5 Mar 2012

A New QAA Code of Practive for Student Engagement

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has launched a consultation on guidance to help higher education providers engage their students in quality assurance.

The guidance will form part of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (the Quality Code).

QAA’s Cathy Kerfoot said:

“Students are developing as active partners in their education, not just passive learners. This Chapter of the Quality Code will help providers develop their procedures to include opportunities for students to participate in quality assurance processes in a meaningful way. We recognise that, ultimately, it’s down to each individual student to decide how much he or she wants to take part in procedures for quality assurance. However, we would encourage providers to create an environment that encourages students to participate, making it easier for students that want to play a greater role in quality processes to get involved.”

The Quality Code gives all higher education providers a shared starting point for setting, describing and assuring the academic standards of their higher education awards and programmes and the quality of the learning opportunities they provide.

sparqs has been a member of the advisory group putting together the first draft of the chapter. This has been an interesting process given the differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK in terms of student engagement. We feel it is extremely important that Scottish students and staff contribute to this consultation as Scotland may well have strong opinions in relation to some aspects. For example, the inclusion of reference to working in ‘partnership’ with students was controversial within the drafting process and is subject to further discussion.

Links to the consultation document, background information and guidance about how to respond can be found at: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Newsroom/Events/Pages/student-engagement-consultation.aspx

For further information contact Eve Lewis, Head of sparqs, at eve.lewis@sparqs.ac.uk

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