University of Hull commended by higher education watchdog

Published: Monday 29th February 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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The University of Hull has been praised by the higher education watchdog for the quality of its student provision.

The University, which is currently undertaking a £200m investment in campus infrastructure, new facilities, student services and ICT, was commended for the enhancement of student learning opportunities, in an official review of its academic standards.

A review team judged that its academic standards, the quality of student learning opportunities and the quality of information about learning opportunities all meet UK expectations.

A commendation is the highest rating that can be awarded and the University is one of only three universities nationally to date to receive a commendation for enhancement of student learning opportunities in the 2015-16 review period.

The University was also recognised for the way it has embedded student employability into the curriculum and provided work-related opportunities for its students.

The findings on the University of Hull are published in the Higher Education Review conducted by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

Professor Alan Speight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Hull, said: “The University of Hull is delighted to have received a commendation for the enhancement of student learning opportunities, and to be judged as meeting in full the expectations relating to academic standards, the quality of student learning opportunities and the quality of information about student learning opportunities.

“This commendation affirms the proactive and systemic approach of the University towards quality enhancement in all of its learning and teaching activities, and the close partnership working between academic and professional service areas and, crucially, with its students and Students’ Union, which enables this enhancement work to be truly transformative and cross-institutional.

“The University will continue to build on this very welcome recognition of strength in its ongoing enhancement activities, which are currently centred on curriculum renewal, technology enhanced learning, and learning opportunities beyond the immediate curriculum.”

Matt Evans, Vice President Education for Hull University Union, said: “This report shows that the University is committed to enhancing its student provision. When students come here, they know they will be getting a very high quality of teaching and learning.

“The academic experience is the most important thing the University and Students’ Union can offer to students.  Knowing the University delivers an excellent all-round student experience is reassuring to student representatives, current students and potential students alike.”

The QAA review culminated in a visit over four days last November and the results were published on February 26th this year on the QAA website. The purpose of the review was to judge whether the University’s academic standards and quality meet the UK expectations set out in the QAA Quality Code for UK Higher Education.

The review team identified “the embedding of employability into the curriculum and new approaches to learning and teaching” as an area of good practice.

The report states: “The University has a strategic focus on student employability. There is clarity of purpose in the intentions of the University to build upon and extend links with employers and alumni.

“These are complemented by increasing work related opportunities and internships, work placements and voluntary opportunities. In addition the University is developing the enterprise, entrepreneurship and employability skills of its students.”

Other areas of good practice highlighted by the reviewers were the contribution of the £28m Brynmor Jones Library redevelopment to the enhancement of the learning support for students and the effective partnership working between professional support and academic teams.

At the same, the University is reviewing its entire portfolio of courses to embody the innovative use of new technology to enhance student learning.

In its recommendations, the QAA advises that the University ensures the consistency of information provided to students about time-limits for academic appeals and for the return of assessed work.

Higher Education Reviews are carried out by experts from other universities and colleges and include a student reviewer.

A successful review means that the University can proudly display the QAA Quality Mark, indicating to UK and international students that the University meets national requirements for standards and quality.

Published: Monday 29th February 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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