Nottingham College has been awarded with the highest level of judgements possible by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), recognising the College’s impressive academic achievements at HE level.
This is the first time that the newly merged college (formerly ncn and Central College) has been assessed by the QAA, the independent body responsible for monitoring and advising on standards and quality in Higher Education.
The recent QAA Higher Education Quality Review, provided an expert judgement on the College’s academic standards and look specifically at how providers consider the interests of students and how they uphold the rigour of HE academic study.
The review identified no specific improvements for the College to make, only areas of development to further strengthen its offer.
The overall findings and final judgement demonstrates “confidence” in the areas of both academic standards and the student academic experience, which were found to meet UK regulatory requirements.
Speaking of the College’s success, Yultan Mellor, the Vice Principal Curriculum at Nottingham College said:
“The positive QAA review is a fantastic achievement for Nottingham College, which only officially formed five months ago. We have all worked hard to ensure that we are providing the best and highest quality education for all our students, that can lead to recognised qualifications and experience that employers are looking for.
“Moreover, it means that we can all have full confidence in the steps that have been taken in such a short space of time to assert an academically strong platform to enhance our HE provision in the future.”
The QAA team assessed the quality of the College’s provision with formal meetings with students, staff from all disciplines, senior managers and partners like Nottingham Trent and Derby University.
The panel’s formal questions in meetings covered all areas of students’ experience and satisfaction, as well as the academic quality processes and structures in place to ensure that the College’s courses meet the sector agreed standards – known as the QAA Code of Practice.
The main areas of praise for the College were:
• Clear alignment of our HE courses with regional skills priorities
• High employment rates for our graduates as a result of experts from industry, employers and professional bodies having input on courses
• Clear demonstration of courses upholding HE benchmarks for levels of achievement and content
• Strong support from the highest levels at college for staff (lecturers) to perform as academics with ‘freedom’ to do so
• Reporting of quality assurance is positive and includes healthy collaboration with University Partners
• An innovative HE assessment policy that staff use to mark and assess effectively and, moreover, help students be clear about how and why they are being assessed in learning
• Extensive training and events for staff with University partners to network, share ideas and best practice
• Students are consulted an involved in developing policies to enhance their own learning experience
• High levels of commitment by staff to support all students and a very highly valued academic coaching service.
* The QAA Review stated that there were no specific areas for improvement, merely ‘areas for development’.
Anne Lyons, Head of Higher Education and Access at Nottingham College said:
“We welcomed the QAA’s objective assessment as they are totally independent from Government. This was particularly challenging so quickly after the merger and with a large HE provision, having over 900 students and some 43 courses.
The review is a demonstration to all our staff and students that HE courses operate effectively to secure rigorous qualifications that compare positively to other providers in the sector.”
For more information about the Quality Assurance Agency and The QAA Higher Education Quality Review, please visit: http://www.qaa.ac.uk
You can review the report here.