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Benchmarks and Benchmarking in the UK - Lessons Learned Catherine Connor Quality Enhancement Unit London Metropolitan University.

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Presentation on theme: "Benchmarks and Benchmarking in the UK - Lessons Learned Catherine Connor Quality Enhancement Unit London Metropolitan University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Benchmarks and Benchmarking in the UK - Lessons Learned Catherine Connor Quality Enhancement Unit London Metropolitan University

2 1.Context - Higher Education in the UK 2.Context-London Metropolitan University 3. Quality & Standards Benchmarks – Quality Assurance Agency 4. Benchmarking in Higher Education in the UK 5.London Metropolitan University – Quality Management & Benchmarking 6.Lessons Learned

3 Benchmarks and Benchmarking Benchmarks are reference points or measurements used for comparison, usually with the connotation that the benchmark is a 'good' standard against which comparison can be made Benchmarking is a process of finding good practice and of learning from others Benchmarking is also a means of measuring performance against comparator institutions

4 Higher Education in the UK

5 Statistics – UK 2011/12

6 Universities/HEIs in the UK

7 London Metropolitan University - past

8 London Metropolitan University - today

9 Holloway Aldgate Moorgate




13 Degree Awarding Powers and University Title in the UK 165 recognised bodies with Degree Awarding Powers and 700+ others delivering HE courses

14 Quality Assurance Agency, UK

15 How does the UK QAA safeguard standards? QAA is independent of government and universities Each institution is responsible for the quality and standards of their awards The UK Quality Code for Higher Education provides institutions with guidance on benchmark expectations on quality and standard The QAA audits compliance and highlights good practice through Higher Education Review (HER) every 6 years


17 The purpose of the Quality Code is: to safeguard the academic standards of UK higher education to assure the quality of the learning opportunities that UK higher education offers to students to promote continuous and systematic improvement in UK higher education to ensure that information about UK higher education is publicly available and accurate. The Code gives individual higher education providers a shared starting point for setting and maintaining the academic standards of their higher education programmes and awards The UK Quality Code

18 The Quality Code has 3 parts comprising of a number of chapters; Each chapter has an Expectation and a number of indicators. Part A: Setting and maintaining threshold academic standards Part B: Assuring and enhancing academic quality Part C: Public Information The Quality Code

19 Qualification and Subject Benchmarks Framework for Higher Education Qualifications provide important points of reference for setting and assessing academic standards promote a common understanding of the Expectations associated with typical qualifications by facilitating a consistent use of qualifications titles

20 Qualification and Subject Benchmarks Subject benchmark statements provide a means for the academic community to describe the nature and characteristics of programmes in a specific subject or subject discipline. represent general expectations about standards for the qualifications at each level - the attributes and capabilities that those possessing qualifications should have demonstrated.

21 National Level Data for Benchmarking Key Information Sets – the items of information which students find most useful when making choices about which course to study Unistats League Tables The Guardian The Complete University Guide

22 Entry requirements Each university has different entry qualifications and requirements - minimum grade or total number of tariff points Some institutions take additional information into consideration, such as contextual data about school or postcode UCAS Tariff points held by students previously enrolled on the course.

23 Employment Data The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey Recent graduates - working, studying, looking for work or even travelling If employed, they supply job description and details of the company Survey - in two parts: an early survey covering all students who complete their course roughly six months after completing and a later survey of a sample of these respondents three and a half years (40 months) later on. 80% complete the early survey 40% complete the later survey


25 Full-time degree leavers entering employment by employment circumstances and occupation 2010/11

26 The National Student Survey (NSS) annual survey of final year university students canvassing their opinion about what they liked and did not like about their student learning experience during their time in higher education. statements are put to students who rate their university and course on a five-point scale from 'definitely disagree' to 'definitely agree'. The groups of statements cover topics such as: The teaching on my course Assessment and feedback Academic support Organisation and management Learning resources Personal development





31 Benchmarking at University level Identification of comparators Helps positioning in market environment Exposes strengths and weaknesses Institutional performance Data sets, performance indicators and measures Informs strategic planning Improvement Contextualises institutional performance What sort of institution do you want to be

32 What we do at London Met QAA Benchmarks Benchmarking

33 National QA standards (reference points) informed by international standards Quality culture promoted at national and institutional level  shared values and commitment to quality assurance and enhancement  structures to support this Institutional responsibility linked to senior executive All staff fully engaged in quality assurance and enhancement Quality Assurance at London Met General Principles

34 Institutional quality assurance and enhancement procedures, guidance and templates including: procedures for the approval, monitoring and periodic review of courses procedures for student engagement and public information guidance on enhancement Quality Manual

35 Course design in line with agreed benchmarks, frameworks and regulations Course Validation Course Performance Data / External Examiner and Student Comment Course Monitoring / Improvement Staff Development Course Review


37 Appointment of independent subject expert Sampling of student work to confirm standards Attendance at Course Performance Enhancement Meetings Submission of written report to the University University analysis of all External Examiner Reports at UGPG Committee External Examiners


39 Lessons Learned - Benchmarks Agreed national framework required Essential for standards assurance Independent scrutiny Comprehensive understanding in universities Use of external subject experts and employers Encouragement of good practice Openness and transparency Quality Culture

40 Lessons Learned - Benchmarking Supports student choice Data and information – accurate and available – often co-ordinated by external agencies Promotes accountability and helps safeguard public funds Supports sector improvement Drives enhancement across universities and within Supports efficiency across universities and within

41 Any questions?

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