Promoting higher quality
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Subject Review Report
January 2002 Q562/2001
Salisbury College Business and Management Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Reviewing the Quality of Education
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) was established in 1997. It has responsibility for assessing the quality of higher education (HE) in England and Northern Ireland from 1 October 1997 under the terms of a contract with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The purposes of subject review are: to ensure that the public funding provided is supporting education of an acceptable quality, to provide public information on that education through the publication of reports such as this one, and to provide information and insights to encourage improvements in education. The main features of the subject review method are:
Review against Aims and Objectives
The aspects of provision are:
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Curriculum Design, Content and Organisation Teaching, Learning and Assessment Student Progression and Achievement Student Support and Guidance Learning Resources Quality Management and Enhancement.
Reviewers are academic and professional peers in the subject. Most are members of the academic staff of UK HE institutions. Others are drawn from industry, commerce, private practice and the professions.
Combination of Internal and External Processes
The HE sector in England and Northern Ireland is diverse. The HEFCE funds education in over 140 institutions of HE and 75 further education (FE) colleges. These institutions vary greatly in size, subject provision, history and statement of purpose. Each has autonomy to determine its institutional mission, and its specific aims and objectives at subject level. Subject review is carried out in relation to the subject aims and objectives set by each provider. It measures the extent to which each subject provider is successful in achieving its aims and objectives. Readers should be cautious in making comparisons of subject providers solely on the basis of subject review outcomes. Comparisons between providers with substantively different aims and objectives would have little validity.
Review of the Student Learning Experience and Student Achievement
The review method has two main processes:
Preparation by the subject provider of a selfassessment in the subject, based on the provider's own aims and objectives, and set out in the structure provided by the core set of aspects of provision. A three-day review visit carried out by a team of reviewers. The review team grades each of the aspects of provision to make a graded profile of the provision, and derives from that profile an overall judgement. Provided that each aspect is graded 2 or better, the quality of the education is approved.
Subject review examines the wide range of influences that shape the learning experiences and achievements of students. It covers the full breadth of teaching and learning activities, including: direct observation of classroom/seminar/workshop/ laboratory situations, the methods of reviewing students' work, students' work and achievements, the curriculum, staff and staff development, the application of resources (library, information technology, equipment), and student support and guidance. This range of activities is captured within a core set of six aspects of provision, each of which is graded on a four-point scale (1 to 4), in ascending order of merit.
In addition to individual review reports, the QAA will publish subject overview reports at the conclusion of reviews in a subject. The subject overview reports are distributed widely to schools and FE colleges, public libraries and careers services. Both the review reports and the subject overview reports are available in hard copy and are also on the world-wide web (see back cover for details).
Business and Management Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation, Sport and Tourism
1. This Report presents the findings of a review in January 2002 of the quality of education in business and management, and hospitality, leisure recreation, sport and tourism provided by Salisbury College. 2. Salisbury College is a centre for FE and HE, formed in 1992 with the amalgamation of Salisbury College of Technology and Salisbury College of Art and Design. It is positioned on the edge of the city and serves the people of South Wiltshire, North Dorset and West Hampshire. The College has recently acquired Tidworth College, some 15 miles from Salisbury. In 2001-02, the College enrolled 1,522 full-time (FT) and 15,168 part-time (PT) students, a total of 16,690 students. Of these, 270 FT and 219 PT students are on HE programmes. 3. The HND Hospitality Management and the HND Travel and Tourism Management are located within the Department of Food, Tourism and Leisure. There are 18 FT students on these two courses. The HNC Business is located within the Department of Professional Studies and there are 26 PT students on this course. The programmes are supported by 17.5 FT equivalent academic staff. 4.
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The following provision forms the basis of the review: HND Travel and Tourism Management (FT) HND Hospitality Management (FT) HNC Business/Business and Marketing (PT).
5. The statistical data in this Introduction are provided by the institution itself. The aims and objectives are presented overleaf. These also are provided by the institution.
