As an institution, Newcastle University is now a member of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). The QAA has moved from a subscription to a membership model, offering various membership services which aim to:
- address sector-wide challenges including safeguarding degree standards
- maintain the tools to deliver the highest academic quality, including current and relevant standards and frameworks, such as the Quality Code for Higher Education and revised Subject Benchmark Statements
- advance UK higher education’s international leadership in quality assurance and enhancement through our strategic partnership work with agencies across the world
- provide an expert and independent voice on quality and standards.
As a member, we can be part of the Membership Advisory Group and network events, and will receive personalized updates on membership activities at an institutional level. Additionally, the University receives preferential rates for non-member QAA events and services such as the QAA annual conference, student engagement events, and the Data Matters.
In 2019/20 work that will be undertaken includes new Subject Benchmark Statements, in-country reports, viewpoints and research. Output on degree classification workshops, networking events, partnerships and the Membership Advisory Group will also be published.
Membership resources including case studies, webinars, materials, and reports can be accessed after registration (https://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/membership/resources). New outputs from membership work will be published here.
More information can be found on the QAA website: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/membership/qaa-membership
Updates to Subject Benchmark Statements
At the end of October 2019, QAA published first updates to Subject Benchmark Statements, starting with subjects in STEM and Humanities. These statements describe the academic standards expected of graduates in that subject area (what are students to know, do and understand at the end of their studies). The minor changes to the subject benchmark statements include a reflection of the 2018 Quality Code, and ensure that the QA’s subject level guidance is aligned with current HE reference points. As the changes were minor, no subject expert working groups were convened. The chair or a member of the previous advisory group confirmed any changes.
Similar updates to Subject Benchmark Statements will be made to all subjects.
A full list of updated Subject Benchmark Statements can be found here: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/news-events/news/updates-to-subject-benchmark-statements-in-stem-subjects