University of Bath
F/S LTQC 12/13 - ??
FACULTY/SCHOOL LEARNING, TEACHING AND QUALITY COMMITTEE
MAY 2013
QA44: PROGRAMME HANDBOOKS AND PROGRAMME SPECIFICATIONS:
PROVISION OF PROGRAMME INFORMATION TO STUDENTS
1.
PURPOSE
1.1
The Faculty/School Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee is invited to consider
proposed changes to QA44: Programme Handbooks and Programme Specifications:
provision of programme information to students following a major review of the
statement during 2012/13. The new statement will come into effect from 1 August
2013.
2.
BACKGROUND
2.1
In March 2012, the Quality Assurance Agency published Part C of the HE Quality
Code: Information about higher education. Two papers were received by University
Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee (ULTQC) in July 2012 and September
2012 highlighting how the University is engaging with Part C and made reference to a
review of QA44 (Programme Handbooks and Programme Specifications) during
2012/13.
2.2
ULTQC approved the approach to the University’s Quality Assurance Code of
Practice development for 2012/13 on 25 September 2012 (min 311). This also
highlighted the need for a major review of QA44.
2.3
The review QA44 has been undertaken in line with the University’s approved
Approach to Code Development.
2.4
Initial consultation meetings have been held with key administrative staff (Directors of
Administration, Faculty Assistant Registrars, Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Managers or equivalent) within each Faculty, the School and the Learning
Partnerships Office.
2.5
Consultation with academic staff has been conducted via e-mail circulation to all
Directors of Studies. Associate Deans were informed of the process and were invited
to comment. Additional comments have also been received from the Faculty of
Science Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee (FLTQC).
2.6
Consultation with approximately 120 students took place across two meetings of
Academic Council (held on 8 February 2013). The Audience Response System
(ARS) was used to obtain initial quantitative data from the groups, which in turn led to
further open feedback from the academic reps.
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2.7
Discussions regarding the requirements for Programme Handbooks were also held
via e-mail with the University’s Senior Legal Advisor.
2.8
The Public Information Sub-Committee also received a paper (appendix 2) on the
outcome of the review to date and provided feedback at its meeting in March 2013.
2.9
Staff from both Student Disability Advice and the Equalities and Diversity Unit have
been invited to feed back on proposed changes to the statement.
2.10
A review of peer institutions has also been conducted, the results of which are
presented in the paper considered by the Public Information Sub-Committee
(appendix 2).
3.
PROPOSED REVISIONS
3.1
Based on the feedback received during the review, a number of revisions to QA44
are proposed for implementation from 1 August 2013 (updated version found in
appendix 1):
a) To revise the statement on the institutional requirements for the content of the
Programme Handbook to ensure that it also applies to those research
programmes containing a taught element (section 1.1);
b) That a statement on the roles and responsibilities of the Public Information SubCommittee is included (section 3.1 and 6.1);
c) To consolidate the roles and responsibilities of the Directors of Studies into one
section (section 3.3) and to include the following additional responsibilities:
i.
ii.
iii.
Include a requirement that Directors of Studies (or equivalent) ensure
that the common sections provided by the Learning and Teaching
Enhancement Office (LTEO) are incorporated into Programme
Handbooks;
To include a requirement for Directors of Studies (or equivalent) to
approve the final version of any Programme Handbook issued to
students;
To include a requirement for Directors of Studies (or equivalent) to
review Programme Specifications on an annual basis;
d) To clarify the current requirements for paper and electronic handbooks (section
4.3);
e) To update the list of Programme Handbook contents in line with the current
agreed template and include reference to new sections on International Student
Advice and Student Exchange/Study Abroad (section 4.6);
f)
3.2
To clarify that Programme Specifications should be published on a designated
area of the Faculty/School/Learning Partnerships website;
In light of feedback from the review of QA44, the follow revision to QA3: Approval of
New Programmes of Study is also proposed:
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a) That the text for the Programme Specification common sections (‘Details of
support available to students’ and ‘Indicators of Quality and Standards’) is added
to the Programme Specification template QA3 Form 2.
3.3
It is also proposed that a project be undertaken to consider the option of moving to a
University-wide requirement for all Programme Handbooks to be in electronic format
(with alternative formats for disability/learning difficulties) for implementation in
2014/15.
4.
RECOMMENDATIONS
4.1
The Faculty/School Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee is therefore asked to
comment on the proposals set out in section 3 (above).
Sarah Ibbitson
Learning and Teaching Enhancement Office
May 2013
Documentation attached
Appendix 1: QA44 – Updated version with track changes – with effect from 1
August 2013
Appendix 2: Update paper considered by the Public Information SubCommittee on 25 March 2013
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