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Institution reports

Title:
Institutional audit: University of Birmingham, April 2009 
Institution:
University of Birmingham
Attachments:
Date of review Publication date Type of review Judgements about quality and standards Reference
Apr-2009 18 Sep 2009 Institutional Audit: England and Northern Ireland Confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the academic standards of its awards. -
What does this mean?

Confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the quality of the learning opportunities available to students. -
What does this mean?

ISBN 978 1 84979 022 2
Features of good practice Recommendations for action

The audit team identified the following areas as being good practice:

  • the thorough and reflective approach undertaken throughout the process of organisational change
  • the concise and accessible guidance on quality processes provided by the Birmingham Integrated Quality Assurance and Enhancement System documentation
  • the shift in teaching practice to independent learning as demonstrated by the encouragement of enquiry-based learning across the University
  • the outreach activity of the University, with particular commendation for the A2B scheme
  • the University-wide activities of the Centre for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Mental Health, in relation to student learning styles and the well-being agenda
  • the comprehensive and effective service offered by the Careers and Employability Centre, including the provision of early engagement with undergraduates and the partnership agreements with colleges of the University
  • the quality, range and accessibility of training and support activities available to staff and students offered by the Academic Practice and Organisational Development and Learning Development Units
  • the comprehensive training-needs analysis undertaken for postgraduate students and supported by a wide range of training opportunities.

Recommendations for action that the audit team considers advisable:

  • to ensure consistency of procedures for annual review and for granting extensions to coursework deadlines
  • to develop a more closely defined and transparent mechanism for establishing the boundaries within which the moderation of marks should occur to ensure greater consistency across the University.

Recommendations for action that the audit team considers desirable:

  • to consider the relative timing of the comprehensive programme review and school quality review cycles.
  • to review the procedures for module evaluation by students based on good practice in the institution.

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