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New study of innovation in quality assurance

Date: May 14 - 2024

Today sees the publication of a new report looking at what happens when quality assurance meets innovation in higher education - and we are hosting a webinar to launch this major output from a QAA-funded Collaborative Enhancement Project.

The project was led by a team from the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE), alongside colleagues from Arden University, University College London, University of the Arts Bournemouth, The Engineering and Design Institute (TEDI) - London, and the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The report includes the findings of a qualitative survey capturing the views of 176 staff members from 65 different providers, as well as discussions which took place through a series of webinars and focus groups.

The study found that the key drivers of innovation were student satisfaction, inclusivity and the need to meet the needs of changing student populations. Quality assurance processes were found to contribute most to such enhancements in the areas of institutional learning and teaching strategies, staff capabilities and student feedback. The research also showed that innovation was most widely believed to be promoted through reflections and refinements led by teaching staff.

This main report is accompanied by a set of detailed case studies written by the University of Lincoln, Bath Spa University, De Montfort University, Edinburgh Napier University, Harper Adams University, and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

'Working on the project has been an absolute highlight of the past year, particularly working with colleagues on the project team,' said Emma Lewis, Senior Quality Assurance Manager at NMITE. 

'We've all been really pleased at the way in which such a huge number of people across the sector have engaged with the work we've been doing on the intersection of innovation and quality assurance and shared their experiences and input. The conversations and discussions have been interesting and inspiring. We're really looking forward to sharing our findings and resources with the sector.'

‘It’s been a privilege supporting colleagues on this project and we are thrilled by the level of engagement we were able to facilitate from across our membership community,’ added Natalja Williams, Membership Engagement Manager at QAA.

'The project findings are aimed to support practitioners to adopt innovative and dynamic approaches to quality assurance. We hope colleagues across the sector will draw on these resources when facilitating innovation in their own contexts.’ 

We will continue to promote innovative and efficient quality processes and support you with effective evaluation, evidencing educational gain and using data in decision-making as we move into the next academic year. Check out what else is coming up in QAA Membership 2024-25.

Join the launch webinar

Today’s launch webinar (12.30-13.30), which already has over 200 registrations, is open to all QAA Members. If you would like to attend, please email and we will send you the joining details.