The Aims and Objectives for Business and Management, and Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation, Sport and Tourism
The aims and objectives of the programmes under review are set out in the context of the College's Mission Statement:
2. Aims of HND in Hospitality Management The course aims to:
prepare students for a range of food provision and licensed trade management careers within the hospitality industry; provide the knowledge and skills which enable students to progress to graduate studies; provide specialist studies which reflect regional needs, particularly those of small and medium enterprises (SMEs); enable students to make an immediate contribution to skills shortages in the south-western region.
Support: The College will promote student welfare by providing a stimulating and supportive environment, creating opportunities for learners to be involved in their own development, enrichment and progression. Efficiency: The College will manage its resources efficiently to ensure value for money for the community and for students. Access: The College will strive to remove artificial barriers to learning by accessible entry, offering flexible programmes, promoting equal opportunities and outreach provision. Responsiveness: The College will develop and maintain provision to meet the identified needs of business and community by close liaison, research, partnership and collaboration. Opportunity: The College will help learners by providing a full range of educational opportunities by flexible relevant programmes and by widely publicising the opportunities available to learners. Quality: The College will strive for continuous improvement of quality of provision, recognising the needs of students and clients as of central importance in all our work.
3. Generic Objectives of HNC in Business/Business and Marketing and HND in Travel and Tourism Management On completion of the courses, students will be able to:
demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of the commercial environment, finance, legal aspects, marketing and management principles; apply the knowledge and specialist skills gained on the course in the work environment; develop and apply a range of common skills to assist in learning, improve personal performance and make a more effective contribution to the workplace; demonstrate an understanding of the contexts in which organisations function.
4. Specific Objectives of HND in Travel and Tourism Management On completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Generic Aims of HNC in Business/Business and Marketing and HND in Travel and Tourism Management Both courses aim to:
research and analyse a wide range of information about the travel and tourism industry; communicate effectively with colleagues and clients in order to solve a range of problems related to the travel and tourism industry; demonstrate a sound knowledge of computer applications used within the travel and tourism industry.
provide the knowledge and skills which enable progression to a range of administrative and management careers or to graduate studies; provide specialist studies which are directly relevant to individual vocational and professional interests; develop the range of skills and techniques, personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in working life; meet the changing needs of the relevant commercial environment.
5. Specific Objectives of HND in Hospitality Management On completion of the course, students will be able to:
apply the skills and knowledge gained in managing and developing food provision outlets in a competitive market with particular understanding of the financial, legal, promotional and entrepreneurial skills required by SMEs;
Business and Management Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation, Sport and Tourism
develop and apply a range of common skills to assist in learning, improving personal performance and making an effective contribution to the hospitality industry; demonstrate awareness of the key issues involved in managing and operating SMEs in a competitive market; communicate effectively with both colleagues and clients and use problem-solving techniques to support decision-making.
6. Specific Objectives of HNC in Business/Business and Marketing On completion of the courses, students will be able to:
apply the knowledge aquired through lectures, self study, assignments and class activities to a variety of business occupations and situations; communicate effectively with colleagues and clients using appropriate oral and written skills; analyse information collected from a variety of sources in order to assess validity, make decisions and draw conclusions.
Summary of the Review
6. The graded profile in paragraph 7 indicates the extent to which the student learning experience and achievement demonstrate that the aims and objectives set by the subject provider are being met. The tests and the criteria applied by the reviewers are these:
Aspects of provision
The grades awarded as a result of the review are:
Aspects of provision
Curriculum Design, Content and Organisation Teaching, Learning and Assessment Student Progression and Achievement Student Support and Guidance Learning Resources Quality Management and Enhancement
2 3 2 3 4 3
1. Curriculum Design, Content and Organisation 2. Teaching, Learning and Assessment 3. Student Progression and Achievement 4. Student Support and Guidance 5. Learning Resources 6. Quality Management and Enhancement.
Tests to be applied
8. The quality of education in business and management, and hospitality, leisure, recreation, sport and tourism at Salisbury College is approved.
