Quality assessment assured

July 16, 2015

The Higher Education Funding Council for England welcomes Roger Brown’s contribution to the debate about future approaches to quality assessment (“A watchdog is for life”, Opinion, 9 July). The consultation recently published by the funding bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland aims to stimulate a wide-ranging discussion.

We are encouraged by his support for our proposals for approaches that are sensitive to the context of an individual institution. We also agree with his emphasis on the importance of providing better assurances to students and other stakeholders about the broad comparability of academic output standards. And, of course, reducing unnecessary bureaucracy is a key component of our proposals. We look forward to debating these and the other issues raised by Brown over the coming weeks and months.

We do, however, wish to be clear that in relation to Hefce’s involvement, our consultation proposals are located securely within Hefce’s powers for quality assessment as set out in Section 70 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The act’s use of the term “quality of education” is capable of broad interpretation, and Hefce’s work with Universities UK and GuildHE in 2010 confirmed that the funding council has a legitimate interest, as part of its statutory duty, in the arrangements adopted by autonomous degree-awarding bodies for setting and maintaining their academic standards.

Susan Lapworth
Registrar
Higher Education Funding Council for England

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
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest