University Alliance has responded to the Department for Education’s consultation on the de-designation of QAA as the Designated Quality Body in England.
Our full consultation response can be viewed here.
Vanessa Wilson, CEO of University Alliance commented:
“In our consultation response, we highlighted our strong belief that the sector needs an independent Designated Quality Board that is separate and independent from the Office for Students to maintain high quality and standards, and protect the sector’s international reputation.
“As it stands, we remain extremely concerned about the divergence of the regulatory approach to quality and standards in England from the rest of the UK, as well as European and international norms. This puts the sector’s global reputation for quality at risk.
“If the QAA is permitted to step down on 31 March 2023, we reluctantly concur that the OfS should undertake all quality and standards assessments on an interim basis. This is reasonable under the circumstances, as there is no other organisation with the prerequisite expertise that could fulfil the DQB role right now.
“We strongly support UUK’s call for an independent review of these interim arrangements. It is vital that they are not made permanent by default, and that there is a robust assessment of their impact that takes in the views of a wide range of stakeholders, including higher education providers.
“We would like to see the OfS and DfE commit to publishing a clear timetable for when and how a review will take place as soon as possible. Following the review, there must be a full public consultation on the longer-term arrangements for quality assurance in England.
“At a time when the Government has an ambitious programme of higher education reform, including higher technical qualifications, degree apprenticeships and more flexible and modular provision through the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE), there is great need to develop new systems of quality assurance that are fit for purpose.”
Read our full consultation response here.