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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

About us

Two students smilng.


​The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education wherever it is delivered around the world.

As an independent, not for profit organisation, we check that students working towards a UK qualification get the higher education they are entitled to expect.

We work across all four nations of the UK to raise the standards and quality of higher education. We use ou​r expertise to support the development of quality assurance systems worldwide.

Our main areas of work

The UK Quality Code for Higher Education

We developed the Quality Code with the higher education sector and maintain it on their behalf. Higher education providers use this guidance when designing programmes of study and policies on academic standards.

We offer subject-specific guidance in our Subject Benchmark Statements. These set out the skills and knowledge that graduates are expected to have at the end of specific degree courses.

Reviewing higher education providers

We review UK higher education providers to assess how they maintain their academic standards. We also review transnational education (TNE),  internationally delivered UK higher education. We then publish the findings in the Reviews and reports section of our website.

We recruit experienced higher education professionals and students to conduct our reviews. We do this so that people who know and understand higher education are the ones who check the standards and quality.

Investigating concerns

We investigate concerns and complaints about academic standards and quality. Concerns are raised by students, staff and other people who are involved in higher education. Full details about the concerns that we deal with can be found on our Concerns page.

Training, guidance and events

We deliver training, guidance and events to help UK higher education providers develop and improve their own quality assurance processes. We support higher education professionals in the UK and internationally through our range of commercial and international services.

Advising government

We advise government on applications for degree awarding powers and the right to be called a university in the UK.

Access to Higher Education

The Access to Higher Education Diploma offers an alternative route into higher education. We set and monitor the standards for Access to HE courses. We also license the agencies who develop, approve and monitor these courses. You can find out more on our Access to HE website (opens in new window).

Our key documents

​​​Advertising banner for QAA Strategy 2017-20
Advertising banner for Annual Report 2015-16