Agenda

A meeting of the Quality Assurance Committee will be held on Wednesday 11 December 2019 at 2.00 pm in Committee Room 2, University Office

Mrs Morag Macrae, Administrative Officer
                (ext. 4075 or morag.macrae@abdn.ac.uk)

AGENDA

FOR DISCUSSION

1. Approval of the minute of the meeting held on 23 October 2019 (QAC/111219/001)
     
2. Matters Arising (Oral Item)
     
3. Quality Assurance Role Descriptors 2019/20 (QAC/111219/002)
  Members of the Committee are invited to discuss the Quality Assurance Role Descriptors, outlining the role and responsibilities of QAC members and administrative staff with responsibility for Quality Assurance.
     
4. Undergraduate Annual Programme Reviews (APRs) and External Examiners Reports (EERs) (Oral item)
  Members of the Committee are invited to discuss the undergraduate APRs and EERs uploaded to SharePoint by School and considered by QAC members, according to their areas of responsibility. Following the meeting, the feedback provided to the Clerk by QAC members (the deadline for which is Wednesday 18 December 2019) will be issued to Schools and External Examiners, as appropriate.
     
5. Quality Assurance Annual School Fora 2019/20 (Oral item)
     
6. Curriculum Management 2019/20 (Oral item)
  The Committee will receive an oral update from the Chair on the process for approval of course/programme changes during the 2019/20 academic year.
     
7. PhD Thesis Format (Oral item)
  Members of the Committee are invited to discuss the appropriateness of a non-traditional thesis format, which comprises a collation of journal articles to which the candidate has contributed.
     
8. Persona Revalidation Report (QAC/111219/003)
  Members of the Committee are invited to discuss and approve the report on the validated provision delivered in partnership by the School of Education and Persona Training and Development Ltd.
     
9. Internal Teaching Review Report for School of Engineering (to follow, QAC/111219/004)
  Members of the Committee are invited to consider and provide a response to the report on the recent Internal Teaching Review of the School of Engineering.
     
10. Late Submission Paper (Oral item)
  The Committee will receive an oral update from the Chair on the Late Submission Paper as discussed at the Senate meeting on Monday 9 December.
     
11. Date of Next Meeting  
  The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Monday 3 February 2020 at 2pm, in Committee Room 2, University Office.
   
12. Items for Information– see below  
     

Any member of the Committee wishing an item for routine approval or for information to be brought forward for discussion may ask at the meeting for that to be done.  Any such item will be taken after item 1.

Declaration of interests: Any member and individual in attendance (including Officers) who has a clear interest in a matter on the agenda should declare that interest at the relevant meeting, whether or not that interest is already recorded in the Registry of Member’s interests.

     

12.     FOR INFORMATION

12.1 Hofstra Law School (QAC/111219/005)
  Members of the Committee are invited to note the partnership proposal document for collaboration with Hofstra Law School, which was approved in principle by way of Chair’s action.
     
Previous Agendas

Previous Agendas

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

Remit

To be responsible to the UCTL for the assurance of quality and maintenance of standards across all undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate taught elements of research provision. 

Specifically, the Quality Assurance Committee shall: 

  • In consultation with School Teaching & Learning Committees, and the Graduate School (PGR) as appropriate, review proposals for (a) the introduction of new courses and programmes of study (b) amendments to existing courses and programmes, and (c) the withdrawal of existing courses and programmes, and make appropriate recommendations;
  • Recommend to the University Committee on Teaching and Learning (UCTL) changes in the General and Supplementary Regulations;
  • Oversee the quality control of taught courses and programmes through scrutiny of reports from the Annual Course Review (ACR) Exercise, Annual Programme Review (APR) Exercise, External Examiner Reports, Internal Teaching Review Reports and Reports from Professional & Statutory Bodies, as applicable; and refer policy issues to the University Committee on Teaching and Learning, as appropriate;
  • Be responsible, on behalf of the UCTL, for co-ordinating a regular programme of Internal Teaching Reviews for monitoring and reviewing courses and programmes of study and consider and recommend to UCTL revisions to the procedures for Internal Teaching Review, as necessary;
  • Be responsible, on behalf of the UCTL, for regularly reviewing alignment of University policies with the QAA Quality Code, the wider Academic Infrastructure and external reference points and for recommending revisions to policies, as appropriate;
  • Monitor the quality of provision provided by collaborative partners through the scrutiny of annual reports and recommend to UCTL revisions to the procedures for the approval and oversight of collaborative provision, as necessary;
  • Elect 4 members to serve on Senate, ex officio, as required;
  • Oversee issues relating to student progress, including the establishment of Student Progress Committees and Fitness to Practise Committees, as appropriate, and make recommendations to the Senate for the discontinuation of attendance, as appropriate; and
  • Undertake such other functions as may be referred to the Committee by the UCTL.

