Academic Quality and Enhancement OfficeResponsible for academic quality and standards at London South Bank University
The work of the Academic Quality and Enhancement Office includes:
- assuring the academic quality and standards of new courses ('validation')
- reviewing the academic quality and standards of existing courses ('revalidation')
- coordinating external examiners to verify academic quality and standards
- liaising with external quality organisations, such as the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
- coordinating the National Student Survey
- providing advice, guidance and training for academic staff
What is meant by academic 'quality' and 'standards'?
'Academic quality' is about making sure that appropriate and effective teaching, support, resources, assessment and learning opportunities are provided for all students.
The level of achievement a student must reach to gain an academic award, such as a degree, should be the same at all UK universities. This is what we mean by 'academic standards'.
Assuring academic quality and course standards
The process of assuring the academic quality and standards of a new course is called 'validation'. We make sure that:
- a new course is properly designed
- its teaching and assessment have been properly planned
- it conforms to the university's regulations and policies
- it conforms to external requirements, such as subject benchmarks and the Quality Assurance Agency's code of practice
We also periodically review the academic quality and standards of existing courses, called 'revalidation'. We use evidence from monitoring and other sources.
External examiners verify academic quality and standards
External examiners are appointed for every module that contributes to an award. The role of the external examiner is to:
- verify that standards are appropriate for the level and credit tariff of the module
- provide independent, impartial comment on the standards set and student achievement of those standards
External examiners are also asked to verify that the process of deciding assessment outcomes for individual students is fair and in accordance with the university's regulations.
We coordinate the National Student Survey at LSBU
The National Student Survey is an annual, independent survey that asks final-year undergraduate students to rate the quality of their experience at university. It has two purposes:
- to help prospective students make an informed decision—course data is published on the Unistats website
- universities use the data to improve the student experience
The National Student Survey is widely recognised as an important measure of student satisfaction. As an annual survey, it helps build a broad picture of higher education quality and monitor trends over time.
Mr Marc Griffith
Director of TQE
Academic Quality and Enhancement Office
London South Bank University
103 Borough Road