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Staff and student officers conference: institutional audit
Wednesday 28.08.02, UUK Woburn House


1       ISSUES RAISED by SU officers and staff

Issue                     Potential solutions offered by participants (SU
                          officers and staff)
1. Student & SU            QAA to avoid SU officer handover time eg for visit
involvement/timing           (ie June/July)
                           QAA to avoid exam periods and vacations
                           QAA to provide SUs and students adequate time for
                             preparation (eg collecting student feedback; run up
                             to visit)
                           QAA to provide support/information to SU on
                             visit/process/outcomes etc.

2. Scarce resources          QAA/NUS report/document template to prepare 10-
for obtaining student         15 page SU/student submission
feedback                     NUS to provide materials on obtaining student
                              feedback for QAA SU/student submission; and
                              reporting back
                             Lobby university to recognise the merits of student
                              involvement (eg enhancement purposes) – the QAA
                              continuation audit process can be used as a tool for
                              change ie lobbying for a better course rep system eg

3. Student selection         Should be elected student reps
                             QAA Information needs to be sent directly to SU to
                              named facilitator/co-ordinator
                             SU to manage the recruitment of reps to be
                              interviewed by QAA
                             Provide academic recognition
                             Focus groups
                             Mini-survey
                             Involve campaign groups/clubs/societies
                             Use different methods of involvement (eg online)

4. Continuity (eg SU         Rolling annual continuing programme embedded within
officer handover)             institution, so that 6-year visits part of management
                              process
2      BACKGROUND INFORMATION: NUS’ successes on the approach to
       institution-level audit



NUS is glad that the following four specific NUS suggestions have been accepted
and adopted in the new QAA institutional audit process:



1. Preliminary visit: “audit visit   That the students’ union has the opportunity
minus not less than 36 weeks”        to contribute to the preliminary meeting
(ie about 9 months before visit      between the Agency and the institution.

2. Student submission: “audit        That the students’ union be given the
visit minus 18 weeks”                opportunity to deliver a written submission to
                                     the QAA in advance of the audit visit.

3. Briefing visit:                   That audit teams will hold meetings with
audit visit minus five weeks         student representatives.



4. Audit visit                       That student representatives be interviewed
                                     as a separate group during the visit.




For further information refer to the following publications:

NUS      Quality Assurance Response                      October 2001

NUS      Information Response                            December 2001

NUS      Draft Institutional Response                    June 2002

NUS      Better Regulation Task Force Response           June 2002
QAA   Handbook for institutional     July 2002    Pay particular attention to:
      audit: England                              Annex A: Outline of the
                                                  institutional audit process;
                                                  Annex D: Written
                                                  submission from students;
                                                  Annex E: Information
QAA   Interim arrangements           July 2002    Details developmental
                                                  engagements which will
                                                  occur between 2002-3 &03-
                                                  04 for those universities
                                                  who are not having an audit,
                                                  or a subject review, over
                                                  2002-03
QAA   Codes of Practice

         Postgraduate research      Jan 1999     PAY PARTICULAR
          programmes                              ATTENTION TO THE
                                                  PRECEPTS –
         Collaborative provision    July 1999    EXPECTATIONS THE QAA
                                                  PLACES ON
         Students with              Oct 1999     INSTITUTIONS
          disabilities

         External examining         Jan 2000

         Academic appeals and       March 2000
          student complaints on
          academic matters

         Assessment of students     May 2000

         Programme approval,        May 2000
          monitoring and review

         Career, education,         Jan 2001
          information and guidance

         Placement Learning         Aug 2001

         Recruitment &              Sept 2001
          Admissions
HEFCE    Information on quality and     March 2002   HEFCE have commissioned a
         standards in higher                         report on institutional and
         education: Final Report of                  national feedback systems.
         the Task Group (02/15) –                    The report is due end 2002.

         often referred to as the
         Cooke Report after the
         group’s chair, Professor Sir
         Ron Cooke

Finally, DON’T FORGET TO LOOK AT YOUR OWN INSTITUTION’S PAST
SUBJECT REVIEW AND AUDIT REPORTS – A MINE OF INFORMATION FOR
AREAS THAT NEEDED IMPROVEMENT & GOOD PRACTICE.

Useful websites:
HEFCE www.hefce.ac.uk
NUS      www.nusonline.ac.uk
QAA      www.qaa.ac.uk

				
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