ELIR (Enhancement-led Institutional Review) is one of the five pillars of the university sector's Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF) of 2003. It refers to external reviews of every university, undertaken every four years by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.  ELIR cycle 4 ran between 2017-2022 and it is the final cycle under those quality arrangements.  You can find out more about ELIR on the QAA Scotland website.

As with the quality arrangements in colleges, the quality landscape in universities is also being reviewed as recommended by the SFC Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability. After the end of ELIR 4, transition arrangements are in place for academic year 2021-22. As part of these arrangements, universities will host two institutional liaison meetings with QAA, to provide assurance to SFC on the quality of learning provision. The first liaison meetings took place between October 2021 and February 2022; the second liaison meetings will take place between March and June 2022, with students’ associations required to attend the meetings.

There is much that students - particularly senior student officers with education remits - can do before, during and after the liaison meetings, and sparqs offers support in this.

We can provide a bespoke session to student officers in universities that are preparing for the meetings, as well as more detailed consultancy support where required.

sparqs has also provided support by delivering informative sessions during SESN and NEON meetings, keeping students’ associations up-to-date with any changes and news from QAA, and encouraging students' associations to get in touch with their quality teams. Among relevant materials to prepare for the liaison meetings, previous materials used for ELIR reviews are still relevant, such as QAA's ‘Preparing for Enhancement-led Institutional Review’ guidance, providing advice for institutions on how to approach ELIR, and the ELIR Cycle 4 practice guide for students' association reps and staff, published by sparqs. 

There is more information about the review of the Quality Enhancement Framework on our Quality Arrangements webpage.

For more information, please contact Gloria Laurini.

Student Engagement Framework

National Education Officers’ Network meeting

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Student Engagement Staff Network meeting

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