To what extent do the student learning experience and student achievement, within this aspect of provision, contribute to meeting the objectives set by the subject provider? Do the objectives set, and the level of attainment of those objectives, allow the aims set by the subject provider to be met?
Scale points 1 The aims and/or objectives set by the subject provider are not met; there are major shortcomings that must be rectified. 2 This aspect makes an acceptable contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives, but significant improvement could be made.
The aims set by the subject provider are broadly met.
3 This aspect makes a substantial contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives; however, there is scope for improvement.
The aims set by the subject provider are substantially met.
4 This aspect makes a full contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives.
The aims set by the subject provider are met.
Business and Management Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation, Sport and Tourism
The Quality of Education
Curriculum Design, Content and Organisation
9. All the programmes under this review are constructed following Edexcel guidelines and carry Edexcel accreditation. The HND programmes require 16 units of full-time study over two years, and the HNC has 10 units of study taken over a two-year part-time period. In addition to the general HNC Business, the College also delivers a HNC named pathway in Business and Marketing. The latter allows students to specialise in a highly relevant and vocationally useful curriculum. 10. The subject-specialist content of each programme meets two stated aims; of preparation for careers in related industries, and of matching the needs of local industry. The currency and innovation of the programmes is enriched by visiting speakers, visits and the use of part-time lecturing staff who are currently working within relevant industries. In meetings, students commended the value of such input. Work experience is a compulsory part of HND Hospitality Management. Assignments are designed to draw on this experience, and the centre-devised workplace project promotes the integration of college-based learning and industrial practice. 11. Students on the HND programmes are offered the opportunity to take up additional industry-standard qualifications and have been offered a number of visits abroad. Take up of both qualifications and visits has been low in relation to the number of students. 12. The curriculum of the HND Hospitality Management has been designed in conjunction with Bournemouth University to allow direct progression on to year three of a degree programme, in accordance with the programme aims. 13. Low student numbers have impacted on curriculum organisation, for example, in creating the economic necessity to deliver years one and two of the HND Travel and Tourism Management together, and in the failure to offer optional choices to students, so limiting opportunities to meet individual vocational needs. In addition, the timetable of HND Hospitality Management has been condensed into two days to allow greater opportunities for students to obtain commercial employment. The reviewers found that these measures impact adversely on the acquisition of knowledge in a progressive way, and on the students' ability to develop evaluative and reflective skills.
14. There is no common procedural and regulatory framework for the three programmes and the reviewers found that the regulations of each lack completeness and transparency. For example, there are no statements on the extent of a student's entitlement to reassessment or its timing, on the penalties for plagiarism, or on the process of computing assignment grades into a single unit grade. 15. This aspect makes an acceptable contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives, but significant improvement could be made. The aims set by the subject provider are broadly met.
Curriculum Design, Content and Organisation: Grade 2.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
16. The course teams use a range of teaching and learning methods, some of which place an emphasis on the student as learner, supported by teaching and other resources. The teaching and learning approach generally promotes the relationship with the workplace, consistent with the vocational aims and objectives of the course. On the HNC programme, the staff have identified clearly the needs of mature returners to education, who often have non-traditional entry qualifications. The staff respond to these needs in a professional and supportive manner in their teaching styles and in the promotion of individual learning. 17. The reviewers observed a total of nine teaching and learning sessions, three from each programme. Detailed schemes of work are maintained for units. The best sessions were well paced and interactive, using a mix of informal lecture inputs, handouts, exercises and internet searching. They were often related to contemporary industrial practice. Lesson plans were generally implemented, and staff and students had a good rapport. Student feedback confirmed general satisfaction with teaching, and with the prompt response from the course management when, on rare occasions, teaching proved to be less than satisfactory. However, the reviewers considered that, in some cases, the intellectual demands made of the students were confined to lowerorder cognitive skills; essentially factual knowledge was emphasised, but solid conceptual and theoretical underpinnings and higher-order cognitive skills were not well evidenced. 18. Assessment is largely by written assignments that are used for both formative and summative purposes. The reviewers scrutinised a sample of student work covering 13 units. The number of assignments for a unit ranged from two to five, generally more on the HND courses. The reviewers and some students
consider the high volume of assessment impedes independent private study and does not promote autonomous learning. 19. The assignment tasks are generally clear and directly related to the learning outcomes. However, although a few assignments make appropriate demands, many are pitched at a lower level requiring breadth rather than depth of knowledge, at the expense of depth of understanding, analysis and evaluation. The written feedback on assignments was mostly of a very general nature and lacked formative guidance. However, staff and students confirmed that oral feedback is usually given for this purpose. Marking was generally consistent, but in some cases a high grade was awarded for work containing extensive reproduction of web pages. 20. The reviewers found areas of concern relating to the procedural and regulatory practices of assessment. These include the absence of evidence of internal verification of assignments, and the same assignment was given, exceptionally, to successive cohorts of students. Students said that it was possible for work submitted within the deadline to be improved following feedback, and then resubmitted for a higher mark. 21. This aspect makes a substantial contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives; however, there is scope for improvement. The aims set by the subject provider are substantially met.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: Grade 3.