 

Composition & Membership

Chair: Kath Shennan
Clerk: Morag Macrae
Tel: 01224 274075
Emailmorag.macrae@abdn.ac.uk

Composition

Convener and Administrative Support Area:

  • Chair:  A senior member of academic staff
  • Clerk:  Student & Academic Services

Purpose

  • A Strategy and Policy Committee to assurance of quality and maintenance of standards across all undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate taught elements of research provision.

Membership:   

  • At least one nominee from each School on the recommendation of the Head of School
  • Two representatives nominated by the President of the Students’ Association

In attendance: 

  • Director of Academic Affairs (or nominee)
  • Head of the Centre for Academic Development (or nominee)

Membership for 2019/20

  • Kath Shennan (Chair)
  • Ruth Taylor
  • Michelle Pinard
  • John Lamb
  • Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner
  • Mhairi Freeman
  • Paul Davidson
  • Malcolm Hole
  • Thomas Rist
  • Derek Auchie
  • Isobel Crane
  • Jerry Morse
  • Wiliam Harrison
  • Jason Bohan
  • Tania Argounova-Low
  • Cecelia Wallback (AUSA Rep)
  • Dariya Koleva (AUSA Rep)

In Attendance

  • Emma Hay
  • Darren Comber
  • Clerk: Morag Macrae (Registry)

Operation

The Committee will meet at least five times per year preceding each meeting of the UCTL. Additional meetings may be arranged, as required.  Additional meetings may be arranged, as required.

Meetings between 10am – 4pm in accordance with University Policy.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Overview

  1. Each School is represented on QAC by at least one experienced member of academic staff who has an in-depth knowledge of the University’s learning and teaching policies. 
  2. QAC members sit on their home School Teaching & Learning committees (or equivalents). They provide advice to their Heads of School and School colleagues on quality assurance and enhancement matters across all taught and research provision. 
  3. In addition, QAC members have responsibility for reviewing QA in a separate School, ensuring externality to the process and avoiding any conflict of interest. Members are responsible for all UG, PGT and PGR quality activities in that School and build up a sound knowledge of the context and requirements within which that School operates.

Responsibilities to QAC

  1. New members of QAC are required to attend an Induction session led by the Dean of Quality Enhancement and Assurance who chairs QAC.
  2. All members are expected to be fully cognisant of, and keep up-to-date with, institutional policy and regulations in regard to learning and teaching.
  3. Attend bi-monthly meetings of QAC.
  4. Undertake QAC responsibilities, and prepare QAC responses to annual monitoring (Annual Programme Review) and external review, in a timely manner, in line with the QAC schedule attached as Annex A.
  5. Convene Internal Teaching Review (ITR) Panels, usually once every four years, and report back to the School and to the QAC the outcome of the review. New QAC members are expected to be a member of ITR Panels in advance of acting as Convener.
  6. Review QA documentation for large partnerships (primarily overseas campuses and working with delivery partners) and provide the Schools and Senate (where applicable) with the view of QAC on such ventures.  Some QAC members may be asked to attend QA visits to collaborative partners, including overseas partners, and to approve partnership agreements on behalf of QAC.
  7. Review and respond to any quality matters as part of ongoing QAC business, e.g. Professional & Statutory Bodies (PSRB) reports and QAA consultations.
  8. Review on a regular basis the General and Supplementary Regulations and the alignment of University policies with the UK QAA Quality Code, the wider Academic Infrastructure and external reference points, and for recommending revisions to regulations and policies as appropriate.
  9. QAC members may be required to represent QAC at Senate.  The QAC provides four members to attend Senate ex-officio.  Additionally, some members of QAC are full Senate members by virtue of being voted in by their School.  These members can still represent the QAC view of items at Senate but will also represent their constituency view.
  10. QAC members will be required to contribute to the wider activities of the QAC, including the annual QAC digest and the annual report to UCTL.

