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Policy issues in UK Higher Education 2015

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Interview presentation: Outline the current policy issues regarding UK higher education and the potential impact these may have on the role of QAA, July 2015

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Policy issues in UK Higher Education 2015

  1. 1. Outline the current policy issues regarding UK higher education and the potential impact these may have on the role of QAA Marieke Guy @mariekeguy QAA Interview Tuesday 28th July 2015
  2. 2. Value for money for students investing in their education, and for taxpayers underwriting the system
  3. 3. Value for money: • HE is now in a transformed financial situation due to fees • Students demanding increased value for money • Students want more information on fee spending • Closer assessment of employment and earnings returns to education • Measurement of ‘learning gain’ & ‘job ready’ • Requirement for better/more KIS data • Reflection on graduate earnings premium
  4. 4. Teaching at the heart of the system
  5. 5. Teaching: • Required rebalancing of teaching and research • Teaching Excellence Framework proposed • Will provide students with the information they need to judge teaching quality • Will include data from institutional inspections • Will involve output-focused criteria and metrics • Will look at degree classification (TEF green paper) and Grade point average (GPA) • Relevancy of course and improved course design
  6. 6. Increasing student numbers and widening participation
  7. 7. Student numbers: • Removal of student number controls for undergraduates • Commitment to widening participation and social mobility • Office for Fair Access (OFFA) report - 183 universities and colleges had submitted access agreements • Scrapping of maintenance grants for students – now repayable loans for those from families with low incomes • International student numbers as part of wider issue of immigration in public discourse
  8. 8. Expansion of the Higher Education sector
  9. 9. Expansion and Competition: • Increase of alternate providers who are regulated separately • Want high quality market entry whilst ensure regulatory regime that guards against poor quality provision • Still need to be tested against baseline requirements • Idea of accreditation ‘kite marks’ for providers who wish to operate internationally • Globalisation of UK HE – partnerships with countries with different accreditation systems - Transnational Education (TNE)
  10. 10. Increase in Internet-based provision
  11. 11. Internet based-provision: • Recognising potential of online, distance and blended-learning • MOOCs, Open Education, open assessment • Rise in more mature, part-time and long- distance learners • Employers require new skills and different qualifications • Possibly more employer co-financed, co- designed and co-delivered masters and doctoral programmes
  12. 12. Future of the QAA ?? Risk-based approach to QA that would take the maturity and track record of providers into account. Common yet flexible framework - bureaucratic burdens kept to a minimum, institutional autonomy respected. International reputation, respect within sector
  13. 13. Implications for QAA: • Value for money: Find pressure points to raise standards, talk to students even more, clearer idea of ‘learning gain', encouraging HE bodies use of student outcomes data, international lessons, improved transparency • Teaching: Teaching Excellence Framework - lessons from REF (un-gamable, cheap), closer eye on content of courses, look at honours system, external examiner system, grades, innovation? • Student numbers: Monitoring of increase of numbers, output driven approach • Expansion: Gateway work with new providers, accreditation ‘kite marks’ for providers who wish to operate internationally, educational oversight work, continue educational oversight work • Internet-based provision: Adapting assessment, consideration of MOOCs, updating of Quality Code and Subject Benchmark Statements
  14. 14. Taking it forward: Data in QA: Keep in mind the importance of ‘measuring what matters’ There is a growing emphasis on responsible metrics (rather than just peer assessment) (metric tide) QA system needs to make use of existing data and information Data-informed decision-making to sit alongside transparency The ‘one size fits all’ of QA no longer works Data visualisation and data story telling approaches HEIDI, HESA (Unistats), UCAS, OECD, ONS etc.
  15. 15. CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/46124960@N00/2672573608/ “a quality assessment system should be proportionate and risk-based and should, where possible, minimise the burden and cost on providers by making use of existing data and information. “ HEFCE report
  16. 16. Thanks!! Any questions? Marieke Guy @mariekeguy QAA Interview Tuesday 28th July 2015

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