The Times Higher has carried stories about the Quality Assurance Agency's criticisms of the two great federal universities, London and Wales. In each case, auditors questioned how far the university exercised effective control over the standards of its constituent institutions' awards. The same issues were raised by the Higher Education Quality Council's audits of these universities a decade ago.
There is a simple solution. Institutions that apply for and obtain degree-awarding powers - against criteria that are more rigorous than those applied at audit - should be required to use them.
Southampton Solent University
Former chief executive, Higher Education Quality Council