Tag Archives: QAA

QAA news

Membership

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

Scotland’s QAA Focus on Student Transitions

Using the findings of a recent project focused on student transitions, Scotland’s QAA will build resources to help students with transitions at University, from a sense of ‘belonging’ to their institution to the development of graduate skills.

The project, led by Dr Ming Cheng, a Lecturer in the Academic Development Unit at the University of Glasgow, examined models of transition and their applicability to HE.

The study’s findings and a range of resources are available online.

The aim was to provide students and staff with resources to help them to gain an insight into these processes but also to highlight transition, and a continuing process of change, as an inherent part of the University experience for students.

The project formed part of QAA’s Scotland’s Student Transitions Enhancement Theme.

The work is likely to feed into future projects looking at how transitions skills can be beneficial at university but also in alter life.

In recent years a variety of institutions and research bodies have been focusing on student transitions, as a way of improving students’ experiences at and after University, both academically and personally.

These transitions also take into account the movement from school, college or work to University and can contribute to processes of recruitment and widening participation.

At Newcastle this has led to the appointment of a Transitions Officer in Computing Science, who helps undergraduates and postgraduates to adjust as they move through the different levels of their academic courses and out into the world of work.

Are you doing research into student transitions at Newcastle? Tell us about it: ltds@ncl.ac.uk or @ncllt.