Institutional Review

Swansea University and Institutional Review

Swansea University underwent QAA Institutional Review in May 2014.

The QAA’s Report confirms that

  • the academic standards of the University’s awards meet UK expectations for threshold standards
  • the quality of student learning opportunities meets UK expectations
  • the enhancement of student learning opportunities is commended
  • the institution’s public information about academic standards and quality meets UK expectations

The final report was published in September 2014, and an Action Plan in response to the commendations, affirmations and recommendations has been approved by the University's Regulations, Quality and Standards Committee in November 2014. The Action Plan can be downloaded here.

The tabs below list information for staff and students at Swansea about the process of Institutional Review, the project team and key dates for the Review.

Institutional Review 2014

Information for Staff

Swansea University is currently preparing for its Institutional Review which will take place in May 2014. Institutional Review is undertaken by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) of all Higher Education Institutions in Wales to ensure that a university is meeting UK expectations in its quality processes and the enhancement of its learning opportunities for its students. (In England and Northern Ireland, the method is called Higher Education Review).

As part of the review, the University will be required to demonstrate how it maintains its academic standards and quality and how it enhances the quality of learning opportunities for its students. There will be a number of ways the University will need to demonstrate this, namely by:

  • The submission, in February 2014, of a Self Evaluation Document (SED) to the QAA, accompanied by a detailed range of evidence sources to support the descriptions and reflections made in the SED on the Institution’s strategy, structures, policies and processes.
  • A week-long visit by the QAA Review Team, commencing 12th May 2014. The QAA will meet with students and a range of staff within the University to gain first-hand information on the Institution’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement.

The preparations for the review will require engagement from across the University, particularly in the drafting of the Self Evaluation Document and evidence gathering to support this. The QAA will also wish to meet with members of staff from Colleges or the Professional Services, as well as senior management of the University. The QAA will hold a Briefing Visit with the University on the 3rd and 4th April 2014, at which point the QAA will confirm those areas of the University with which it would wish to meet.

Following the Review visit, the QAA will write a report on the findings of its review which will include judgements, recommendations, features of good practice and affirmations.  The University will have an opportunity to respond to the report before the final report is published on its website.

Further information is available on these web pages about the key dates for Institutional Review; the details of the IR Project Team, responsible for carrying out the preparations  and deliverables for IR; and we will also keep staff informed of any briefing events via our internal Sharepoint site. The Related Links (to the right) provide more information on the Institutional Review process.

For further information, you can also contact the Swansea University Institutional Review Project Team on: QAA2014@Swansea.ac.uk

Information for Students

Swansea University is preparing to be reviewed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), which ensures that universities maintain high standards and improve the quality of education. See the video below for a brief overview of the role of the QAA.

Why is the University being reviewed?

Every University is routinely reviewed this way to ensure the quality and enhancement of every student’s learning experience. In Wales the method is known as Institutional Review.

How does Institutional Review affect me?

It doesn’t directly impact on you as a student. However it could impact on how your degree award is regarded: how the University performs in its Institutional Review will determine how confident the Government and the public can be that the standards of your degree are being maintained. It’s also about ensuring the high reputation of our University world-wide.

How can I get involved?

There are many ways you can get involved in Institutional Review:

Contribute to the Student Written Submission.

This is a report from the Students’ Union on how the University has responded to student feedback and provides recommendations on how the University can further enhance the student experience. The QAA looks very carefully at this report as part of its review. The Students’ Union also intends to develop a short video with student’s collective views on their experience at Swansea. Contact either Zahid Raja (president@swansea-union.co.uk), the SUSU President and Lead Student Reviewer or Ms Sara Correia, Student Experience Research Co-ordinator (sara.correia@swansea-union.co.uk, 01792 295465) for more information on how to get involved.     

Talk to your Student Subject Representative and give your feedback.

They can raise issues on your behalf at Student-Staff Forums and to their College representative which feed into our feedback system at Swansea. Click here to find your rep.

