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Quality and standards

General principles for the management of quality and standards

The quality management systems at the University are underpinned by the following general principles:

  • continuous improvement of the student learning experience should be at the core of all the University’s quality assurance and enhancement activities
  • systems should be designed to satisfy the expectations of the different external regulators and accreditation bodies across the four UK nations, as well as fulfilling the University’s own requirements for quality and standards and enhancement.
  • quality assurance processes should include appropriate external involvement for the maintenance of academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities
  • quality assurance and enhancement should be fully embedded into the University’s organisational structures and processes but there should be scope for variation in practice between different faculties and units, with allowance for continual change and development.

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance refers to the processes for the monitoring and evaluation of learning and teaching to safeguard the academic standards of the University’s awards and to ensure the ongoing quality of the student learning experience (UK Quality Assurance Agency definition 2018).  

Quality Enhancement

The University uses the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) definition of quality enhancement as ‘using evidence to plan, implement and evaluate deliberate steps intended to improve the student learning experience’.  Enhancement may involve continuous improvement and/or more significant step-changes in policy and practice to improve the student learning experience and can be whole institutional change or innovation at programme or departmental level.