Tourism Management are more likely to come from outside the locality than the students on the HND Hospitality Management. The HNC Business students are over 21 years and are mostly in current employment. Of these students, 40 per cent were accepted with relevant work experience in place of formal qualifications; the remainder have a variety of qualifications ranging from degrees to vocational certificates. 24. The College recognises that the HNC Business and the HND Hospitality Management show poor retention rates. The reviewers were advised that the distancelearning option for the HNC was withdrawn in 2001-02 because of this. During the period 1997 to 2000, 71 per cent of the HNC students gained the award, but only 17 per cent of the smaller group entering HNC Business and Marketing successfully completed. In 2000-01, 44 per cent of students withdrew from the first-year HNC course. Reasons for this included the academic demands of the course, a change in locality, and personal matters. In the HND Hospitality Management in 1999-2000, 44 per cent of entrants completed the award. Reasons for withdrawal included financial difficulties. All entrants to the HND Travel and Tourism Management in 2000 entered the second year of the course in 2001. 25. The proportion of Distinction grades for units in the HNC exceeded 20 per cent, but was low at around 2 per cent on the HNDs. However, nearly half of all assignments were awarded a Merit grade on these programmes. The reviewers found that few scripts showed evidence of full referencing of work, and there was little evidence of the use of either professional or academic journals. Demonstration of student achievement in terms of analysis, synthesis and evaluation was restricted as a result of assignment design. 26. Students completing the HNC reported that the qualification had been beneficial in gaining advancement within their employment. In the period 1997 to 2000, 70 per cent of those gaining the HND Hospitality Management (previously Hospitality and Catering) entered the hospitality industry. About one in six established their own business. The remaining 30 per cent progressed to degree-level study, in nearly every case with advanced standing. All such students successfully gained Second class honours degrees. 27. This aspect makes an acceptable contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives, but significant improvement could be made. The aims set by the subject provider are broadly met.
Student Progression and Achievement: Grade 2.
