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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

How we are adapting our review and assessment activity across the UK

Date: March 31 - 2020

Universities, colleges and other higher education providers are working hard to adapt and keep operating effectively during the COVID-19 outbreak. QAA has also adapted and in-person visits for review activity are on hold until further notice. This update sets out how QAA is approaching its wide range of review and assessment work in the current circumstances.

Our priority during this difficult time is to be as flexible and accommodating as we can be, while still ensuring that our review and assessment activity continues to offer public assurance in the quality and academic standards of higher education in the UK.

As well as adapting to respond to the immediate challenge, we are planning for how we will approach reviews in the next academic year. We are liaising closely with the variety of relevant regulators across the UK and with the Home Office, as well as other stakeholders, including the sector representative bodies in each nation, to agree a position.

Where a review is ongoing then we will attempt to either complete or reschedule, working with the provider and the relevant funder, regulator or relevant body to agree a position that is acceptable. The methodology of the review may have an impact on whether a review can go ahead, especially where the method requires discussions with groups of staff or students. We will keep this situation under ongoing review. Higher education providers whose reviews are immediately affected by the change in approach have already been contacted by QAA.

We will issue further updates in due course once the situation becomes clearer in relation to reviews scheduled in the Autumn.

Further information from regulators and funders:

Office for Students

Scottish Funding Council

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Northern Ireland Executive

Home Office advice for Tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors