20 May 2019

Higher education groups underline commitment to fair and transparent academic standards

The UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA) has published its Statement of Intent to ensure transparent, consistent and fair academic standards in UK higher education.

The Statement, outlining higher education’s commitment to protecting the value of UK degrees, has been signed by sector representative bodies including Universities Wales, and endorsed by the UKSCQA, which includes regulated providers, National Union of Students, and funding and regulatory bodies such as HEFCW.

The Statement also includes assurances that qualifications should be based on clear criteria that demonstrate academic, and that diverse institutions must demonstrate comparable academic practices to protect the sustainability of the degree classification system.

Dr David Blaney, Chief Executive of HEFCW, said: “We very much support the commitments in the Statement and the steps providers are taking to ensure transparency and parity. Our main consideration is assuring the quality of higher education, and the outcomes of higher education, for the benefit of students. We recognise that students have worked hard for their qualifications, and we cannot make blanket judgements about an individual’s attainment based on an upward trajectory in institutional grades. However, we must maintain confidence in the value of the UK degree and this statement is an important step to ensure consistency in degree classifications.”

Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said: “I welcome higher education institutions in Wales and across the UK working together to guarantee transparency and fairness when awarding qualifications. Consistency is essential to provide students with assurance that the degrees they’ve worked so hard for are rightly valued by universities, future employers and their peers and given the respect they fully deserve.”

Statement of intent