Respond to students, urge new HEQC guidelines

November 29, 1996

Revised Higher Education Quality Council guidelines for universities and colleges on quality assurance and control call on institutions to respond effectively to the expectations detailed in various national student charters.

Institutions should also develop a means for identifying complaints and grievances, and in cases where complaints are upheld, should "take action to offer individual redress and/or to change current systems or practices".

Staff, students and other higher education stakeholders, should all have opportunities for representation so they can contribute to the quality assurance process, the guidelines say.

The revised guidelines replace the first edition issued by the HEQC two years ago, and cover quality principles, policy considerations, practical implications and examples of current practice.

The HEQC has added new sections on teaching and learning, student communication and representation, and collaborative provision.

Other sections, such as those giving advice on external examining and research degree students, have been considerably revised in the light of recent research work by the HEQC through its academic standards programme.

Roger Brown, HEQC chief executive, said the revised guidelines provided an overview on "matters which impact upon the student experience". They would be among the reference points used in quality audits.

Guidelines on Quality Assurance, available from the Distribution Department, UCAS, Fulton House, Jessop Avenue, Cheltenham, price Pounds 15.

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