Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Dr Chris Haslam Dean of Corporate Planning and Development

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Dr Chris Haslam Dean of Corporate Planning and Development"— Presentation transcript:

1 Internal and external institutional quality assurance … a healthy tension?
Dr Chris Haslam Dean of Corporate Planning and Development University of Chester, United Kingdom 2nd Conference on Internal Quality Assurance at Higher Education Institutions 30th November & 1st December 2006, Bern (Switzerland)

2 Wir sollten nicht die Fehler finden, sondern die Lösungen Henry Ford
Ich danke Ihnen herzlich für Ihre Einladung, hier vor Ihrer Konferenz sprechen zu dürfen. Die Vorträge waren alle sehr interessant und ich hoffe, dass dieser Vortrag auch Diskussionen und Debatten anregt. Es tut mir leid, dass mein Deutsch und Französisch leider nicht gut genug sind, diesen Vortrag ganz auf Deutsch zu halten – es würde den ganzen Tag dauern. Ich hoffe deshalb, dass Sie meinen Beitrag auf Englisch akzeptieren. Bitte unterbrechen Sie mich, wenn Sie etwas nicht verstehen oder möchten, dass ich etwas wiederhole.

3 Scope of session The UK’s external quality assurance framework
The effect of external review on internal quality assurance and enhancement systems Pre-requisites for external and internal institutional quality assurance?

4 The UK’s external quality assurance framework

5 UK drivers for quality assurance
To facilitate national and international benchmarking To inform interested stakeholders … who are increasingly demanding value for money To secure consistency and comparability in baseline standards To stimulate product enhancement … and a raising of standards For accountability purposes (income c.41 billion CHF employing c.1.2% of the total UK workforce) Protection (and marketing) of the reputation of UK higher education in a global marketplace

6 The UK quality assurance landscape: principles
Responsibility for assuring quality and standards resides with each institution Published sector-wide student surveys An external institutional-level review system … with publication of information about quality and standards (direct cost c.34 million CHF per year) Implementation of a UK ‘academic infrastructure’

7 The UK’s ‘Academic Infrastructure’
A qualifications framework setting out the attributes of each award level Subject benchmark statements A requirement for institutions to publish a detailed specification for each study programme …. a contract of engagement? A Code of Practice for quality assurance

8 The UK’s ‘Academic Infrastructure’
A Code of Practice for quality assurance - Postgraduate research programmes - Collaborative provision - Students with disabilities - External examining - Academic appeals and complaints - Student assessment - Programme approval, monitoring and review - Career education, information and guidance - Placement learning - Recruitment and admissions

9 Closing the loop … ? Internal institutional quality assurance and
enhancement ‘The UK Academic Infrastructure’ 6yr institutional audit reports Code of Practice Programme Specifications Qualifications Framework Subject Statements Higher Education Academy (QE activity) External quality assurance organisation (Quality Assurance Agency)

10 The effect of external review on internal institutional quality assurance systems

11  Growth in the quality assurance ‘business’ … QA Units, ISO9001, EFQM
Extensive quality assurance frameworks detailed through regulations, ordinances, handbooks and manuals Establishment of quality and standards (or similar) deliberative committees at institutional and, increasingly, at sub-unit level

12 Increased engagement with students and other stakeholders … questionnaires, focus groups, consumer feedback mechanisms, alumni tracking Accurate marketing of programmes … expectation management More careful programme design, delivery and assessment … improved student retention, progression and achievement

13 Enhanced peer involvement (UK and overseas) in programme design, assessment and review … a more robust product with greater consistency of standards Clear publication of procedures, expectations and commitments … mitigating potential litigation?

14 But … some frequently asked questions …
Are detailed quality assurance frameworks improving product design, delivery and outcomes … or stifling creativity and dynamism? Are internal quality assurance systems becoming increasingly over engineered … and, critically, eroding ownership amongst the academic community? How does management strike an appropriate balance between ‘control’ and promoting academic freedom?

15 External quality assurance – the lessons learned?

16 Has provided public reassurance both in the UK and overseas … other countries have followed the UK approach Students and other stakeholders do have a much stronger voice and opportunities to exert a positive influence The number of external audit ‘failures’ is very low (… but …)

17 Must offer value for money … and test reality not an artificial image of desired reality
Reports must be clear, timely and accessible to a variety of audiences … the benefits of ‘learning from’ publications External organisations and their reviewers must have recognised expertise and up-to- date understanding of institutions Should external quality assurance offer formal, as opposed to implied, accreditation?

18 Internal quality assurance – the lessons learned?

19 Quality assurance framework needs to be owned … ‘what’s in it for me?’
Avoid over-engineering and bureaucracy … a small quality committee with cross- institutional representation Essential to quickly disseminate good and poor practice … from both internal and external review processes

20 Establish clear action plans … possibly linked to business planning cycles
Self assessments must be reflective and critical … not bland statements of fact. Encourage openness … there should be no surprises Sustained commitment at senior level to QA and QE Ensure intervention is in inverse proportion to risk

21 In conclusion … Evidence to suggest that external reviews do make a positive difference Institutions are more self critical and their processes are more explicit, transparent and consistent … but it is also important that the cost/benefit balance is correct … External and internal review needs to be in proportion to perceived risk … need to remember that students’ interests come first

22 Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to try and find a successful outcome acceptable to all that counts. Winston Churchill

23 Herzlichen Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit und Ihr Interesse
Herzlichen Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit und Ihr Interesse. Ihre Fragen beantworte ich gerne.

24 Contact information Dr Chris Haslam Dean of Corporate Planning and Development University of Chester Parkgate Road Chester CH1 4BJ Telephone: +44 (0) (Switchboard +44 (0) ) Web address:

Download ppt "Dr Chris Haslam Dean of Corporate Planning and Development"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google