Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Jobs Intelligence - It's Still All about Quality, but Now with Extra Dimensions

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Jobs Intelligence - It's Still All about Quality, but Now with Extra Dimensions

Article excerpt

The head of the QAA tells Jack Grove what the agency is seeking in its new director of quality development.

Not too long ago, higher education institutions overseen by the Quality Assurance Agency had fairly limited contact with it, often only a nervy institutional review every six years.

With the rapid changes to the higher education landscape in recent years, that is no longer the case.

And that upheaval has been felt in the agency as well. Its client base has tripled in size. About 200 private providers now undergo various types of educational audit, often with annual monitoring to determine their ability to recruit international students, and some 200 further education colleges fall under the standards watchdog's purview as well.

The nature of engagement with the 140 or so traditional universities and university colleges has also changed. The QAA now asks subscribers to focus on "enhancing" student education rather than just guaranteeing minimum standards.

In light of all this, the departure of the director of research, development and partnerships will lead to a slight change to the role.

As advertised last week in Times Higher Education, the QAA is seeking a director of quality development, based in its Gloucester offices, to replace Jayne Mitchell, who is leaving to become deputy vice-chancellor for academic affairs at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln.

The new role will have a greater emphasis on ensuring that the different types of QAA customers receive the appropriate training and advice, said Anthony McClaran, the body's chief executive.

"The new groups of subscribers may want different things, such as training and development activities related to further education or alternative providers," said Mr McClaran, who anticipates many more private providers becoming full QAA subscribers in the near future.

"We want to make sure that our services reflect our much broader base of subscribers," he said. …

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