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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Right HEER, right now 

Publication date:

Higher education research just got a little bit easier with the relaunch of a specialist online resource aimed at policy-makers, academics and researchers.

The Higher Education Empirical Research (HEER) database provides a one-stop shop for summaries of the latest research - from social networking in higher education to Transforming traditions: a study of researchers in higher education.

Originally developed by the Centre for Higher Education Research and Information, HEER has established itself as a well-respected information resource for the higher education community.

It is now owned and managed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

'The relaunch of the HEER database is part of QAA's developing research strategy, which seeks to position QAA as a leading contributor to the field of applied research in higher education policy,' said Jayne Mitchell, Director of Research, Development and Partnerships at QAA.

'We have updated and refreshed the site, and want to establish the new-look HEER as the first place to go for research related to higher education issues.

'This updating is reflected in the revised organising framework, which provides the facility to search in accordance with the current categories of interest to practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and stakeholders in the higher education community and the wider public.'

Users can search by keyword or browse the information in the database by year of publication, theme or publisher. The themes covered by the database include:

  • access and widening participation
  • curriculum (including learning, teaching and assessment)
  • economic and social context of higher education
  • graduate labour market
  • institutional management, staffing and finance
  • student experience.

For more information about the new-look HEER database, visit Users can register free of charge at


Notes to editor:
  1. For more information, please contact Joanna Wynn, Media Relations Officer, at or 01452 557074.
  2. HEER was originally developed by the Centre for Higher Education Research and Information, part of the Open University. It has been owned and managed by QAA since September 2011.
  3. Listen to a podcast interview about the launch of the HEER database at
  4. QAA safeguards the public interest in the quality and standards of UK higher education. We check how UK universities and colleges maintain their academic standards and quality. We review and report on how they meet their responsibilities, identify good practice and make recommendations for improvement. We publish guidelines to help UK universities and colleges develop effective systems to ensure students have the best learning experience. Further information is available at:

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