Watchdog criticises Aberystwyth over partnerships

Aberystwyth University has been given a "limited confidence" judgement by the Quality Assurance Agency over how it handles certain partnerships with other institutions.

October 5, 2012

A QAA report says the university does not have a "sound framework" for managing its collaborative provision, and is "not operating with appropriate regard to national guidance".

The institutional review, carried out in April and May this year, does however express "confidence" in the academic standards of awards and quality of learning opportunities at Aberystwyth.

The university offers three awards through partners in the UK, and has eight partnership agreements with institutions overseas.

According to a statement from the QAA, the university "should produce and implement a comprehensive procedural guide for collaborative partnership provision".

It adds that Aberystwyth "also needs to ensure that programme specifications published on the web are complete and current, and that the information published by both the university and its partners about collaborative provision is accurate".

John Grattan, pro vice-chancellor at Aberystwyth, said the institution looked "forward to demonstrating that the university has robust processes for collaborative activity".

"An international partnerships manager has been appointed, and a collaborative provision and partnerships committee has been established under my chairmanship, which will ensure this," he added.

He described the range of the university's collaboration provision as "extremely limited".

The report comes just over a year after the University of Wales ended its large-scale international validation business after a BBC investigation uncovered alleged fraud at a linked college.

The QAA published critical reviews in 2011 and 2010 into certain partnerships that the University of Wales had forged with overseas colleges.

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