Student Progression and Achievement
22. The College recognises that all three programmes have a low ratio of applications to places, and that the number of entrants is also low. The ratio of applications to entrants for the HNC is close to 1:1. The number of entrants averaged 18 in the period 1998 to 2001. The HND Hospitality Management enrolled nine students in 1999 and again in 2001, but did not recruit in 2000. The application to entry ratio was 1.5:1 in 1999. The HND Travel and Tourism Management was offered for the first time in 2000, when it recruited nine students at an application to entry ratio of 1.2:1. In 2001, both applicants were enrolled. The College has initiated extended targeted marketing of the courses that is supported by entry into the UCAS system for the full-time programmes. 23. The entry profiles of students on the HND programmes are broadly similar, being mostly under 21 years, with GNVQ qualifications and of white, British origin. However, students on the HND Travel and
Business and Management Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Student Support and Guidance
28. The College's strategy for student support and guidance is firmly embedded in its mission statement. There is a comprehensive central student services unit that provides advice on financial matters, accommodation, careers, HE, learning support and childcare, in addition to personal counselling. An innovative development is the part-time job bureau that posts notices of local vacancies within the student services unit and on the student intranet. There is a wide range of documented information available in the unit. Students can access the service freely, and it is regularly staffed during evening sessions in support of part-time students. Where necessary, academic tutors can refer students for advice, and sessions are arranged for whole class groups to provide careers guidance. There are informative and useful college-wide handbooks for full and part-time students. 29. Admission arrangements are clearly laid down in college procedures for the full-time programmes. There is a comprehensive week-long induction programme for full-time students, which includes the diagnostic testing of communication, numeracy and information technology (IT) skills. This is used effectively to inform the planning of individual skill support. Learning support is available for students with special needs, for example, dyslexia. The HNC courses receive applications by telephone or form, and all students are interviewed. However, there are no documented criteria for personal attributes or skills to guide selection. A brief induction is carried out in the initial stages of the course, but no diagnostic testing is undertaken. The reviewers feel that there is scope for sharing good practice in these aspects with the HND programmes. 30. Meetings with students confirmed the reviewers' opinions that there is scope for improvement in all of the course handbooks. Course regulations are currently not transparent or understood by students. Information on both workloads and scheduling of assignments is not relayed to students in a systematic manner, and there is a lack of understanding about the assessment of common skills. In addition, the course handbooks could be used more effectively to promote the academic process by the inclusion of up-to-date reading lists and information on academic referencing. 31. All full-time students are allocated a personal tutor; for part-time students the course co-ordinator takes on this role. The College produces clear guidelines on the role of personal tutors, and documentation to promote widespread use of good practice. However, the reviewers found that not all tutors were following the guidelines on these programmes. For example, personal
development plans, to be agreed, reviewed and updated between the student and personal tutor, were not being systematically completed despite their potential benefits for raising achievement and retention rates. However, feedback from students demonstrated that they were satisfied with support received from personal tutors. 32. This aspect makes a substantial contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives; however, there is scope for improvement. The aims set by the subject provider are substantially met.
Student Support and Guidance: Grade 3.
33. The College has an effective learning support strategy that meets the needs of the HE curriculum. There is good informal communication between the staff responsible for learning support and the course teams to ensure the maintenance, replacement and enhancement of resources. 34. The library and open learning facilities are conveniently located in the Centre which has recently been refurbished and now affords independent access to students with disabilities through the use of low shelving and wide access ways. The opening hours meet the needs of both full and part-time students during term-time, being 0830 hours to 1945 hours on weekdays and 0900 to 1200 hours on Saturdays. Only daytime opening occurs during vacations. There are 20 computers available in the Centre, along with specialist CD-ROMs and videos with playback equipment. 35. In meetings, students reported satisfaction with the stock of those books recommended by course tutors. Materials for wider reading are selected by both course tutors and centre staff. There is a small supply of paper-based periodicals, but many journals are available electronically. Centre staff reported a decline in use of traditional research media, particularly textbooks, and students' work showed very limited evidence of use of textbooks and academic journals. 36. The teaching accommodation is generally good, and the management suite is well equipped. There is a dedicated suite of hospitality rooms, which provide realistic working environments for students. The purpose-built hotel facilities at the College's Tidworth Site also enhance the students' learning experience. A tourism base room has IT equipment and industry standard software, including the Galileo package. Students and staff create PowerPoint presentations. 37. In meetings, students expressed satisfaction with the IT OpenAccess Centre, with the technical support available there, and with the generous provision of
workstations. The College intranet contains a noticeboard, Students' Union information, course schemes and lesson notes. The latter features are particularly well developed in HND Travel and Tourism Management, and students with long commuting journeys to the College also commended them. The resource is being expanded through the use of Institute for Learning and Teaching champions among the academic staff. 38. There is a range of well-furnished and attractive restaurants and social areas available to all students. A dedicated HE residence is currently being built, which will provide additional learning facilities. 39. This aspect makes a full contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives. The aims set by the subject provider are met.
