Establishment of Western’s Office of Academic Quality and Enhancement (OAQE)

Established in the summer of 2021, Western’s Office of Academic Quality and Enhancement (OAQE) works to ensure the quality of the University’s graduate and undergraduate academic programs. Working closely with academic leaders of all departments, faculties and schools across the University, the Office directs and supports quality assurance processes for all existing and new academic programs as required by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (QC). The OAQE focuses on three priority goals:   

  • graduate and undergraduate academic program quality; 
  • enhancement of academic programs; and 
  • ensuring that Western meets expectations of the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance in all of its academic programs and quality assurance processes.   


 Engagement in quality assurance work at Western

While the establishment of the OAQE may be recent, the last decade of engagement in quality assurance work at Western has revealed a wisdom of practice from across the institutional community. Those who have deeply engaged in these processes have advocated for:  

  • establishing clear mandates, timelines, protocols, and responsibilities for all administrators, faculty members, external reviewers, support staff, students and alumni involved in IQAP procedures, recognizing that a program-driven participatory approach is central to a meaningful and constructive quality assurance process; 
  • ensuring that the distinctive organizational structures, cultures and external accreditation responsibilities of Faculties, Departments/Schools, and Programs are reflected and respected throughout the program review, in terms of both criteria and processes; 
  • acknowledging and actioning Western’s commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), decolonization, Indigenization and the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, and accessibility as part of all programmatic discussions and decisions; 
  • establishing ongoing, as opposed to episodic, program review and renewal, encouraging continual enhancement of curricula, teaching strategies and program quality in a manner consistent with Western’s and each Faculty's strategic plans; and 
  • adopting an approach to the formulation of program recommendations that results in realistic, concrete, constructive, supportable, data-driven, and demonstrable recommendations, and that encourages the celebration of successes as goals are achieved.