Letter (1):Real quality versus self-interest

September 28, 2001

The Russell Group's draft response to consultative plans for a new quality assurance regime for England does not appear to be an attempt to torpedo the consultation as your report "Russell elite go for jugular of ailing QAA" (THES, September 21) implies. Such an attempt would be very unwise.

The consultation document is, as the Russell Group paper rightly points out, technically flawed. But it does place the main responsibility for quality assurance where it belongs - with the institutions and their quality systems.

It can also potentially provide students and other external stakeholders with more substantial and reliable information about what institutions are trying to achieve for their students and how successful they are at achieving it than has previously been the case.

With the Quality Assurance Agency very clearly "under new management", the consultation document represents the best chance in nearly ten years to achieve a stable external quality regime.

The sector would be mad to destroy it.

Roger Brown


Southampton Institute of Higher Education

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