A brief guide to Quality Assurance
The Office for Students
As an English higher education institution the University is regulated and registered with the Office for Students' (OfS), meeting the initial conditions of registration in order to do so. To stay registered Goldsmiths, University of London must continue to meet the OfS' ongoing conditions. Failure to comply with these conditions could lead to significant sanctions ranging from enhanced monitoring to suspension or deregistration.
The general ongoing conditions cover seven areas, one of which relates to quality and standards:
A: Access and participation for students from all backgrounds
B: Quality, reliable standards and positive outcomes for all students
C: Protecting the interests of all students
D: Financial sustainability
E: Good governance
F: Information for students
G: Accountability for fees and funding
In the UK, each institution of higher education is responsible for ensuring the quality and standards of its provision, that students are achieving appropriate standards and that a good quality education is being offered.
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is the UK’s Quality Body for Higher Education, working to benefit students and higher education, and is one of the world’s experts in quality assurance. In England, the QAA has two distinct roles: as the Designated Quality Body, providing reviews and advice to the regulator, the OfS; and separately providing services and advice to its member institutions.
Goldsmiths, University of London is a member of the QAA, providing a demonstration of its institutional commitment to the enhancement of quality. Any staff member or student at a QAA Member institution can access the wealth of materials on the Membership Resources site using their institution email address.
QAA Membership Badge
The UK Quality Code for Higher Education and external reference points
The UK Quality Code for Higher Education is used as a key reference point to assure the standards and quality of UK higher education. It is also a useful source of reference and guidance on good practice in the sector. The Quality Code has been developed by QAA on behalf of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment, in consultation with the higher education sector.
As universities themselves have the primary responsibility for ensuring that appropriate standards are being achieved and that they offer a good quality education, the Quality Code gives all higher education providers a shared starting point for setting, describing and assuring the academic standards of their higher education awards and programmes and the quality of the learning opportunities they provide.
The Quality Code has informed the development of all policies and procedures for maintaining academic standards, quality and shaping the student experience at the College. Other external reference points include:
- The Higher Education Credit Framework for England
- Subject Benchmark Statements for undergraduate and masters degrees, and healthcare professions
- Characteristics Statements