Quality Enhancement


A structured, engaged, and comprehensive multi-level programme review enables a School to polish a proposal and leads to a high-quality programme. This flowchart provides an overview of the process.

NU faculty may wish to follow the steps below to design and approve a programme proposal.

Step 1. Preliminary Discussion of the Programme Proposal

The programme proposal concept and its rationale should be discussed with the Department Chair, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Dean, and appropriate senior managers prior to the programme design, to ensure support (including budgetary and other resources) for the programme proposal. All new academic programmes should be aligned with the NU’s Mission and Strategy, research priorities, and comply with national expectations.

Step 2. Programme Proposal Design

A programme proposal should be developed in collaboration with department chairs and faculty involved in the programme delivery, while consulting with the Department of Finance, Admissions Department, Marketing Department, and other internal stakeholders (librarians, IT staff), student representatives, and external stakeholders (potential employers, external reviewers, and experts in the field).

To develop program justification, please follow this link to download and complete the template.

The following policies and documents inform the design of a program proposal (Please note that the detailed procedures and templates are available to relevant NU stakeholders only):

The following review indicators could be used as guiding points in the programme design process:

  • compatibility with the NU Strategy, Mission and internal policies;
  • evidenced support for the achievement of the NU Graduate Attributes;
  • alignment with international benchmarking references (European Qualifications Framework (EQF), Dublin descriptors, subject benchmark statements, requirements of accrediting bodies or professional associations, ECTS Users Guide);
  • explicit program aims and learning outcomes that are measurable and appropriate to the EQF level;
  • a curriculum constructively aligned with the NU Graduate Attributes, programme and course aims and learning outcomes, and learning, teaching and assessment methods;
  • a student-centered curriculum, and learning and assessment strategies;
  • research-integrated teaching;
  • technology-enhanced learning;
  • effective learning, teaching, and assessment strategies to support the achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • an internationalized and inclusive curriculum;
  • student feedback mechanisms informing programme enhancements;
  • quality assurance and enhancement mechanisms;
  • the availability of sufficient resources (faculty, IT, library resources, student support) to deliver the program.
Step 3. Programme Discussion by the School Learning and Teaching Committee

The programme proposal should be presented to the School Learning and Teaching Committee for peer-review and feedback, ensure that the programme is aligned with the School’s Mission, and verify that the required resources, funding, and infrastructure are available.

Step 4. External Review of the Programme

In accordance with the NU External Review Policy, each programme proposal should be externally reviewed by recognized and highly reputable international universities (including strategic partners), or experts in the relevant subject area. It is important to avoid any conflict of interest in selecting an external reviewer. 

It is expected that an external reviewer identifies programme strengths and opportunities for enhancement with specific examples and how the provided recommendations could be addressed.

The following questions might be taken into consideration:

  • Does the curriculum reflect current trends of the field?
  • Are the programme learning outcomes aligned with accreditation standards (if applicable)?
  • Does the curriculum support achievement of the programme learning outcomes?
  • How has research been integrated into the curriculum, learning and teaching?
  • To what extent are students involved in the programme design and revision? Are they given an opportunity to provide feedback? 
  • Does the programme envision any instruments for its continuous quality enhancement?
  • Does the programme include direct and indirect assessments to ensure student achievement of learning outcomes?
  • Does the School have sufficient resources to deliver the programme?
  • Is the programme economically and socially sustainable? 

After the review is complete, the proposal should be revised to address the provided recommendations (as appropriate).

Step 5. Submission to the Academic Quality Committee for Recommendations

Before being sent to Academic Quality Committee, the programme proposal may be submitted for initial informal review by the Academic Quality Enhancement Team (academicquality@nu.edu.kz) to ensure its alignment with the institutional policies and established requirements.

The diverse composition of the Academic Quality Committee enables a comprehensive peer review of the programme documentation.

The Committee either recommends the programme to the Academic Council for approval, or returns it for further revision.

The programme proposal document and the required documentation should be submitted to the secretary of the Academic Quality Committee at aqc@nu.edu.kz.

Programme Submission Package

The submission package should include the following documents:

  • A Programme Proposal document (Word format). A NU Programme Proposal Template can be accessed and downloaded here;

Signed and scanned copies of the following documents in PDF format (separate files):

  • External reviewer’s feedback on the proposed programme.
  • Minutes of the School Teaching and Learning Committee meeting at which the programme proposal was discussed;
  • Dean’s formal letter to support the proposal. It may cover the programme rationale and the availability of faculty and other resources (IT, library, facilities, laboratories, equipment, and technology) to offer a high-quality programme. It is also recommended that the letter includes a statement on the programme sustainability (financial resources).  The letter should describe the role of the programme in the School and its contribution to the School and University strategic goals.
Step 6. Submission for Approval to Academic Council

Once the proposal is revised in accordance with the AQC recommendations, it should be sent to the Secretary of Academic Council at ac@nu.edu.kz. Please read the special guideline for more details.

Once the programme is approved, further actions should be taken to prepare its launch and promotion campaign.