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QAA publishes handbook for the review of Degree Apprenticeships in Wales

Date: October 16 - 2020

QAA has published the Handbook for the Review of Degree Apprenticeships in Wales for the academic year 2020-21.

Commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the review is only concerned with Degree Apprenticeships funded through HEFCW, made available on a pilot basis since 2018-19, covering three priority areas: Digital, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing. This review complements the Welsh Government’s evaluation of the HEFCW Degree Apprenticeships pilot scheme.

The Degree Apprenticeship review is designed to be a developmental review focused on higher education providers' delivery of the programme including work-based learning. A key feature of the review is the use of the QAA Characteristics Statement for Higher Education in Apprenticeships.

The handbook has been revised to take account of the consultation responses. The principal themes raised by respondents were:

  • Timescales for the review process
  • Relationship of the review to the Quality Assessment Framework for Wales
  • Challenges with engaging with apprentices
  • Impact of COVID-19 on conducting the review.

QAA’s response to these themes is clarified in a summary document that outlines the responses of the consultation and the corresponding updates to the handbook.

Alastair Delaney, QAA’s Director for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: ‘QAA is grateful for the sector’s engagement with this consultation at a challenging time. The considered and helpful responses have supported the development of a high-quality review process to evaluate HEFCW’s Degree Apprenticeships pilot scheme and to support providers’ development of their provision.’