DN: Daniel Nicholls
LB: Dr Laura Bellingham
DN: Welcome to another QAA Podcast, this is Daniel Nicholls of the Quality Assurance Agency and today I am joined by Dr Laura Bellingham, who is an Assistant Director here at the Quality Assurance Agency. Hello, Laura.
DN: Hello, I wonder if you could help myself and our listeners with a number of questions that we have today as we say, we are looking to talk about the HEER database which you are playing a lead role in developing; the first question that we have got today, is just what is the HEER database?
LB: The HEER database, which stands for the Higher Education Empirical Research database, is a bank of easy to digest summaries of the latest research which has relevance for policy formation and practise.
DN: That’s very helpful, thank you. And who is its main target audience really; who is it trying to reach out to?
LB: The audience is really anyone with an interest in higher education but particularly those involved in policy formation, practitioners, that might be lecturers, researchers, managers, and we also know that a number of students are registered.
DN: Okay, so quite a variety of stake holder groups that have interest there. What exactly does it cover; I mean what is its core themes and subject area?
LB: The database covers a number of themes; we have material on teaching, learning and assessment, aspects of the student experience, summaries of the latest research relating to institutional management, finance, staffing matter, research and a couple of other themes.
DN: So if listeners are, you know, listening out there and they think, 'Wow this sounds really interesting and exciting', I mean, how do people get access to the HEER database.
LB: Sure, well the HEER database has its own web presence; it can be accessed via the main QAA website, and users can register for free, so this is a free service.
DN: I just wanted to thank you, Laura, for coming out today and explaining exactly what the HEER database is; it has really enhanced my understanding of this crucial project moving forwards, and hopefully it has done exactly the same for listeners, they have found this very thought provoking and interesting.