Defining and defending quality in higher education
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Defining and Defending Quality in Higher Education Nina Becket & Maureen Brookes The Journey So Far 2000 QAA Subject Review 2001 LTSN Student Experience Survey 2002 QAA Institutional Audit 2003 Enhancement-led Institutional Review 2003 HEA established

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The Journey So Far

  • 2000 QAA Subject Review

  • 2001 LTSN Student Experience Survey

  • 2002 QAA Institutional Audit

  • 2003 Enhancement-led Institutional Review

  • 2003 HEA established

  • 2005 National Student Survey (E,W &NI)

  • 2007/08 QAA Subject Benchmark Review

    2008: where we are: the current picture


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The Current Climate

  • Growing climate of accountability

  • ‘Massification’

  • Diversity of student populations

  • Diminishing resources

  • Increased competition

  • Collaborative provision

  • Flexible study options

  • Greater stakeholder expectations

  • Employer engagement

  • Internationalisation

    = COMPLEXITY


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Quality - The Hot Topic

  • Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)

  • National Union of Students (NUS)

    NUS Student Experience Report 2008

  • Universities UK (UUK)

    Quality and Standards in UK Universities

  • University and College Union (UCU)

    • Staff Poll 2008

    • Annual Congress 2008, Manchester


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DIUS Debate on the Future of Higher Education

The world is evolving very quickly - unlock British talent and support economic growth through innovation.

Decide what a future world-class HE system should look like, seek to achieve, and identify current barriers to its development.

This will be done before initiating the review of undergraduate fees next year.

A number of individuals and organisations making contributions. Not to write government policy but to inform - equally important - to stimulate debate and discussion in the sector.


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DIUS Debate on Higher Education

  • International issues in Higher Education

  • Academia and public policy making

  • Understanding Higher Education institutional performance

  • Part-time studies and Higher Education

  • Teaching and the student experience

  • Research careers

  • Demographic challenge facing our universities

  • Intellectual property and research benefits

  • World leader in e-learning

    http://www.dius.gov.uk/policy/he-debate.html


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Teaching and the Student Experience

  • An engaged partnership between students and providers

  • Student population is large and diverse

  • At least 4 out of 10 students now study part-time

  • Universities do not simply react to expectations

  • Over last 10yrs general tendency for HE to pay more attention to student experience and teaching quality

  • Nearly three quarters of English HEIs introducing new mechanisms for student engagement


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Responding to Evolving Student Expectations

  • Reaffirming importance of teaching and student learning

  • Better use of ICT and improved student support services and facilities

  • Investment in infrastructure

  • Professionalism in teaching

  • Innovative and flexible curricula


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Challenges

  • Resources and infrastructure

  • Flexibility of offer

  • International issues

  • Maintaining and enhancing student engagement

  • Postgraduate issues

  • Student preparation

  • Assessment

  • Workforce development

  • Quality, standards and diversity


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Meeting the Challenges

  • Reforming curriculum and assessment

  • Embracing an international perspective in curriculum change

  • Preparing students better

  • A more flexible workforce

    Re-establishing scholarship

    Recognising and rewarding teaching

  • Re-thinking and engaging students

  • Consolidating quality arrangements


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The 5 Minute University

  • http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DRBW8eJGTVs


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UCU Staff Poll 2008

The survey revealed:

  • more than half of lecturers say they spend most of their working week dealing with administration

  • over half of lecturers spend at least 15 hours a week on administration with a quarter devoting more than 25 hours of their working week to the task

  • more than a quarter said they deal with over 250 emails a week - if so, did just 0-5 hours of research pw, 5-15 hours of teaching, but 25 hours or more administration

  • over two thirds reported increases in class sizes in the last 10 years, but only a quarter said they now spend more time with students than a decade ago

  • of the 71% reporting growing class sizes, nearly half said they were spending less time with students.


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UCU 2008 Conference MotionEducation for all not just for business

  • concern that government HE policy effectively privileging the training of students for jobs, (eg. introduction of McQualifications), over the conception of HE as an opportunity for students to experience broader intellectual development in preparation for life and to develop to their full potential.

  • a campaign against the apparent government attempt to redefine the role of HEIs as crudely instrumentalist, in support of a modern university ethos catering for broader educational needs of students, and of a humane and vibrant modern society.

    (UCU Congress and Sector Conferences 2008: Agenda)


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UUK Quality and Standards

Outlines how quality and standards are assessed and assured in UK universities

  • Universities have thorough internal processes to safeguard Q&S and have the main responsibility for ensuring and maintaining high Q&S, independently overseen by QAA

  • The independent QAA reviews how universities do this

  • Universities work with and respond to the views of students and employers

  • Universities consistently seek to improve what they do

  • If things go wrong, system to address complaints

    (robust & evolves in the light of experience)


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NUS 2008 Student Experience Report

  • 85% of students rate the quality of L&T as good or excellent

  • 92% of students had opportunity to provide feedback on their course, (only 51% believe acted on)

  • 25% of students received individual feedback on assessment, 71% said they would like this

  • 75% of students do paid work during the term or holidays (46% to fund basic living)

  • 74% said they were enjoying university

  • Students see university as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself

    www.nus.org.uk/en/News/News/NUS-published-first-major-study-into-student-experience-/




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Defending Quality

Scholarship of tourism as a subject and of teaching and learning

‘the knowledge of concepts of teaching and learning based on literature, the teaching and learning process, content and context, and the investigation, evaluation, communication and reflection on teaching and learning’

(as cited by Trigwell, Martin, Benjamin & Prosser, 2000 Scholarship of teaching: a model, Higher Education Research and Development)


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Scholarship

  • Defined more broadly than research expertise in a subject area

  • Knowledge era is changing curriculum content and skills

  • Skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis are becoming more important than mastery of body of knowledge

  • Leadership at multiple levels needs to support the goal of scholarship of L&T

  • Innovation often emerges from the teacher student interface


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Engaging Leadership Framework

http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/AHEEF2008/ELF_AHEEF2008.pps#293,21,Slide 21


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The Road Ahead

  • Accreditation as ‘Guarantee’

  • Economic Uncertainty

  • Internationalisation

  • Personalisation

  • ICT developments

  • National Student Survey

  • Efficiency vs commodity


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TLRP - Effective teaching and learning

  • Equips learners for life in its broadest sense

  • Engages with valued forms of knowledge

  • Recognises the importance of prior experience and learning

  • Requires the teacher to scaffold learning

  • Needs assessment to be congruent with learning

  • Promotes the active engagement of the learner

  • Fosters both individual and social processes and outcomes

  • Recognises the significance of informal learning

  • Depends on teacher learning

  • Demands consistent policy frameworks with support for teaching and learning as their primary focus

    www.tlrp.org/Principles into Practice, June 2007


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