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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

Assuring higher education quality during COVID-19: a global view

Date: May 28 - 2020

International quality assurance agencies are successfully adapting their assessment practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many agencies expecting a degree of long-term change in their domestic HE sectors, according to a paper published by QAA today.

In a virtual meeting convened by QAA on 20 May, quality agencies representing 22 countries discussed the challenges posed by the pandemic, how their countries' higher education systems have responded, and what the post-COVID landscape might bring.

This paper summarises the discussions, comprehensively setting out the situation in different countries and territories. It covers how the various public health responses are affecting higher education providers and their students, and what it means for the ways in which providers' quality and standards are reviewed.

Many agencies reported high engagement with virtual review visits, ensuring that work to assure and secure quality and academic standards for students continues despite lockdown restrictions. Some participants have also produced useful guidance for higher education providers in their countries and territories, covering issues such as pedagogy and course design, admissions, and assessment and academic integrity.

The paper covers a range of issues linked to the pandemic, such as:

  • The impact on higher education providers and sectors around the world
  • The impact on student experiences
  • The impact on agencies and their responses
  • The work of international reviewers and experts in quality assurance
  • The 'new normal' and which practices higher education providers and quality agencies will retain after the pandemic

QAA International Partners' Forum (May 2020) - Summary Report is available now. You can also access all of QAA's pandemic advice and support on our dedicated COVID-19 page.