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					Enhancing Reputation and Supporting Growth

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                  Enhancing Reputation and Supporting Growth

1. Introduction
       Quality Enhancement (QE) in higher education is a deliberate process of change
       that leads to improvement. Enhancing something is fundamentally about trying to
       make the world a better place and succeeding in this enterprise … It is an inclusive
       concept and a collective enterprise. It involves everyone who teaches, supports
       and guides students and the managers and administrators of HE institutions. It
       includes significant strategic initiatives and the many small things that people do to
       try to make things better.

              From the Higher Education Academy website at

In the last version (2002) of the Strategy for Quality Enhancement, Napier set out its strategy for
delivering excellence through critical self-evaluation leading to a culture of continuous quality
enhancement. Since this time, we have continued to operate a devolved quality model that aims to
embed a quality focus into all our activities. To promote consistency in practice and approach and
engender greater understanding of individual and university roles and responsibilities in meeting the
quality agenda, we have published and extended the Quality Framework (available at The framework builds on the earlier Quality
Handbook and clearly aligns quality enhancement with quality assurance. To this end, the
framework not only sets out clear procedures and processes but also provides a wide range of
academic guidance on quality issues and information for students. Consistency in practice and
approach has also been promoted through the successful establishment of the Quality Forum and
the Faculty Quality Managers Forum.

These improvements to the management and delivery of quality, the recent articulation of Napier’s
key priorities within the Strategic Plan: Creating the Future: Napier towards 2010 and the outcomes
from the QAA Enhancement Themes mean that it is now an appropriate time to review the strategy
for quality enhancement.

Consequently this revised strategy has been developed to:

   a. contribute to the university’s strategic objectives
   b. articulate Napier’s approach to achieving high quality learning through the design and
      development, delivery and management, and review and evaluation of its educational
   c. enhance student achievement and the student experience generally
   d. further integrate quality enhancement and quality assurance, thereby balancing lightness of
      touch with security of standards
   e. clarify roles and responsibilities for delivering to the strategy
   f. help staff to make sense of the quality agenda and how it relates to their own area of work
   g. establish quality indicators so that we can measure our success against targets
   h. extend our formal quality processes to include all aspects of our educational provision
      including CPD
   i. explicitly align to Napier’s Strategy for Learning, Teaching and Assessment
   j. reflect the significant developments in our and the sector’s thinking around the quality

The design of the presentation of this strategy is deliberate to allow staff to engage with it in one or
two page sections as well as a whole.

NAPIER UNIVERSITY’S STRATEGY for QUALITY ENHANCEMENT 2005                                              1
                 Enhancing Reputation and Supporting Growth

2. Aims of the Quality Enhancement Strategy
1.     To strengthen Napier’s reputation for providing high quality learning that:
       a. is student-focused and flexible
       b. enhances students’ employability
       c. is valued by students, employers, professional bodies and the community
       d. contributes to the Scottish vision for a high quality HE sector.

2.     To support the achievement and delivery of the University’s strategic goals.

3.     To further embed within Napier a culture of critical self-evaluation leading to continuous
       quality enhancement and management of risk.

4.     To assure standards through rigorous self-regulation and review, the effective use of
       external reference points and appropriate peer and student involvement in review
       processes at all levels.

3. Commitments
Napier University is committed to achieving the aims of the Quality Enhancement Strategy by:

1.     Focusing on three main quality perspectives:
       a. an assurance perspective whereby academic standards are verified and our
          commitment to students is honoured
       b. an enhancement perspective whereby Napier’s vision is realised through critical self-
          evaluation and programmes and teaching which are imaginative and forward looking
       c. a customer care perspective, where Napier listens and responds to the student voice;
          respects and embraces diversity; encourages student engagement with quality
          processes; and ensures that systems are in place to responded appropriately to issues

2.     Valuing quality enhancement as an integral component of effective learning and teaching
       and recognising that the expertise and commitment of all staff is critical to realising the

3.     Creating and maintaining internal structures for the effective development, delivery and
       evaluation of high quality learning and ensuring that responsibility for decision-taking is
       located at the most effective and efficient point.

4.     Making use of relevant external and internal points of reference to inform and support our
       approach to quality enhancement.

5.     Contributing to external initiatives including the Funding Council’s programme of quality
       enhancement engagements.

6.     Improving the flow of quality-related information into and within the University, ensuring the
       effective dissemination of good practice.

