By Patrick Mcghee

Universities and additional schooling faculties are lower than expanding strain to supply 'quality' for their scholars. caliber insurance and improvement issues affect the employees, assets, management and tradition of a tutorial establishment, but there's frequently an absence of transparent suggestions on hand to these accountable for imposing most sensible perform. This publication offers sensible guidance for handling educational caliber coverage and caliber enhancement, outlining most sensible perform from either the united kingdom and the remainder of the realm. each one bankruptcy addresses the most important issues, dangers and solid perform throughout a variety of caliber concerns, drawing explicitly and intimately from the QAA tips at the Code of perform, topic Benchmarks, skills Framework and Institutional Audit. the cloth is gifted in an obtainable and simple sort, incorporating beneficial beneficial properties reminiscent of improvement questions for person or group overview. A maintained web site accompanying this publication (www.academicquality.com) includes additional precious assets, with updates and supplementary fabric during this regularly altering region.

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What are the implications for how institutions might manage the DATs in that context? To what extent does the institution audit methodology constitute a ‘lighter touch’ regime? Who or which office or unit in your institution is responsible for providing documentation for institutional audit? How are responsibilities defined in that area? How did or does your institution intend to liaise with the Students’ Union in the preparation of the student submission to the QAA as part of institutional 42 THE QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE audit?

External examiner’s summary One of the key areas for publication is a summary of the external examiner’s report for each programme. For the most part this will be a set of uncontentious confirmatory statements which will simply assert that the programme has sound and fair assessment procedures, and that the standards are appropriate for the awards (given national benchmarks, the FHEQ and programme specifications) and comparable with those of other HEIs. However, the final paragraph (section 9) invites the external examiner to provide a 200–300 word narrative account which conveys the ‘examiner’s overview of key characteristics of the programme which he or she considers sufficiently significant in relation to present or future standards to be worth drawing to the attention of external audiences’.

This is important because many SBSs state that students should be given the opportunity to acquire certain general skills. An example of this is ICT skills for students on non-scientific programmes. 26 BENCHMARKING ACADEMIC STANDARDS • In the development of combined or interdisciplinary programmes, even though there is likely to be no existing SBS, it is useful to explicitly draw on the relevant SBSs to construct a frame of reference that is anchored in the SBS scheme. An example of how this can work is effectively given in the communication, media, film and cultural studies SBS which essentially offers a modular knowledge and skill specification from which providers can select what is useful and relevant.

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