Represent your student body.

In May 2014 the QAA will visit the University and will want to meet with students to talk about the quality of the learning opportunities here at Swansea. This will probably be the Student Subject Representatives, but if you’d be interested in getting involved in this aspect of the review send our team an email QAA2014@Swansea.ac.uk

Make your views known.

The University has a number of surveys that it asks students to complete at various stages of their study. It’s so important that we receive your feedback so that we can continue to improve the student experience.      

How can I find out more?

If you would like to know more about Institutional Review, email QAA2014@Swansea.ac.uk and we’ll be happy to answer your questions! You can also visit the QAA’s website, which has lots of information for students about Institutional Review. Click here to find out details of the Review Method. More information for students on the Student Written Submission can be found on the Swansea University Student Union's site.   

Key Dates for Institutional Review

ActivityDateComment
QAA Institutional Review Visit w/c 12 May 2014 5 days in duration
Briefing Meeting with QAA 3 & 4 April 2014 This will reveal any subject or thematic trails and provide the timetable for the review visit. Also, to discuss methodology, documentation, including student submission.
SED Submission to QAA 26 February 2014  

The IR Project Team

An Institutional Review Project Team has been established and preparations are underway in readiness for Institutional Review. The process will entail a review of the entire Institution; therefore awareness and cooperation from staff across the Institutional will be essential to the success of Institutional Review.

Chair

Professor Alan Speight, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience and Academic Quality Enhancement

Institutional Review Facilitator

Mr Adrian Novis, Director of Academic Services

IR Project Manager

Ms Emma Williams, PSPU

IR Project Officers

Mr Philip Maull, PSPU – Student Experience
Mrs. Louise Rees, Academic Services, Day to Day QAA Contact

IR Student Representation

Mr Zahid Raja, Students’ Union President and Lead Student Representative for Institutional Review
Ms. Sara Correia, Student Experience Research Co-ordinator, Students’ Union

IR Steering Group members

Members include all those individuals noted above, as well as:

Professor Derek Connon, Dean of Undergraduate Students
Dr Deborah Fitzsimmons, Dean of Postgraduate Research
Professor David Gethin, Dean of Postgraduate Students (Taught)
Dr Pauline Griffiths, Associate Dean UG, Health and Human Sciences
Ms Gail Mooney, Associate Dean PGT, Health and Human Sciences
Ms Alison Perry, Associate Dean, Law
Dr Colin Restall, Associate Dean UG, Medicine
Ms. Mary Paget, Director of Studies, Nursing
Dr Deborah Youngs, Chair of L&T, Arts and Humanities
Dr Ian Davies, Chair of L&T, College of Science/Collaborative Provision
Dr Michelle Lee, Chair of L&T, Human and Health Sciences
Professor Gwyn Parry, Chair of L&T, Law
Dr Helen Williams, Business and Economics
Mrs. Jane Thomas, Director of SALT
Professor Tudor Hallam, Academi Hywel Teifi - Welsh Medium
Ms Alison Braddock, PSPU - SAILS
Mr Phil Brophy, PSPU - Second Campus/ Student Experience
Ms Judith James, PSPU - Swansea Employability Academy
Professor Stephen Hardy, College of Engineering
Ms Sue Brooks, Academic Services/Collaborative Provision
Mr Chris Burns, Academic Services
Ms Vicky Jones, Academic Services
Mrs Val Mills, Academic Services
Mr. Huw Morris, Academic Services
Mrs. Ceri Penhale, Academic Services
Mrs. Fiona Rees-Cridland, Academic Services
Mrs. Rhianydd Rees, Academic Services, Collaborative Provision
Mrs. Bernadette Stratford, Academic Services
Ms. Sarah Huws Davies, Director of Student Services
Dr Martin Lewis, Governance
Ms. Louise Woollard, Governance
Ms. Keran Williams, Admissions
Ms. Rwth Williams, Welsh Language Officer
Ms Jacqui Bowen, Marketing