A new report from QAA summarises the findings of 93 Higher Education Reviews (HERs) carried out in 2015-16: reviews of 32 universities and 61 further education colleges delivering higher education.
All universities reviewed for standards and quality last year achieved a positive result. However, a third of further education colleges offering higher education received one or more unsatisfactory judgements.
The report finds that:
- 15 per cent of providers were commended in one or more areas
- 30 per cent of FE colleges received one or more unsatisfactory judgements, the same proportion as seen in the previous two years of HER
- universities are making better use of data (such as National Student Survey results) to improve the student experience, but FE colleges' capability in this area is weaker
- educating students in partnership with others (for example through validation and franchise arrangements) remains an area of relative weakness for all providers
- programmes leading to HNCs and HNDs awarded by Pearson tend to be less well managed than programmes leading to awards from universities: a quarter of recommendations received by FE colleges relate to Pearson qualifications.
2015-16 was the last year of HER for publicly funded universities and colleges in England and Northern Ireland. QAA continues to review alternative providers seeking designation for public funding or a licence to recruit international students.