QAA confidence

May 28, 2004

Your article on the Quality Assurance Agency's report on Sheffield University was misleading and its sensationalist headline totally unwarranted ("Sheffield degree criteria slated", May 14).

Contrary to the impression you may have given, the QAA report finds no evidence of inconsistent degree classification decisions but recommends action to eliminate any risk of them in future, even though the particular issue arose for only four of Sheffield's 24,000 students in 2003. The QAA was satisfied that no student had been disadvantaged.

Institutional audit reports always contain recommendations for improvements. Contrary to your assertion, the report gives Sheffield an unqualified judgement of "broad confidence", the best of the three classifications used.

Bob Boucher
Vice-chancellor, Sheffield University

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