Jim Dickinson continues our debate on external examiners, arguing that academic freedom should no longer be universities’ excuse for the unreliability and inconsistency of the system.
Following speculation that HEFCE could bring quality assurance in house, Jess Bridgman calls for regulatory powers to be shared amongst different actors.
Yesterday QAA announced it would be lending its previously protected logo to higher education institutions with a ‘confidence’ judgement, or those that had sufficiently changed their practices in response to a ‘limited confidence’ judgement. Anthony McClaran, chief executive of QAA is reported in Times Higher Education as saying such a mark will ‘improve public understanding of standards and quality in higher education’. I would like to question this assertion, along with the overall scheme.
Big changes are about to take place in UK higher education in response to the government’s plans to reform higher education funding, shifting the cost from government grants to student fees. Universities and agencies like QAA are thinking very seriously about how this will affect our relationship with students.
There is another challenge emerging though that I believe will have an equally profound effect on higher education, as well as providing great opportunities, and that is the arrival of Generation Y.