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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education
Current grants

Cultures of Quality Phase 2.
of interest by Monday 25 January 2016.​

More details are available in the Current grants section.​​​​

Previous grants


In 2015 we awarded grants of £10,000 for research projects on the following to​pics, the findings of which will be published in 2016.

The extent and nature of sub-degree education in UK higher education: A scoping exercise

​The aim of this commissioned research is to undertake a scoping exercise to establish the size and nature of current sub-degree higher education provision in the UK, and analyse the emergent themes and findings.​

Digital literacy and teaching excellence: What infrastructure and strategies are necessary to support the effective use of technology enabled learning (TEL)

This commissioned research seeks to explore how digital literacy can promote teaching excellence when supported appropriately.​


In 2014 we funded six pr​ojects (with £5,000 each) on Encouraging Cultures of Quality in Higher Education: An International Perspective as part of an ongoing programme of research with the British Council (opens in new window). The aim of this research was to evaluate the cultures of quality assurance systems in higher education in different countries, in order to provide an international perspective.

In 2015 we also jointly commissioned a study with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) (opens in new window)​ focusing on directed independent learning practices in UK higher education.


In 2012-13, we funded five research projects at a cost of £10,000 each. Three of these looked at the student experience, investigating what students expect from their higher education, how they perceive it, and how they participate in quality management. The other two looked at how further education colleges develop a higher education ethos, and at how external examiners understand and use the concept of 'academic standards'.


In 2012 we funded a series of reports on the student experience.

The outputs from this research are available in the Projects section.