Engaged? Quite

May 15, 2014

Graham Gibbs is absolutely correct to suggest that organisations such as the Quality Assurance Agency need to be clear and informed in their student engagement activity (“Looking beyond the buzzword”, News, 1 May).

For the QAA, there are two main thrusts to our work in this area: motivating students to engage in learning and to learn independently, and equipping them with the tools and opportunities to engage in quality assurance and enhancement, resulting in the improvement of their own educational experience.

Student engagement is shot through the core of the QAA. We have two students on our board of directors, a high-level student advisory board that regularly holds us to account, a student reviewer on the team for all our main review methods, and student involvement in the development of subject benchmarks.

This is a fast-moving area, and it is vital that organisations such as the QAA keep pace with developments. To that end, we recently commissioned new primary research from the University of Bath on the latest practice in student engagement. I would recommend the research and accompanying good practice guide to anyone working in this area.

Student engagement may well be getting more attention than ever before but, for the QAA at least, it is not a case of the latest fad. Rather, it is about recognising that, to assure the quality of UK higher education, students themselves must be genuine partners in everything we do. It is not always easy to achieve, but we think it is absolutely worth the effort.

Chris Taylor
Engagement manager
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together