Quality and Standards

The University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is the senior manager with overall accountability for academic compliance (as prescribed by the Office for Students’ Conditions of Registration B1-B6) and quality assurance and enhancement (as defined in the Quality Assurance Agency’s UK Quality Code for Higher Education); operational responsibility is delegated to Deans of Schools with support from the Director of Academic Services.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Director of Academic Services provide assurance to the University’s Council that the University has met its obligations in respect of academic compliance and quality assurance and enhancement by means of an annual Assurance Statement. This Assurance Statement is supported by the minutes of meetings of the University’s Senate as well of those of its key sub-committees: the University Research Committee, the University Learning & Teaching Committee and the University Collaborations Committee.

The University’s Quality Assurance Team is based within Academic Services and provides advice, training and support to the University (through its Schools of Study) in meeting the expectations of the Quality Code. Consistency with these expectations provides confirmation that the University’s degrees meet UK thresholds for academic standards and that the quality of learning opportunities meet national expectations. Key areas of responsibility for the Quality Assurance Team include:

  • Preparing the University for Institutional Reviews by the Quality Assurance Agency and developing action plans in response to their recommendations;
  • Monitoring and reviewing the University’s policies, procedures and regulations to ensure they are consistent with the UK Quality Code and other external regulatory requirements;
  • Overseeing and supporting the implementation of the University’s processes for approval and annual and periodic review of new, changed and closed programmes and modules;
  • Overseeing and supporting the implementation of the University’s external examiner processes;
  • Providing training to staff and student representatives on University committees;
  • Providing termly reports to University committees and Schools Boards of Study in respect of changes to external or internal policies, procedures and regulations; and
  • Providing guidance on the implementation and review of academic regulations and the operation of the University’s governance structures.

The University’s Planning Team is also based within Academic Services and provides support for business intelligence and evidence-based decision-making through the provision of regular data reports. Other areas of endeavour include:

  • Supporting action planning across the University;
  • Publication of the University’s academic, compliance and quality assurance calendars;
  • Coordination of the University’s delivery of the NSS, PTES and PRES as well as internal course and module-level feedback;
  • Updating the University’s Handbooks; and
  • Overseeing and facilitating the completion of the University’s statutory returns.

At the University’s most recent Higher Education Review (October 2017), the QAA confirmed that the University met UK expectations in all four areas: academic standards, the quality of our students’ learning opportunities, public information and the enhancement of our students’ learning opportunities.

In response, the University produced a Higher Education Review Action Plan. At the University’s follow up Annual Monitoring Exercise (December 2018), the QAA confirmed that the University was making commendable progress with this action plan.