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Quality Assessment Framework for Wales

HEFCW is finalising a Quality Assessment Framework for Wales.

We have established a set of baseline regulatory requirements, which align with those in England and Northern Ireland. Work across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in relation to degree standards will inform these requirements.

Cross-cutting issues include the:

  • need to preserve the sense of a UK-wide quality system;
  • compliance with international quality expectations;
  • essential role of students as partners in quality.

The Quality Assessment Framework will achieve UK ‘read-across’ through the following shared mechanisms:

  • Shared degree standards, through the UK-wide Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ);
  • A strengthened external examining system;
  • A shared approach to the quality-related elements of the Baseline Regulatory Requirements;
  • The Register of Higher Education Providers, with discussions underway between HEFCE, HEFCW and the Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland) to move towards a more UK-wide approach;
  • The ability of Welsh institutions to participate in the Teaching Excellence Framework, if they wish.

The framework includes:

  • regulated institutions providing annual assurance to HEFCW in relation to quality
  • external assurance for institutions on the quality of provision against the baseline requirements. The QAA has also been asked to review overseas provision.

These elements of the framework will also inform the annual fee and access planning process.

Fee and access planning process

The interlinking of the elements is provided below:

Interlinking of arrangements

We will address concerns relating to quality and standards through our procedures for handling complaints against institutions.

Institutions wishing to become automatically regulated will be able to undergo a gateway quality review process, which is currently under development.

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