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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Learning from International Practice

​As part of our work to support the enhancement of the learning experience, we coordinate the Learning from International Practice (LFIP) activities of the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee (SHEEC) (opens in new window), which aims to inform teaching and learning from international practice in a series of thematic areas relevant to the higher education sector in Scotland.

Student Support Services

Student support was the first thematic area identified for Learning from International Practice, and a working group was established to undertake a programme of work in 2008-09. The outputs of the work include:​
  • a report benchmarking practice in Scotland against international student support practice
  • a report of the Study Tour to Denmark and Sweden in June 2009
  • a report that surveys international practice in student support: Student Support Services - Scoping other UK and International Developments
  • case studies of practice in student support collected from Scottish higher education institutions; the case studies ​will be maintained as a resource for the sector and added to and updated as necessary.
A sector-wide conference was held in May 2010 to disseminate the outcomes, involving international contributors and participation from all higher education institutions across Scotland.

The 21st Century Doctorate

Learning from International Practice projects seek to inform teaching and learning practice in Scotland by looking at and engaging with practice in other countries, as well as encouraging debate and sharing practice within Scotland. The Postgraduate Research Degree Student Experience was identified as being the second in a series of topics to be explored, and this was refined to cover doctorate degrees only. The overall purpose of the 21st Century Doctorate work was:
  • to support those working in research doctoral degrees in the sector, and to identify and share national practice which will support the sector in doing this
  • to identify, and help the sector in comparing with and learning from, international practice (including the rest of the UK) in research doctoral degrees
  • to establish a range of useful resources, contacts and links for institutions, Students' Associations and practitioners
  • to ultimately enhance the doctoral research student experience.

Postgraduate Taught Student Experience

The current Learning from International Practice work is looking at the Postgraduate Taught Student Experience. The work has completed its first phase, which aims to determine the scope of the project from what is a challenging, diverse and complex area of provision.

After a good deal of consultation with the sector, the working group has chosen to explore what the defining attributes of master's-level study are

For more information about Learning from International Practice, please contact QAA Scotland on 0141 572 3420.