The Academic Quality Handbook: Enhancing Higher Education in Universities and Further Education Colleges

The Academic Quality Handbook: Enhancing Higher Education in Universities and Further Education Colleges

The Academic Quality Handbook: Enhancing Higher Education in Universities and Further Education Colleges

The Academic Quality Handbook: Enhancing Higher Education in Universities and Further Education Colleges

Synopsis

Quality assurance and development issues constitute a major challenge to universities, academic managers and their staff, having a significant impact on the resources, administration and culture of a university. This book brings together best practice from the UK and around the world.

Excerpt

This book is intended as an introduction to the management of quality assurance and enhancement in higher education particularly in England. the text focuses on the relationship between institutional quality assurance and the auditing authority of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the qaa.

Although drawing heavily upon the 'quality infrastructure' agenda of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ), subject benchmark statements (SBSs), the qaa Code of Practice and the arrangements for institutional audit, the book seeks to look beyond this infrastructure to the fundamental features of robust quality assurance processes and effective quality enhancement arrangements.

The book is designed to be practical, accessible and a resource for staff development. Although it is not designed as a scholarly analysis of quality as a theoretical concept, or a review of empirical data relating to implementing quality initiatives, recent research and analyses are drawn on where relevant.

This book is intended for anyone with an interest in quality assurance in education, but will be particularly useful for course leaders, Departmental heads, administrators, educational developers, quality unit staff and senior managers looking to review and develop practice, systems and policies. I hope that this book will also be useful to those with an interest in staff development as it is designed to stimulate reflection and research into institutional practices, personal views on quality and the future of enhancement. This book would be particularly useful as a common discussion point for course teams, departments or new staff cohorts.

Quality assurance is a rapidly developing area. Some chapters and articles published as late as summer of 2002 still operate on the assumption that the primary methodology for review of provision by the qaa would be what was known as 'academic review'. This has been largely abandoned in favour of an institutional audit arrangement focused supposedly on a lighter touch and the promotion of enhancement. the arrangements for institutional audit published by the qaa in Spring 2002 now appear to be stable until 2006. But, as was seen in the implementation of comprehensive subject review the nuances and emphasis can change over time. in order to ensure that this text stays as relevant as possible in the current climate and to facilitate discussion and access to additional resources, a Web site has been established for this book. It can be found at: www.academicquality.com.

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