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Power and responsibility: new experts to advise on degree awarding powers

Date: July 22 - 2019

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), the independent body for quality and standards in UK higher education, has appointed five new experts to advise on whether higher education providers should be granted degree awarding powers.

The right to award UK degrees is a highly prized and legally protected privilege. QAA works with senior experts in higher education and industry to assess applications for degree awarding powers and advise the Office for Students (in England) or the Privy Council (in the rest of the UK) on whether these powers should be granted.

Eight providers that have applied to award their own degrees are being assessed this year. In the last three years, QAA has made recommendations on 12 providers' applications.

The five new senior experts appointed to QAA's Advisory Committee on Degree Awarding Powers are: Professor Robert Allison, Ian Dunn, Professor Neal Juster, Professor Jackie Labbe and Clare Viney.

Professor Robert Allison is Vice-Chancellor and President of Loughborough University. He said:

'I very much look forward to contributing to the work of the Advisory Committee on Degree Awarding Powers. It carries significant responsibility on behalf of the sector and has an important role to play in keeping the UK at the forefront of global higher education.'

Ian Dunn is Provost at Coventry University and was awarded “Inspiring Leader” of the year in the Guardian Higher Education Awards 2016. He said:

'The power to award your own degrees brings great responsibilities, not only to the students who choose your institution but also to the reputation of UK higher education. We need to be sure that providers seeking degree awarding powers can fully meet those responsibilities.'

Professor Neal Juster is Senior Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Glasgow.

Professor Jackie Labbe is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at De Montfort University and a champion of innovation in teaching. She said:

'I'm really pleased to be joining the Committee at such a critical time and I’m very much looking forward to supporting the work of the QAA to ensure that all higher education providers with degree awarding powers operate to the highest possible standards.'

Clare Viney is Chief Executive Officer of the Careers Research and Advisory Centre. She is passionate about investing in future generations and those from diverse backgrounds and experiences, empowering people to realise their potential and achieve their career and development goals. She said:

'I believe it is essential for the community, members of governance and staff to work in partnership to develop and enhance the UK and QAA’s world class reputation, safeguarding academic standards and improving the quality of UK higher education around the world.'