Thames Valley turns IT results around

January 20, 1995

The fifth unsatisfactory rating awarded so far by the Higher Education Funding Council for England's quality assessors has gone to Thames Valley University's computing degrees, but a follow-up visit has found that provision is now satisfactory.

The unsatisfactory rating was given on the basis of a visit in January 1994 which found low standards in BSc programmes: student discontent with computing and library resources, space for studying and staff contact: insufficient working laboratories and equipment provision for teaching staff: a management failure to communicate the essential role of scholarship in teaching to staff and inconsistencies in approach be-tween sites in Ealing and Slough.

Mike Fitzgerald, vice chancellor of the university, said: "We had the revisit before Christmas and have now been graded satisfactory. It was a full visit, not just looking at the areas they were unhappy with last time."

Dr Fitzgerald added: "This does not mean we think that everything is now fine. There are still areas of concern, particularly with more advanced work. We may hold back on some programmes at higher level while we get up to speed."

He said that the assessment process had been helpful. "It helped bring the staff together and they have responded very positively and worked very hard to bring about the necessary changes."

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