Successful scrutiny

August 9, 2002

The article about the Quality Assurance Agency audit of Luton University in March 2001 lacked balance and objectivity ("Luton told to raise its game in quality row", THES , August 2).

The QAA report stated: "On the balance of the evidence available, there can be general confidence in the university's strategy for assuring the quality of its provision". The disagreement related solely to whether we had responded adequately to our examination auditor's advice. We were commended on our "initiative in exposing (our) examination procedures to the scrutiny of an independent examinations auditor": few other universities have done so. The QAA also notes that "for the most part the system proceeds smoothly".

There is no question that any external examiner put their name to anything they were unhappy with. It is hardly novel that there was some initial variance of views on the part of two external examiners.

The audit acknowledges our "strong record of achievement in QAA subject reviews". Our past six reviews were rated excellent. This is why the QAA accorded "light touch" status to Luton before subject assessment was discontinued.

Dai John
Vice-chancellor
Luton University

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