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Quality assurance in higher education

For an introduction to the quality assurance system see Universities UK’s Quality and standards in UK universities: a guide to how the system works (covers all parts of the UK).

The quality assurance infrastructure

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) was established in 1997 to provide an integrated quality assurance service for UK higher education. The sections for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on the QAA website give details of the procedures in each country and links to further information.

The academic infrastructure section gives links to key components, including:

Quality assurance reviews and reports

The QAA has operated several systems of review over the period of its existence. Again, the system varies across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – for details see the reviews and reports section of the QAA website, and the listing of review reports on law by institution (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland)

Prior to 2000 separate reviews were undertaken by the funding councils for England (with Northern Ireland), Scotland and Wales:

  • England and Northern Ireland – a quality assessment exercise was carried out between 1993 and 1994 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, also covering Northern Ireland, assessing the 69 major providers of law degrees (LLB) in higher education. The law subject overview report was published in 1995.
  • Scotland – in 1995-96 the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) undertook two quality assessments, covering courses in law (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde) and legal studies (Abertay Dundee, Glasgow Caledonian, Napier and Robert Gordon)
  • Wales – the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales undertook a quality assessment of law courses between 1993-94 and 1997-98, covering Cardiff University, the University of Glamorgan, University of Wales Aberystwyth, University of Wales Swansea and Swansea Institute of Higher Education.

Last Modified: 4 June 2010