7.     Identifying appropriate SMART targets, defined by outcome rather than process wherever
       possible and contributing to the drive for the better achievement of students.

8.     Supporting Napier’s capacity to respond to new challenges and promoting greater
       collaboration and co-operation across and between institutions.

                 Enhancing Reputation and Supporting Growth

4. What does this mean for staff?
Staff will contribute to the implementation of the Quality Enhancement Strategy by:

1.     Designing and delivering high quality and relevant educational experiences that
       motivate and enthuse their students and engage them in their subject.

2.     Creating and delivering an excellent student experience by:
       a. critically reflecting on the student experience and achievement and how it can be
       b. gathering and responding to student feedback on learning, teaching and assessment
          activities specifically and the student experience generally
       c. incorporating equity and fairness into the design, delivery and assessment of
          educational experiences and its support structures and activities
       d. ensuring students receive prompt and constructive feedback on performance and
          personal development
       e. working collaboratively with others across boundaries
       f. identifying, sharing and embedding good practices.

3.     Demonstrating academic leadership as lecturers, module leaders, programme leaders etc.

4.     Adhering to quality procedures as set out in the Quality Framework and using the academic
       guidance strand of the Framework as appropriate.

5.     Actively participating in relevant staff development opportunities.

6.     Developing a capacity for academic research and scholarship which informs the content
       and quality of modules and programmes and they way in which they are delivered.

7.     Engaging with and contributing to the wider HE agenda.

5. What does this mean for students?
Students will contribute to the implementation of the Quality Enhancement Strategy by:

1.     Taking an increasingly proactive and responsible role for their own learning, including:
       a. providing feedback to staff on their learning experience
       b. using feedback to self-assess and improve their own future performance
       c. engaging in activities that enhance their employability
       d. raising issues related to their learning appropriately as they arise
       e. attending lectures, tutorials and other relevant activities as appropriate.

2.     Participating in Napier’s quality structures and processes, such as:
       a. acting as Programme Representatives and contributing to student/staff liaison
       b. completing student satisfaction surveys and other feedback surveys
       c. accepting that any work submitted by them adheres to university advice and policy on
          academic conduct and plagiarism.

NAPIER UNIVERSITY’S STRATEGY for QUALITY ENHANCEMENT 2005                                         3
                   Enhancing Reputation and Supporting Growth

6. Underpinning activities
6.1 Achieving high quality learning: planning and design
Activities in this area will focus on:

1.      Ensuring that Napier’s programmes are designed to:
        a. be coherent, structured and progressive and that their component modules are
           appropriate and complementary
        b. have an appropriate strategy for assessing and managing risks
        c. meet the needs of, and be attractive to, employers and professional bodies, as well as

2.      Ensuring that all Napier’s programmes and modules:
        a. are well researched in terms of format, content, structure and delivery
        b. are developed in line with external reference points such as subject benchmark
           statements, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, employers and
           professional bodies
        c. are designed to be inspiring, challenging, student-centred, flexible and accessible to our
           diverse range of students
        d. incorporate rigorous assessment which is appropriate to the level and subject, makes
           use of appropriate assessment instruments and measures achievement of the intended
           learning outcomes
        e. have clearly articulated assessment strategies which are explicitly mapped onto
           learning outcomes and are designed to optimise student learning and motivation
        f. are designed to encourage students to develop responsibility for their own learning and
        g. are enhanced and supported by the use of learning technology and Napier’s managed
           learning environment
        h. are described clearly and accurately in publicly available information such as
           programme specifications and module descriptors to assist students in making suitable
           course and module choices
        i. employ appropriate resources and effective support mechanisms in order to enhance
           student success.

6.2 Achieving high quality learning: delivery and management
Activities in this area will focus on:

1.      Maintaining appropriate and coherent quality-associated structures and mechanisms that:
        a. provide clear, comprehensive and accessible guidance on Napier’s approach to
           managing quality to a range of audiences
        b. provide both formal and informal fora for debating and managing quality issues
        c. ensure that the responsibility for decision-taking is located at the most appropriate and
           efficient point
        d. define staff roles and responsibilities clearly in relation to quality enhancement
        e. have clear responsibilities and links to other internal management bodies
        f. set appropriate targets with timescales and measures for their achievement
        g. provide staff development opportunities to support the delivery of Napier’s Quality
           Enhancement strategy
        h. gather and share good practice
        i. encourage student participation in quality processes and structures
        j. monitor student progress and achievement
        k. undergo regular review to ensure that our processes and procedures most effectively
           support Napier’s reputation and growth agendas.

