QAA Meeting Report
On Wednesday 7 May I attended the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)’s offices with Janet Faulkner (dean of HE) and Sarah Wilson (HE academic registrar). If you’re wondering what the QAA and what they do then you’re not alone. Before this event I had no idea but it shall all, hopefully, become clear.
QAA are essentially the HE college/university’s equivalent of OFSTED. They monitor and review the progress and standards of institutions that award or teach level 4 or higher courses. Leeds City College have their review coming up in March 2016 and if you’ve ever wanted to take control of your education now is your chance.
The meeting I attended in Gloucester set out the rough schedule of what we can expect from QAA’s review process and here’s what I learnt:
● A member of the college (the Facilitator) will produce a self-evaluation document which sets out how the college functions and what it does to meet national standards. It also talks about areas for improvement and what the do well.
● At the same time as the self-evaluation document is being made I will be working with other students as the Lead Student Representative to produce a student submission.
● Once the self-evaluation document and student submissions have been sent to QAA they will be analysed and a review committee will be formed to visit Leeds City College.
● During the meeting QAA will meet with staff and students to explore the points raised in the submission documents.
● After the meeting they will publish a report which will form the basis for Leeds City College’s action plan for improvement.
The student submission is extremely important as it tells QAA what studying at Leeds City College is like and it is your chance to make a difference. The document will cover the following:
● The structure of the student body.
● What students think about how the college sets and maintains the level of its qualifications, what opportunities students have in order to achieve their qualification, what information is publicly available about student opportunities and if it is accurate, and what the college is doing to improve.
● Make recommendations on the above points.
As a whole the QAA event was well coordinated with useful information and resources. My main criticism was that certain information aimed at Facilitators was slightly difficult to understand but Janet and Sarah were very helpful at explaining certain points to me and answering my questions. I could have done without the six hours travel though!
If you’re interested in volunteering to help with the student submission please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily put your name forward and answer any questions.