Learning Resources: Grade 4.
44. Although well-designed processes exist for monitoring activities such as internal verification and students' personal development, the reviewers found evidence that these are not being used systematically and that these failures are not being picked up by internal systems. 45. All staff have 10 days staff development each year, which is organised in two five-day blocks in each semester. All newly appointed staff have a mentor, in addition to the induction process. Some staff teaching on these programmes have recently been supported in studying for higher degrees. However, the College does not have a strategy to address the specific educational needs of HE teaching. For all full-time staff, there is an annual appraisal by their line manager that includes observation of teaching. 46. The self-assessment document provided a useful starting point. However, it lacks evaluation and critical reflection in several aspects of the provision. 47. This aspect makes a substantial contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives; however, there is scope for improvement. The aims set by the subject provider are substantially met.
Quality Management and Enhancement: Grade 3.
Quality Management and Enhancement
40. The College's quality assurance policy is actioned through a comprehensive system that is applied uniformly across all further and higher education provision. All college staff belong to a team quality review (TQR), which is responsible for the review and evaluation of their own provision. TQR teams complete six reports during the year and compile an annual self-assessment report (SAR) each July. 41. The scope of the SAR is wide and highly relevant and is based on a range of evidence that includes student questionnaires, external liaison, external verifiers' reports and achievement data. The reviewers found these reports to be conducive to self-evaluation and to the formulation of effective action plans. 42. Student opinion is gathered through biannual questionnaires, and for the full-time students through representation in some course team meetings. The reviewers found potential for the loss of student confidentiality as these meetings are also used to discuss individual progress, and they recommend separating the monitoring and review process from course management issues. Student opinion is further augmented by information from the Students' Council and informally through the personal tutorial system. In HNC Business, staff-student consultation is carried out informally only by the course tutor. There is clear evidence that student opinion is acted upon. 43. The external verifiers' reports are seen by the Principal and then disseminated to the course teams. Action has resulted from these reports, for example, in improving feedback to students, making learning outcomes clearer and updating assignments.
48. The quality of education in business and management, and hospitality, leisure, recreation, sport and tourism at Salisbury College is approved. All aspects make at least an acceptable contribution to the attainment of the stated objectives and the aims are at least broadly met. The reviewers come to this conclusion, based upon the review visit together with an analysis of the self-assessment and additional data provided. 49. The positive features of the education in business and management, and hospitality, leisure, recreation, sport and tourism in relation to the aspects of provision include the following: a Subject-specialist content of the curriculum that is well matched to industrial requirements and regional employment needs (paragraph 10).
b. Active engagement with the relevant industries through work experience, visiting speakers, the use of practitioners as part-time lecturers and the collegeowned hotel (paragraphs 10; 36). c. The effective identification and support of the learning needs of mature returners to education (paragraph 16).
Business and Management Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation, Sport and Tourism
d. The wide variety of teaching methods across all programmes, with extensive use of current industrial software in HND Travel and Tourism Management (paragraphs 17; 36). e. The high progression rate by completers to higherlevel employment and degree-level study (paragraph 26). f. A highly effective and comprehensive central student support unit (paragraph 28). g. The information technology OpenAccess Centre, with technical support and extensive software (paragraph 37). h. Frequent Team Quality Review meetings, which can quickly identify arising issues and initiate action (paragraph 40). 50. The quality of education in business and management, and hospitality, leisure, recreation, sport and tourism could be improved by addressing the following issues: a. The adverse impact of low student numbers on standard delivery patterns and student choice (paragraph 13; 22). b. The absence of a complete and consistent set of course regulations (paragraphs 14; 30). c. The need for teaching and assignment design to promote the effective achievement of higher-order intellectual skills (paragraphs 17; 19). d. The low retention rates in the HND Hospitality Management (paragraph 24). e. The limited scope and currency of the course handbooks (paragraph 30). f. The need for the systematic use of the personal development plans in tutorials (paragraph 31). g. The need to monitor the consistent implementation of quality assurance and enhancement systems (paragraph 44).