This Theme articulates how partnership arrangements can be effectively managed and overseen by providers. Providers often deliver higher education courses in partnership with a wide range of organisations: awarding bodies, other education providers, non-academic organisations, and employers.
Expectations and Practices for Partnerships
Expectations for standards
The academic standards of courses meet the requirements of the relevant national qualifications framework.
The value of qualifications awarded to students at the point of qualification and over time is in line with sector-recognised standards.
Expectations for quality
Courses are well-designed, provide a high-quality academic experience for all students and enable a student’s achievement to be reliably assessed.
From admission through to completion, all students are provided with the support that they need to succeed in and benefit from higher education.
Core practice for standards
Where a provider works in partnership with other organisations, it has in place effective arrangements to ensure that the standards of its awards are credible and secure irrespective of where or how courses are delivered or who delivers them.
Core practice for quality
Where a provider works in partnership with other organisations, it has in place effective arrangements to ensure that the academic experience is high-quality irrespective of where or how courses are delivered and who delivers them.
- The awarding organisation will be accountable for assuring the overall quality and academic standards of the provision, regardless of the type of partnership.
- The awarding organisation will have in place appropriate governance to authorise and oversee the development and closure of partnership arrangements and to monitor their effective operation.
- Due diligence enquiries are completed and legally binding written agreements are signed prior to the commencement of student registration - due diligence enquiries are refreshed periodically and before agreements are renewed.
- Provision delivered through partnership arrangements will be subject to quality procedures that are at least as rigorous, secure and open to scrutiny as those used for the provision delivered by the awarding organisation.
- Awarding organisations that make arrangements for the delivery of learning opportunities with others, retain the authority and responsibility for awarding certificates and records of study in relation to student achievement.
- All awarding organisations maintain accurate, up-to-date records of all partnership arrangements that are subject to a formal agreement.
- Awarding organisations monitor and evaluate their partnership arrangements to satisfy themselves that the arrangements are achieving their stated outcomes and that academic standards and quality are being maintained.
- Online guide for higher education in Colleges (PDF, 0.66MB)
- Higher education in further education (PDF, 0.17MB)
- Universities UK Transnational Education
- British Council Higher Education
- The Council of Validating Universities
- Government advice on getting market help to sell overseas
- The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
- Managing collaborative provision (PDF, 0.50MB), Overview of good practice and areas for development emerging from the cycle of reviews of Scottish universities 2013-16
- Piloting a streamlined approach to validation (PDF, 0.35MB), A joint project by The Open University (OU), the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Independent Higher Education (IHE)
- University Vocational Awards Council
- Further Education and Skills Funding Agency: Apprenticeships
- ASET: Integrating work and learning
- Focus On: Collaborative Activity 2015-16, QAA Scotland
- Focus on Projects, QAA Scotland
- ELIR Thematic Reports, QAA Scotland
- SFC guidance to HEIs on quality
- Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO)
- Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman (NIPSO)
- The Good Practice Framework for Handling Complaints and Appeals, Office of independent adjudicator
- Delivering Learning Opportunities with Others, Office of independent adjudicator