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Students are at the centre of all that we do. We involve students in most areas of our work and we are a world leader in engaging students in quality assurance. Students are involved in our review teams, on the QAA Board and provide us with advice through our Student Advisory Committee.

What is Student Engagement?

Student engagement is about empowering students to shape their own educational experience and creating excellent teaching and learning. The following organisations support student engagement across the UK: 

The Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) champions and develops student engagement in the higher education sector in England.  It is supported by the National Union of Students (NUS) whose Vice President for Higher Education is a QAA Board member.

sparqs (student partnerships in quality Scotland) is an agency which puts students at the heart of decisions being made about the quality and governance of the learning experience. They support students to shape the nature of their learning and contribute to the overall success of learning provision, regardless of wherever and however they learn.

Wise Wales is a collaboration of organisations working to create a culture of meaningful partnership between educators, students’ unions and students across Wales. They help to share best practice, and above all put the collective student voice at the heart of what they do.

How can students get involved in Quality Assurance?

Each university or college of higher education is responsible for ensuring the quality and standards of its courses and that students are achieving appropriate standards for the level they are studying at, as set out in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.

We are responsible for checking that universities and colleges are maintaining the standards required and continuously improving on them – this is what we mean by quality assurance. The reports we produce inform students and the wider public whether a provider meets the expectations of the UK higher education sector.

Opportunities for students to take part in the quality assurance of higher education include:

  • being a course representative for your course
  • getting involved with the students' union at your institution – there is often an Education Officer amongst the elected officers
  • look out for opportunities at QAA to become a student reviewer or student member of our committees
  • being a Lead Student Representative and contributing to a student submission, the meeting with the review team and the response to review outcomes.

Talk to your students' union or ask your tutor for more information about how to get involved.

How to find out more about a university or a college

To find information about a university or college and the latest assessment of its quality and standards, you can read our quality assurance reports.

To find out about a provider’s status and powers to award degrees or how it meets regulatory requirements you can visit:

There are many different routes into higher education and several different ways you can study for a degree. Here are some useful sources of information.

UCAS gives information about courses and degree apprenticeships. 

Unistats allows you to compare official course data from universities and colleges.

Information about student finance and how to apply for it can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The websites of individual universities and colleges provide detailed information about courses, student life and experience.

Access to HE

If you want to study for a degree but don’t have the traditional qualifications required, then the Access to Higher Education Diploma is worth exploring. The courses are delivered by colleges in England, Wales and Nothern Ireland in a range of different subjects.

How to Complain

Sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. If you have a complaint about your course or university you should speak to them directly first and then if necessary follow their complaints procedure. If you need to take the issue further, then as a student you have consumer rights. To find out more about your rights and making a complaint about higher education visit our page on complaints.