                   Enhancing Reputation and Supporting Growth

6.3 Achieving high quality learning: review and evaluation
Activities in this area will focus on:

1.      Assessing the effectiveness of current practice and structures and ensuring that quality
        process and procedures are effective, appropriate and adhered to
2.      Promoting quality enhancement and assurance at the subject level by encouraging critical
        reflection on practice at all levels
3.      Evaluating our activities and standards against external points of reference such as the
        Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, professional bodies, external examiners and
        other appropriate standards valued by students, employers, the sector and the community
4.      Monitoring current issues of debate within the sector and engaging in those debates
5.      Ensuring that programmes and modules continue to meet their stated aims and learning
6.      Identifying, promoting and sharing good practice across the institution
7.      Encouraging research and scholarly activity to underpin high quality learning to ensure that
        programmes and modules continue to reflect current good practice
8.      Ensuring that student feedback has been acted on and that feedback loops are closed
9.      Ensuring that students were provided with appropriate and accessible guidance, support
        and information in a variety of formats from pre-matriculation through to graduation
10.     Benchmarking student progress and achievement against both the HEFCE performance
        indicators and our own internal performance indicators.

6.4 Support for an enhanced student experience
Activities in this area will focus on enhancing the quality of students’ experiences and increasing
their chances of success by:

1.      Promoting a holistic approach to enhancing the student experience which sets the learning
        experience in context.
2.      Maintaining quality processes and procedures across the University to ensure consistency
        and equity in the student experience.
3.      Providing opportunities for students to contribute to discussions about programme review
        and development and to raise issues relating to the quality of their experience;
4.      Ensuring that timely and effective action is taken to address matters raised by students and
        that students are provided with prompt feedback on the action taken.
5.      Identifying and embedding good practice and customer focus.
6.      Promoting appropriate, structured and supportive personal and professional development
7.      Promoting activities for social and academic integration whether in face-to-face or ‘virtual’
8.      Working collaboratively with both faculties and central services.
9.      Ensuring students are orientated appropriately:
        a. at entry, and at all transitions
        b. in time for any significant programme requirements
        c. for any programme-related practice placements.

NAPIER UNIVERSITY’S STRATEGY for QUALITY ENHANCEMENT 2005                                             5
                  Enhancing Reputation and Supporting Growth

7. Responsibilities for achieving the Quality Enhancement Strategy
1.    Use its planning, resourcing, monitoring and evaluation activities and structures to provide
      academic leadership in the promotion and support of the university’s Quality Enhancement

2.    Continue to be seen to support and value quality enhancement as:
      a. a key driver of excellence in teaching, learning and assessment and of the student
           experience generally
      b. a major contributor to meeting Napier’s growth and reputation agendas.

3.    Work with key partners within and outwith the university to ensure Napier staff have the
      capacity and capability to implement the university’s Quality Enhancement Strategy.

Quality Committee/LTA Sub-Committee
4.    Work strategically with relevant internal partners to promote and support the implementation
      of the university’s Quality Enhancement Strategy.

5.    Contribute to the identification and dissemination of internal and external good practices.

Quality Forum
6.    Work collaboratively to develop and deliver holistic, integrated and appropriate quality
      processes that underpin and secure the maintenance of standards.

Academic and support areas
7.    Use the University’s systems and structures to promote, implement, monitor and evaluate the
      effectiveness of the Quality Enhancement Strategy.

8.    Use the University’s Professional Development Review system to encourage all staff to:
      a. engage in quality enhancement activities
      b. engage in personal and professional development for themselves
      c.   identify development needs of individual and groups of staff and plan how they can be

9.    Use resourcing processes and activities to help equip and develop staff with the capacity and
      capability to implement the university’s Quality Enhancement Strategy.

10.   Work with key partners within the university to assure the quality of its provision.

Quality Enhancement Services
11.   Work with key internal and external partners to lead, promote, implement and evaluate the
      university’s Quality Enhancement Strategy.

12.   Continue to spearhead staff development initiatives that support both the continued
      professional development of Napier staff and their capacity for implementing its Quality
      Enhancement Strategy.

13.   Further develop the Quality Framework to reflect the Quality Enhancement Strategy and staff


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