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ENQA – QAA meeting 8-9 December 2005 Birmingham, UK 8 December, 10.00 – 12.30 Presentations: Peter Williams, President, ENQA Nicola Channon, Head of Operations,

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Presentation on theme: "ENQA – QAA meeting 8-9 December 2005 Birmingham, UK 8 December, 10.00 – 12.30 Presentations: Peter Williams, President, ENQA Nicola Channon, Head of Operations,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ENQA – QAA meeting 8-9 December 2005 Birmingham, UK 8 December, – Presentations: Peter Williams, President, ENQA Nicola Channon, Head of Operations, Institutional Review, QAA

2 The development of institutional-level quality assurance in Europe Peter Williams President, ENQA

3 European QA in HE History State ownership and control of HE Increasing autonomy of institutions Challenges for governments Different approaches to QA Predominantly programme-based accreditation Some institutional accreditation Some ‘enhancement/development-based approaches

4 Key principles for mature quality assurance systems Purposes should determine processes Autonomy means responsibility and power QA is a means, not an end Every € spent on quality assurance is a € not spent on teaching

5 European quality assurance dimension: what are the purposes Accountability? Academic standards? Enhancement? Information? Control? Standardisation?

6 In the UK the purposes of quality assurance are Security of academic standards of qualifications Enhancement of students’ learning opportunities and experience Accountability Information

7 Quality assurance in the UK ‘Academic Audit’ HE sector-owned evaluation of institutions’ management of academic standards and quality ‘Quality Assessment’ (Subject Review) Inspection at subject level undertaken by HE funding bodies Two separate streams In 2001 subject reviews were stopped

8 Why was subject review stopped in the UK? subject reviews had shown generally high quality and standards: no point in repeating the exercise unnecessary burden on institutions high cost institutions had learned how to ‘win the game’ diminishing returns institutional resistance alternative ways of providing information and identifying weaknesses

9 Institutional-level reviews Require autonomy to be effective Place responsibility for quality and standards in institutions Encourage internal quality assurance Do not stifle innovation Are less burdensome than programme reviews Are cheaper than programme reviews

10 Quality assurance is an evolutionary, not a static process: From subject review to institutional audit From inspection to quality assurance From external prescription to internal rigour From process to outcome From the implicit to the explicit From assertion to verified information From accountability towards enhancement From suspicion towards trust

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12 Institutional audit - where next? Nicola Channon Head of Operations, Institutional Review QAA

13 Background 2001: new Quality Assurance Framework -institutional audit including discipline audit trails (DATs) -developmental engagements -collaborative provision audit -Teaching Quality Information (TQI) -National Student Survey (NSS) -Academic Infrastructure : transitional period – all higher education institutions audited in England and Northern Ireland July 2005: report on transitional period, ‘Burslem Report’ published

14 What did the higher education institutions think of audit? Not bad – if we have to have something then it might as well be this ‘QAA is now the least unwelcome of our external visitors’

15 What would the higher education institutions like to change? change discipline audit trails to reduce the domination of the process and the unnecessary additional work reduction in paperwork a formal contact between the team and the institution oral feedback at the end of the audit change the ‘broad confidence’ judgement

16 What are we being asked to do? 1 retain the existing structure replace discipline audit trails with flexible audit trails replace ‘broad confidence’ judgements with ‘confidence’ implement mid-cycle reviews retain the ability to review particular elements if there is a ‘cause for concern’

17 What are we being asked to do? 2 QAA to develop feedback and dissemination mechanisms - for individual institutions and for the sector more enhancement focused student participation to be promoted and supported QAA to explicitly discourage ‘gold-plating’ by institutions

18 Aims of the audit ensuring that the awards and qualifications in higher education are of an appropriate academic standard reflecting the levels of achievement set out in The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) and, thereby, the EHEA European Qualifications Framework and are, where relevant, exercising their powers as degree awarding bodies in a proper manner providing learning opportunities of a quality which enables students, whether on taught or research programmes, to achieve those higher education awards and qualifications, and enhancing the quality of their educational provision by building on information gained through monitoring and internal and external review, and feedback from stakeholders.

19 Judgements the confidence that can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the academic standards of its awards the confidence that can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the quality of the learning opportunities available to students.

20 Comments the institution’s arrangements for maintaining appropriate academic standards of postgraduate research programmes the institution’s approach to developing and implementing institutional strategies for enhancing the quality of its educational provision, both taught and by research the reliance that can reasonably be placed on the accuracy and completeness of the information that the institution publishes about the quality of its educational provision and the standards of its awards.

21 Information a briefing paper by the institution any key documents that the institution wishes to submit a briefing paper prepared by representatives of students of the institution on behalf of the student body reports on the institution or its provision produced by QAA and other relevant bodies within the six years preceding the audit the information placed by the institution on the TQI site, and the residual TQI information held by the institution a desk-based analysis by QAA the institution’s TQI set, with a commentary on the completeness and currency of this information

22 Reports 3 sections: -a short summary intended for the public, especially potential students -concise information on the findings of the audit of use to both a lay and professional readership -an annex intended for a professional audience, giving in more detail the analysis on which the findings of the audit are based Publication -the whole report will be published on QAA’s website -only the summary and the findings will be printed

23 Audit trails a means of gathering evidence tools for audit, not ends in themselves themes to be followed -Some ‘core themes’ to provide evidence for basic judgements on standards and quality -Some ‘local themes’ chosen following discussion with HEI use of ‘off the shelf’ documentation not necessarily reported separately

24 Reference points Academic Infrastructure -FHEQ -Benchmark Statements -Code of Practice in general but particular attention on section 1 post-graduate research programmes -programme specifications European standards and guidelines for quality assurance (ESG)

25 Timetable Jan 06FebMarAprMayJuneDec 06Dec 11 Consultation ends (13 Jan) Audit schedule proposed Draft handbook published Preliminary institutional meetings for 2007 audit visits Auditors & audit secretaries recruited Auditors & audit secretaries training First audit visits Audit cycle ends Jan 07Feb/Mar

26 Other points collaborative provision mid-term reviews relationship to European standards and guidelines (ESG) responding to the expectation of the inclusion of student team members responding to the expectation of the inclusion of international team members follow-up


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