence together with the standard application/registration form for certain programmes in the Arts and Design Faculty, and the completion of the Prestige Academy Benchmark Test (PABT) which is obligatory for certain applicants from Namibia.
TEACHING AND LEARNING POLICY
This is the overarching policy for all aspects related to the academic side of Prestige Academy. It specifically covers our philosophy and theoretical entry point with reference to a student-centred approach, active learning and adult education strategies, and scope of teaching and learning activities used (lectures, self-study, experiential learning, assessment, etc). It also includes a guiding framework to programme delivery through distance learning, as well as the appropriate use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and e-learning.
POLICY ON INDUCTION OF NOVICE STUDENTS
Nationally, the low success throughput (pass) rate of students at higher education level is a major concern. Students that drop out not only lose the opportunity to a prosperous future through employment after graduation, but it results in unnecessary wasting of money invested in students seeking post-school education. According to the Policy, we provide for two kinds of induction, namely academically, and socially. Because we ensure that novice students are well informed about what is expected of them and how we operate, combined with helping them in transition to private higher education, it serves as a launching pad towards academic success. We believe in empowering students rather than practices that harm their dignity and dehumanise them.
All aspects regarding student assessment relate to teaching and learning. This policy sets a framework for assessment of learning, including the purpose of and reasons for assessment, principles of quality assessment, the scope of assessment strategies, methods and tools to be used, as well as how assessment will be applied as an integrated component of teaching and learning. Guiding processes and procedures are specified, together with the requirements on specific matters such as pass requirements and balanced assessment.
Moderation complements assessment processes. This policy covers the purpose of and reasons for moderation, principles of quality moderation, the scope of moderation methods and tools to be used, as well as how moderation links with assessment. Guiding processes and procedures are specified, together with the requirements on specific matters such as internal and external moderation.
This policy justified and sets procedural guidelines and principles on why, when and how recognition of prior learning (RPL) is necessary, and will be applied to the benefit students. It distinguishes between so-called “classic” RPL which applies to applicants with no previous post-school qualification, and credit exemption and transfer (CET) which applies to students who desire to accumulate credits towards a qualification by applying for acknowledging modules successfully passed before. This prevents a situation where they have to repeat modules passed already and relearn with they already know or can do. It helps them to progress faster and graduate sooner.
This policy gives direction to articulation decisions in terms of amongst other things, the principles to be applied and practical considerations. Articulation is an essential element of national capacity building in South Africa, and relates to recognition of prior learning (RPL), credit exemption and transfer (CET) as well as admission of students to the range of qualifications offered by this institution. It distinguishes between articulation levels on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), and pathways such as inter-institutional and intra-institutional articulation. It follows the principle of flexibility in as far as catering for applicants desiring to enroll for degrees but presenting different scopes of entry knowledge.
SPECIAL LEARNING NEEDS POLICY
This policy sets guidelines for support to be provided to students with special learning needs, and the conditions thereof. We do not discriminate against any applicant based on race, gender, culture, religion or a particular disability or impairment, and therefore give all students a fair chance of success equal to any other candidate. What we do to accommodate and help these students depends on the nature and degree of disability. We distinguish between personal challenges, physical, health and wellness challenges, and academic/learning challenges. Regarding learning challenges the Policy allows for additional time for students to complete written or practical assessment, and using and scribe for capturing answers during written examinations. Students who desire to reap the benefits of this policy must formally apply for it and submit relevant supporting evidence.
STUDENT RESEARCH POLICY
This policy serves as a guiding framework for research activities and outputs by students at Prestige Academy. Although it cuts across all levels of research and academic or scholarship activity, the Policy in particular sets guidelines and conditions for promoting postgraduate research. Specific matters covered include the scope of research types and approaches, general requirements of research, research approval procedures, the responsibilities of students, their supervisors and the institution at large, a code of conduct, appointment of supervisors, assessment matters, as well as research support and other practical matters.
RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT POLICY
This policy establishes a framework for research development and associated matters. Certain research activities take place for the institution as a whole (e.g. alumni surveys), or within context of specific areas of work (e.g. marketing, education and training, hostel and student affairs, etc). Also, there are various forms of capacity building for research targeting both academic staff and students at different levels. Research development becomes particularly important at postgraduate level. Specific aspects covered include how research development is managed at this institution, and the kind of activities towards equipping staff and students with relevant competencies and abilities to plan, conduct and evaluate/review research assignments.
This policy deals with the library services at Prestige Academy. We are committed to provide suitable and sufficient library resources (both print materials and through e-information facilities) to staff members and students as part of its continuous academic support. The library will function as an integrated component of the teaching-learning system. Students and staff will have adequate access to the resources, and continuous expansion and renewal of the library resources will be ensured through the annual budget. The library will be subject to monitoring and evaluation within the context of ongoing quality assurance to identify areas for improvement and ongoing expansion.
This policy sets a framework for controlling and preventing plagiarism and promoting the use of creations of any nature (artwork, publications, recordings etc) in printed, electronic or any other format within legal boundaries. It must be read and applied in conjunction with other related policies such as the Student Research Policy, the Policy pertaining to Referencing in Assignments as well as the eCommunication Policy. Specific matters included are the meaning and scope of plagiariasm, practical measures to prevent plagiarism, and penalties for plagiarism infringements.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING AND INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE POLICY
This Policy sets guidelines and specific requirements for providing experiential learning, work-based learning and work-integrated learning to students at Prestige Academy. It aims to ensure adequate opportunities for students to acquire experience in the transfer of knowledge and skills to the world of work. This will increase their employability, and enable them to be economically productive immediately when entering the labour market.
STUDENT FEEDBACK POLICY
Prestige Academy acknowledges the importance of student feedback. In this way information is generated as reference for decisions aimed at improving learning programmes, including syllabi, and the quality of teaching and learning. This Policy states the underpinning principles, specific types of student feedback to be used (e.g. measuring the quality of teaching in a certain module, and alumni surveys), the procedures concerned, as well as the related quality assurance measures.
STUDENT ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Academic support and development of students is high on the agenda at this institution. It is motivated by knowledge and skills (capacity) gaps of students entering higher education nowadays. Specific aspects covered in the policy include the philosophic-theoretical reference such as theories of graduate attributes and transferable generic skills that the world of work deem important, and appropriate activities such as needs-based personal development and academic development workshops. We believe that students have to grow into complete human beings to play a meaningful role in business and society at large.
APPEAL AND GRIEVANCE POLICY
Prestige Academy acknowledges the necessity of an Appeal and Grievance Procedure for the smooth running of the business, but also for the purpose of quality improvement. Any employee or customer has the right to table a grievance, and any student may appeal against decisions such as assessment judgments (marks awarded) that affect them directly. This policy hence outlines the procedures for tabling an appeal and expressing a grievance, combined with the subsequent action to be taken. It is applicable to both staff, students and parents (customers).
INTERNET USAGE POLICY
This policy covers the provisions, expectations and acceptable behaviors/Code of Conduct when staff and students are using the Internet. It will ensure that everyone has the same right and respect for co-users of Internet. It is not intended to impede the required work output (e.g. research) and normal behavior among employees; nor to limit the required service to students (i.e. provision of learning opportunities).
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
This policy sets a framework for using social media platforms for student recruitment and public relations at Prestige Academy. It also has implications for student and staff with regard to their use of social media platforms for expressing or sharing information or opinions about any Prestige Academy event or person. It includes a legal framework, and principles of ethical practice that can be regarded as a Code of Conduct in social media context. Driving regulating principles include not causing harm, doing good, consent, justice, and reliability.
HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY
This policy ensures that the health and safety of employees and other stakeholders such as visitors and students at Prestige Academy are not compromised. Apart from fundamental principles it sets operational guidelines and procedures regarding measures to be taken in the case of violations that pose a risk or threat to the health and well-being of others. The Policy includes sections on smoking, alcohol and substance abuse as well as different kinds of harassment.
QUALITY MANAGEMENT POLICY
This policy sets a framework for ensuring that we realise and live out our vision of being an institution of excellence. Almost every single activity – from student recruitment, to academic, financial, administration as well as student and hostel affairs – requires quality management measures. The Policy is built around key quality management principles, best practice processes and criteria for measuring the degree of quality in what we do. It is therefore a binding policy for all other policies.
RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY
There are different potential and real risks associated with running a business and managing a higher education institution. These include using outdated training technologies, non-payment of student fees, not meeting some or all of the requirements for accreditation of the programmes we offer, as well as various health hazards and safety factors. This policy states our stand on risk management and sets a framework for preventing and effectively responding to different risks from both a business, occupational, and teaching-learning viewpoint.