Responsibilities to the School (Disciplines(s)) for which they have QA oversigh

  1. Review Annual Programme Reviews (APRs) with reference to the submission and QAC response from the previous academic year; provide a QAC response to the School.  Liaise with the School in regard to any incomplete or missing submissions.  Any areas of concern should be promptly brought to the attention of the Convenor of QAC.  Report areas of concern and areas of good practice to the Committee at the annual QAC meeting where APRs are discussed. 
  2. Review External Examiner reports, ensuring that all aspects of the report have been responded to appropriately, bringing any areas of concern to the attention of the Convenor of the QAC and preparing the QAC response to the External Examiner on behalf of the University.  Liaise with the School in regard to any incomplete or missing submissions.  Report areas of concern and areas of good practice identified by External Examiners to the Committee at the annual QAC meeting where External Examiner reports are discussed.
  3. Approve or make recommendations regarding proposals for (a) the introduction of new courses and programmes of study (b) amendments to existing courses and programmes, and (c) the withdrawal of existing courses and programmes.  Liaise with the School in regard to any QA concerns and for matters of clarification.
  4. Approve or make recommendations for the nominations of examiners for PGR students within the School.
  5. Approve or make recommendations regarding examiners’ reports for PGR students.  Ensure that the final joint examiners’ report aligns with the final recommendations.
  6. Attend the annual meeting of QAC with both their home School and also for the School they have QA oversight of.  In advance of this meeting the QAC member should review the most recent APRs and External Examiners’ reports for the School.

Responsibilities to their home School

  1.  Liaise with the School administrative support with responsibility for quality documentation to ensure that their home School QA documents (ACRs, APRs, ITR, External Examiner reports) are uploaded to the Quality and Planning SharePoint by the deadlines provided.
  2. Provide advice to their home School in regard to ITR preparation and document submission. This includes advising the Head of School and staff responsible for implementing ITR recommendations.
  3. Provide advice to the School on all QA processes and inform the School of any planned changes to policy and process to enable them to input into QAC what the School’s view of such changes is.
  4. Attend the annual meeting of QAC with their home School.

 

QAC composition and areas of responsibility (as at July 2019)

 

     
School School QAC member QAC member overseeing School

Biological Sciences

Michelle Pinard

Kath Shennan

Engineering

Paul Davidson

David Lurie

Geosciences

Malcolm Hole

William Harrison

Divinity, History, Philosophy (DHP)

Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner

Thomas Rist

Social Science

Tania Argounova-Low

Mhairi Freeman

Psychology

Jason Bohan

Michelle Pinard

Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition (MMSN)

David Lurie

Jerry Morse

Paul Davidson

Jason Bohan

Education

Mhairi Freeman

Derek Auchie

Natural and Computing Science (NCS)

William Harrison

John Lamb

Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture (LLMVC)

Thomas Rist

Tania Argounova-Low

Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner

Business

John Lamb

Jerry Morse

Law

Derek Auchie

Malcolm Hole

 

Attendance

Quality Assurance Committee

Attendance Records

2019-2020

Membership:

23 October 2019

11 December 2019

3 February 2020

24 March 2020

Chair and Dean of Quality Enhancement and Assurance

Kath Shennan Present      
School Representative (Biological Sciences) Michelle Pinard Present      
School Representative (Business School) John Lamb Present      
School Representative (Divinity, History & Philosophy) Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner Present      
School Representative (Education) Mhairi Freeman Apologies      
School Representative (Engineering)

Paul Davidson

Apologies      
School Representative (Geosciences) Malcolm Hole Present      
School Representative (Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture) Tom Rist Present      
School Representative (Law) Derek Auchie Apologies      
School Representative (Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition) Jerry Morse Present      
School Representative (Natural & Computing Sciences) William Harrison Present      
School Representative (Psychology)

Jason Bohan

Apologies      
School Representative (Social Sciences)

Tatiana Argounova-Low

Present      
Vice-Principal (Learning & Teaching) Peter McGeorge Apologies      
President of the Students' Association Celia Wallback Apologies      
Education Officer (Students' Association) Dariya Koleva Present      

In Attendance:

Senior Educational Development Officer (Centre for Academic Development) Darren Comber Present      
Clerk (Administrative Officer) Morag MacRae Present      
Minute Secretary Matt Fullerton Apologies      
Academic Services Craig Stewart Present      

 

Minutes

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Meeting Dates

2018/19
2017/18
2016/17
2015/16
2014/15
2013/14
2012/13
2011/12
2010/11