Filed under Academic standards

Finding a new chapter and verse

Finding a new chapter and verse

On 11th October 2017 a consultation on the future of the UK Quality Code was published by the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA) – a new committee made-up of the UK funding bodies, UUK and GuildHE with a remit to review the baseline regulatory requirements – with a deadline for responses of 13th … Continue reading

Update on the degree algorithm project

Update on the degree algorithm project

Two blog posts for the price of one Academic Registrars’ Council (ARC) Quality group event (see also Developments in the training of external examiners): – this update concerns Universities UK (UUK)’s project with GuildHE researching the algorithms used by the higher education sector to calculate degree classifications. The project was initiated by HEFCE via the … Continue reading

Developments in the training of external examiners

Developments in the training of external examiners

This post provides an update on the live project run by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) to develop a training course for external examiners. It follows-on from a previous blog post in July 2015 that described the proposals to develop such a course as part of HEFCE’s consultation on future approaches to quality assessment. As … Continue reading

PSRBs and the new quality arrangements

PSRBs and the new quality arrangements

This post provides an explanation of PSRBs’ interactions with the UK higher education system in respect of quality and standards, and their role in the new quality assurance arrangements from 2016/17 onwards. ‘PSRB’ stands for Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body; a catch-all term for organisations that accredit or recognise higher education courses against set criteria, … Continue reading

No progress on course transfer

No progress on course transfer

On 20th December 2016 the Department for Education (DfE) published its ‘Findings from the Call for Evidence on Accelerated Courses and Switching University or Degree’, following a call for evidence between May and July 2016, which looked at both the flexibility for students to switch courses and institutions, and flexibility in provision, such as accelerated degrees. … Continue reading

Future approaches to external examining

Future approaches to external examining

HEFCE’s consultation document, Future approaches to quality assessment in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, published on Monday 29th June 2015 sets out proposed new arrangements that will affect a wide range of areas including quality assurance and governance. Other blog sites and sector bodies have commented on the broad proposals so I thought I would focus on a specific … Continue reading

Herding CATS

Herding CATS

The higher education sector has seen a number of interventions recently from consumer bodies and organisations, including Which? and the Competition & Markets Authority who have brought their own perspectives on the way universities need to operate. This has largely focused attention on the information provided by universities to applicants and students, calling for greater transparency and accessibility … Continue reading

The challenge to External Examining

The challenge to External Examining

The review of quality assessment arrangements announced by HEFCE has led to a re-opening of the debate about the function and purpose of external examining in the UK. The review of external examining by the HEA, commissioned by HEFCE, is just the latest in a series spanning the past 30 years and the threat it poses to the … Continue reading

Apples and Pears: cross-sector comparisons of academic standards

Apples and Pears: cross-sector comparisons of academic standards

The Quality Assessment Review discussion document (HEFCE, 2015) published in January by the group tasked by HEFCE with reviewing quality assurance arrangements in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, includes a question about comparability and consistency of quality and standards: Question 7: Should we seek to demonstrate to stakeholders that academic standards are comparable between providers? And between … Continue reading