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Outcomes from institutional audit: specialist institutions

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
Publication Date
  • Education


Outcomes QAA116.qxd Outcomes from institutional audit Specialist institutions © The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education 2006 All QAA's publications are available on our website Printed copies of current publications are available from: Linney Direct Adamsway Mansfield NG18 4FN Tel 01623 450788 Fax 01623 450629 Email [email protected] Registered charity number 1062746. Summary This paper identifies 'specialist institutions' with reference to their missions. On this basis, of the 70 institutional audit reports published by November 2004, 24 relate to such specialist institutions. Consideration of these reports shows that, in general, they are satisfactorily managing academic standards and the quality of the provision they make available to students. Features of good practice were observed in all 24 reports. They included strengths in the systems for assuring standards and quality; in the processes for approving, monitoring and reviewing the educational provision; in the use of external reference points such as the Academic Infrastructure developed by QAA on behalf of the higher education sector in the UK; in the representation of students' views and the use of feedback from students, graduates and employers; in arrangements to assure the quality of teaching staff; in the use of resources to support learning; and in the provision of academic guidance and personal support. Good practice was most clearly to be seen in the ways the institutions provide academic guidance and personal support to their students. To some extent the small size of many of the specialist institutions and the friendly atmosphere they were able to cultivate helped to sustain a high level of support for students, but it was apparent also that the growing diversity of the student population was providing challenges that, in several of these institutions, were being met successfully. There was also good practice in the development of frameworks for managing the academic

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