QAA Launch Consultation on Assuring the Quality of UK Higher Education Overseas

In pursuit of improving the quality of international education, it is vital to comply with UKBA Tier 4 license obligations, and BQuSAMS can ensure this.

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London, UK (PRWEB UK) 20 December 2013

Quality in international education will be improved, and UK companies helped to expand overseas, thanks to a consultation launched today.

The discussion about strengthening quality assurance in Transnational Education (TNE) - UK higher education delivered overseas - forms part of the Government's International Education Strategy, which aims to expand the UK's education exports sector.

The consultation, published by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and the UK Higher Education International Unit, is driven by the need to maintain and demonstrate the quality of the UK's exported higher education as the market grows.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: 'There are few sectors of the UK economy with the capacity to grow and generate export earnings as much as education.

'Our universities are recognised globally for their excellence. To take advantage of this powerful reputation it is important the UK is able to maintain and demonstrate the quality of its education exports. That is why I asked the higher education sector to look at quality assurance of transnational education.'

Currently 75 per cent of the UK's degree-awarding institutions deliver some of their education overseas, in over 200 countries. In 2012-13, 570,000 students were studying overseas for a UK qualification. The consultation is based on the principle that all students studying for a UK qualification, wherever they live, are entitled to expect certain levels of standards and quality.

Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive of QAA, said: 'Higher education contributes massively to the UK economy, as a vital export with an excellent reputation. External quality assurance is an important part of maintaining that reputation. We have long been reviewing exported education, looking at how the links between awarding bodies and their partners are managed both in the UK and overseas. As the provision becomes more extensive and the links become increasingly complex we need to make sure that quality assurance is sufficiently comprehensive and robust to sustain reputation and success.'

Joanna Newman, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit, said: 'We know, and the government knows, that the future for UK Higher Education is international, whether in terms of international students, research or partnerships. It is clear that those institutions that embrace international opportunities are going to be the ones that not only survive, but thrive.

'TNE is an increasingly attractive proposition for UK higher education to deliver overseas, yet carries with it risks. One of the ways of mitigating these risks is developing a clear way forward on quality assurance of UK higher education delivered overseas. We very much welcome the sector's views on enhancing quality assurance so that it is both rigorous and appropriate.'

The UK Government's strategy, International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity (July 2013) identified three main drivers for reviewing the quality assurance of TNE: growth in demand, increasing complexity and risk, and the fact that any failure of quality by an individual institution has a potentially negative reputational impact on every single institution in the UK.

Responses to the consultation are sought from institutions, students, and individuals, as well as from other organisations or individuals with an interest in the quality assurance of UK TNE, including government departments or quality assurance agencies outside the UK.

Effective quality assurance and information gathering and reporting systems are vital to be able to identify problems and issues so that they can be addressed effectively to ensure continuous improvement.

A key tool in the armoury for improvement is an effective Student Attendance Management System, which can operate in real time, ensuring that issues are identified proactively and quickly

An effective Student Attendance Management System can deliver 3 key benefits for educational institutions:
1.    Tier 4 Licence compliance
2.    Lower administrative costs
3.    Increased revenues through improved student retention

Most manual systems involve the taking of registers, transferring data into spreadsheets before collating, further data transfer and then data analysis, before being able to identify potential issues. This all takes up an enormous amount of staff time, in academic and administrative departments, so the operational costs are frightening and present a major opportunity for efficiency improvement.

The time this process takes often means that it is too late to take any meaningful action by the time any issues have been highlighted.

Repeatedly keying in attendance data onto spreadsheets invariably brings in unintentional errors, so as well as being late and costly, the resulting information is often unreliable. This is massively demotivating for the staff involved as they know that the system they are doing their best with is not fit for purpose and costs far too much.

A good Attendance Management Policy supported by a good Student Attendance Management System can deliver the following benefits to Students and their institution:

  •     Improved Student Attendance and engagement
  •     Improved communications with students and staff
  •     Reductions in operational costs
  •     Improved staff morale
  •     Improved student attainment
  •     Health & Safety, Duty of Care
  •     Improved student retention
  •     Improved revenues
  •     Improved institutional reputation
  •     Increased demand from new students
  •     Tier 4 Compliance

BQuSAMS (Student Attendance Management System) ensures that users can easily implement their Student Attendance Policy, helping to improve attendance and engagement, improving the student experience and compliance with Tier 4 licence obligations in an efficient and cost effective manner.

A good Student Attendance Management System (SAMS) will produce accurate data to evidence the engagement and progress made by their students and enables cost effective reporting to their stakeholders.

A further benefit is that the systems real time reporting enables staff to easily identify students whose attendance and engagement is below expectation immediately. They can then make effective intervention to work with the student concerned and provide appropriate support and encouragement to get them back on track.

This has a profound positive affect on student retention, which greatly improves revenues with.
It also leads to improvements in the numbers of students completing and attaining their qualification, which enhances the reputation of the university.

Student review data can be entered in real time via tablets or smartphones, ensuring best use of staff time and efficient record keeping, making any required evidence for third parties easy to find and report.

The SAMS also enables colleges to fulfil their requirements for Tier 4 licence compliance for tracking student’s attendance and study engagement and to be able to quickly provide evidence if required. This can be an enormously time consuming, costly and inefficient process, which often fails to deliver the necessary information needed to comply.

BQuSAMS are happy to discuss individual organisational needs and to match a system in both functionality and cost to our customer’s needs.

For more information on BQuSAMS, visit http://www.bqutms.com/overview


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