The Academic Assurance project has been designed to ensure effective academic assurance. This has been driven by the increased need for governors to understand and effectively receive evidence-based assurance about “student outcomes” in England as a requirement from the OfS, but increasingly in other UK Nations as part of their regulatory requirements.
Governing bodies are expected to actively seek assurances that academic assurance is robust and effective. This becomes ever-more important with the political interest in issues surrounding quality in higher education and ensuring value for money for public expenditure.
As sector partners we undertook a first phase of work in 2022-23 that saw us conduct roundtables with governance professionals; senate and student members of the board and Chairs of Audit and Risk Committees. The learning from these webinars was shared back with the sector in a webinar.
In 2023-24, we have all committed to Phase 2 of the Academic Assurance project. We will be working with key representatives across the HE sector to develop a series of key reflective questions that governing bodies can use to test and further develop their own academic assurance. We will also be commissioning a series of case studies that will highlight different practices higher education institutions have undertaken to improve academic assurance as part of our commitment to connecting the higher education sector.
Phase 1 - Project Outputs
The activity contained within this member project for Phase 1 includes blogs, webinars and dissemination events where the project theme can be examined.
Academic Assurance: phase one summary
In March 2023, Advance HE, Universities UK, Guild HE, and the Committee of University Chairs held three roundtables with Governance professionals, Senate and Student representatives, and Chairs and Deputies of Audit and Risk Committees to examine approaches to academic assurance. At the Dissemination Event, we presented the roundtable findings from the round table and discussed these with a panel of sector experts and representatives.
Phase 2 - Project Outputs
Project output - Guide
Academic Assurance Reflective Questions Guide
A brief guidance resource for use by governing bodies and governance professionals to be undertaken as part of any self-assessment work or continual improvement. The questions are designed to help institutions start reflecting on their own processes and practises.
Project output - Case Studies
Academic Assurance Case Studies
A series of case studies and shared practise designed to support higher education institution governing bodies with innovating their own practice in academic assurance. This resource will showcase innovation across key areas of academic assurance such as:
- Board recruitment
- Induction and training
- Senate/Academic Board relationship
- Board processes
- Data and information
- External assurance
Resources and Related Events
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