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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Quality: It's What We Do

Date 26/10/2017

​​In the first of a series of short films, university and college leaders reflect on QAA’s role as the UK’s independent higher education quality body, assuring quality a​​nd academic standards across the UK.



Quality: It’s What We Do features the perspectives of vice-chancellors, principals and other senior leaders from across the UK. Here’s what they had to say.

David Eastwood, University of Birmingham
'QAA brings two decades of experience. It brings an approach that is demonstrably fit for purpose and recognised internationally as best in cla​ss. And, it brings the experience of working with diverse institutions both to assure standards and to work with them to enhance the experience of students.'

Joe Docherty, Newcastle College Group
'At its simplest, QAA is the badge of quality. That’s your licence to operate and it’s recognised worldwide.

'We’ve found working with them to be collaborative and constru​ctively challenging.'

Janet Beer, University of Liverpool (and Universities UK president)
'One thing that has been striking over the years is the growing engagement of students in QAA’s work. In the beginning, you never saw a student. Then QAA appointed student reviewers. Then coming to the fore with QAA keeping up with the times and maybe even setting the pace.'

Professor Julie Lydon, University of South Wales
'QAA is a body that helps us articulate how you measure quality and standards.'

June Dennis, UK College of Business and Computing
'It's regulation, not legislation. But really does help to provide consistency across the sector to ensure and enhance quality.'

Professor Liz Barnes, Staffordshire University
'We have external assurance, independent assurance and oversight, and very clear processes and mechanisms.'

John Last, Norwich University of the Arts
'[QAA understands] that the UK system is not one system. It’s a number of autonomous universities, each different in their mission. They understand that difference, and they’ve worked with the sector to evolve processes that are fit for everybody. That collective working together is an incredibly powerful way to capture and share what’s good about the sector.'

Frank Coton, University of Glasgow
'The activity of QAA has allowed us as an institution responsible for our standards to reflect critically on what we’re doing.'

Regulating English higher education: Government consultations now open

The regulatory system in England is the subject of a series of government consultations, including the appointment of a designated independent quality body. QAA is the only candidate for this role. The consultations, available online now, close on 22 December.