‌QAA HE Review Action Plan

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The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) reviewed the University in November 2015.

The QAA confirmed that our academic standards, the quality of our student learning opportunities, the quality of information about learning opportunities and the quality of our approach to enhancement all meet UK expectations.

The QAA Higher Education Review Report

We explain below how we are addressing the recommendations from the report and have worked with representatives of our Guild of Students to identify the appropriate actions.

The action plan has been approved by the University’s Academic Quality and Standards Committee, chaired by the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education), on 15 April 2016.

Publication date: 27 April 2016

Plan to address recommendations

RecommendationAction being taken
By June 2016  
Strengthen monitoring and oversight of external examiner reports to ensure that they are sufficiently informative and that recurring issues can be identified (Expectation B7).

A Task and Finish Group has been convened that will address all recommendations relating to External Examiners and will report appropriate action to the Academic Quality and Standards Committee in June 2016.

By September 2016  
Modify annual monitoring processes to explicitly record consideration of the maintenance of academic standards (Expectation A3.3). This will be amended before 2015/16 Annual Subject review information is circulated.

Strengthen criteria, guidance and procedures for the appointment of external reviewers and external examiners to ensure that the process of appointment is transparent and the appointees are sufficiently independent (Expectations A3.4, B7). 

A Task and Finish Group has been convened that will address all recommendations relating to External Examiners and will report appropriate action to the Academic Quality and Standards Committee in June 2016.

External Reviewer guidance and criteria will be updated and in place by September 2016.

Develop a systematic approach to making taught students aware of responses to their feedback on learning opportunities (Expectation B5).  The Student Representation and Engagement Sub-committee have commissioned research to be done via the Guild to investigate how this can be actioned. This will report by June 2016 and a method chosen as to how to take this forward.
Establish formal channels to systematically capture, consider and act on postgraduate research students' views on their academic experience, and to ensure that actions taken are reported to students (Expectation B11). The Student Representation and Engagement Sub-committee have commissioned research to be done via the Guild to investigate how this can be actioned. This will report by June 2016 and a method chosen as to how to take this forward.

This research will also consider post graduate research students.

Ensure programme learning outcomes and any changes to the Code of Practice on Assessment are communicated to students in an accessible and timely way (Expectation C).

Further guidance for the content of student handbooks will be circulated to staff, ensuring that programme learning outcomes are detailed in student handbooks. Staff will be asked to ensure handbooks are then held on VITAL for all students to access.