THE COMMITTEE of Vice-Chancellors and Principals has signalled for the first time its support for a direct link between judgements of quality and funding.
In a "statement of intent" on standards and quality issued after a CVCP council meeting last week, vice-chancellors agreed to support funding council plans to introduce a more direct quality/funding link and to "take account of national priorities".
The statement, which is likely to form the basis of the CVCP's response to the QAA's proposals for a new system, says public funding should be withdrawn from any course that fails to meet new benchmark standards.
Recognised high quality, on the other hand, should be used as evidence in support of bids from institutions for extra funding to back innovation and experimentation in teaching and learning.
"Such bids would be supported by evidence, drawing on, for example, internal and external quality review reports, especially those of the QAA and, where relevant, separate professional and statutory bodies - or on other externally-provided information," it says.
The CVCP says the QAA should give priority to designing and piloting a system of monitoring new benchmark threshold standards and creating a pool of registered external examiners.
Measures are now also needed to make more explicit and more generally understood both the aims and the standards of courses. This needs to be reflected in the way in which the content of individual programmes and the level of their achievements are reported.
Proposals for a new national qualifications framework for higher education would help clarify course objectives and students' achievements. Institutions should indicate clearly the minimum standard of education a student can expect through gaining a particular qualification.