The Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA) conducted a comprehensive Audit of all USP academic matters. The audit was framed around academic activities related to learning, teaching and student support. Their Report made 30 Recommendations, 7 Affirmations and 12 Commendations. The University closed all Recommendations and Affirmations in the first quarter of 2016.
One recommendation was that the University develop an academic advice protocol, which sets out which staff have authority to give advice and, where relevant, make decisions related to specific academic activities; the channels students may use to seek advice and how to access these; and the action to be taken when incorrect or conflicting advice results in an academic disadvantage for the student. This was in response to complaints by students that they got wrong advice about the requirements of their programmes. The Framework approved by Senate in 2016, details clearly who has authority to make various academic decisions, with a helpful flowchart to guide students to contact the right person. This has resulted in a substantial drop off in student complaints about wrong advice, and all students and staff are encouraged to be familiar with the Framework and use it.