Top marks for University in national academic review

The quality of academic standards and processes at the University of Aberdeen has been confirmed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in its latest review.

In the final report of the most recent Enhancement Led Institutional Review (ELIR) the QAA gives the University the most positive judgement its panel can bestow, which means that the University has robust arrangements for securing academic standards and for enhancing the quality of the student experience.

Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR) is QAA's review method for universities and other higher education institutions in Scotland. The main focus of ELIR is to consider an institution's strategic approach to enhancement, placing a particular emphasis on the arrangements for improving the learning experience for students, and on the academic standard of its awards.

The panel also listed a number of developments at the University as being particularly positive including:

  • The recent reform of the undergraduate curriculum, and its transformational effect on all areas of learning and teaching
  • MyAberdeen, the students’ virtual learning environment
  • Student support, and in particular the new Personal Tutoring scheme
  • Initiatives to promote the employability of Aberdeen graduates, and attributes they should develop
  • The positive and constructive relationship with the Aberdeen University Students’ Association
  • the emerging role of the Centre for Academic Development in providing coordinated professional development for staff across the University
  • The institution’s culture of self-reflection and critical self-evaluation to continually improve teaching skills and practices

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor paid tribute to his colleagues, saying “This outcome sends a really positive message about the student experience at Aberdeen to potential students and others.  I pass on my considerable thanks to all colleagues, not only for taking part in this review, but also for all efforts to improve continually the experience our students have when they come to Aberdeen.”

ELIR reviews are carried out by a panel of six reviewers: one student reviewer, one international reviewer, three senior UK-based academic reviewers and one coordinating reviewer. The review comprises self-evaluation, and review visits with meetings with staff and students.