Letter: Back foreign affairs

February 22, 2002

I was concerned to learn that the future of the Quality Assurance Agency's programme of overseas review visits might be in question. ("QAA role 'essential' overseas", THES , February 15).

This work plays a significant role in supporting the United Kingdom's international activities in education. As the Australians are learning to their cost, the lack of adequate quality assurance procedures for overseas-delivered programmes can lead to negative perceptions of this.

Overseas governments and organisations frequently seek reassurance from the British Council regarding the credi-bility of UK institutions delivering programmes in their country. It is so easy to be able to point them to the QAA website, show them the assessment criteria and refer to the reports of review visits.

Such a transparent approach is important. About 200,000 students are enrolled on programmes outside the UK. Please support the QAA in its international endeavours.

Neil Kemp
The British Council

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