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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

HE market entry and role of OfS: QAA shares response to consultations

Date 24/01/2018

​​At the end of last year, the Department for Education (DfE) ran five consultations on higher education regulation in England. QAA has fully participated in these consultations, and today publishes its responses.

Securing student success

This consultation looked at proposals for the new Office for Students. It covered issues including risk assessment and monitoring; access and widening participation; student contracts and consumer protection law; value for money; and Tier 4 licensing.

The consultation also asked whether a new Quality Review system should focus on securing outcomes for students to an expected standard, rather than focusing on how outcomes are achieved, and whether the OfS should consider alternative methods of assessment, including a Grade Point Average approach.

Our consultation response is available here.​

Simplifying access to the market

This consultation looked at proposals for degree awarding powers and university title.

Since our foundation in 1997, QAA has provided expert advice to UK government and all devolved administrations on applications for degree awarding powers and university title.

We work with potential applicants to improve their understanding of the requirements and expectations associated with applying for degree awarding powers. Detailed scrutiny of the evidence provided by an applicant is undertaken by peer assessment. The independent Advisory Committee on Degree Awarding Powers (ACDAP) considers the outcomes from peer assessment, together with the evidence submitted by the applicant, and makes recommendations to QAA's Board, which then determines the nature of advice to be provided.

QAA offered advice to DfE in the development of its policy on market access, and responded to selected questions in this consultation, based on our particular areas of expertise. Our response was prepared with ACDAP, which has advised on over 80 successful applications since 2004 from across a broad range of provider types.