You may have not heard the terms 'quality assurance', 'academic quality', 'academic standards' before and now you have you may think they have nothing to do with you, however this page is here to explain what these terms mean and how they relate to you and your course.
'Quality' – This refers to how well Middlesex supports you in your learning and covers the following areas:
'Standards' refer to the level of achievement you need to succeed on your course and get your qualification. Standards should not vary from one higher education provider to another.
Having both quality and standards means that you and everyone else can have confidence in your degree and your education.
Quality assurance is therefore mainly about maintaining standards and ensuring students have the best possible experience at University or College. The University has a range of quality assurance processes and procedures which include the following:
You will mainly be familiar with Boards of study and with Student reps but getting involved means that your voice can be heard and the views of students are made central to the process.
Every year, students are elected to a role where they can represent the views of their fellow students to staff on their programme and to the university as a whole. Called Student Voice Leaders, these representatives play a crucial role in ensuring the views of students form a core part of the development of programmes and of the university. With support from the university, the Students' Union runs elections for Student Voice Leaders every year, and provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to carry out their role. You can find out more about the training and support given here.
Student Voice Leaders sit on Boards of Study – twice yearly meetings with staff from the programme (and others from the university) to discuss data from the programme and ways in which it can be improved. Minutes and Actions from Boards of Study are uploaded on MyLearning programme pages so you can see what is being discussed, what actions are being taken and when they are completed. You can find out who the Student Voice Leader is for your programme here:
Quality enhancement refers to how universities seek to continually review and improve quality and standards. By getting involved in quality assurance you can help to enhance the programmes we run and also the experience of students.
The OfS and QAA
The Office for Students (OfS) is the statutory regulator of higher education in England, who looks after the interest of students. They have designated a national body called the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency), with specific responsibility for academic quality, which has devised a national set of expectations around Quality and Standards which all Universities and Colleges must adhere to. They also review institutions to ensure that they are meeting these expectations.