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Home > Research > Projects > Evaluating the Scottish HE policy on quality (QEF)
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Evaluating the Scottish HE policy on quality (QEF)

Project: Non-funded ProjectProjects

1/08/0330/06/07

This project is evaluating the enhancement led approach to the development of quality within the HE sector in Scotland. The project is running from 2003-2006 and is funded by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.

The Department's Centre for the Study of Education and Training has won the contract to evaluate the new approach to quality assurance currently being implemented within the HE system in Scotland. This approach is particularly significant for all within the UK system and internationally because it involves a more devolved and developmental approach than the old 'subject review' process of quality assurance. Both policy makers and participants at all levels in the HE sector will be watching its progress with great interest. The contract is over a 40 month period and follows the work the team completed on the evaluation of the LTSN (Learning Teaching Support Network) last December. The team, of Professor Murray Saunders, Dr Paul Trowler, Dr Chris Jones, Sadie Williams and Dr Machell from the Department and Dr Peter Knight for the OU has now undertaken several high profile evaluation related activities associated with the development of teaching and learning in HE. This work includes evaluations of individual subject centres and the generic centre and providing support for local evaluations in the LTSN. This project has the following main foci:

to assess the effectiveness of the strategy in ensuring the quality of provision throughout Scottish HE institutions

to provide an assessment of the extent to which the strategy has become embedded into day-to-day practices within Scottish HE institutions

to evaluate the extent to which the strategy has minimised the audit burden on HE institutions while continuing to assure system wide quality

to assess the extent to which a 'culture shift' in HE is emerging which reflects an interest in and a commitment to quality enhancement, having concern for enhancement-led developments in HE delivered through FE colleges.

To summarise our approach, we have developed an integrated framework which emphasises a focus on the way ELAQA (Enhancement Led Approach to Quality Assurance) has been implemented, the way key stakeholders might perceive and experience ELAQA, adapt its ideas to institutional settings and finally the way ELAQA evolves over this initial period. In order to provide evaluative resources for SHEFC, we have built on work undertaken as part of the LTSN evaluation on stages of concern by integrating ideas of change from the implementation staircase metaphor and framed it as a policy trajectory. The evaluation will also build on participants in the HE sector by inviting them to develop collaboratively some of the key indicators which will shape the evaluation.

The evaluation will be developing a dedicated WEB site which will form a platform for discussion, distribution of key documents and repository of material associated with evaluation within the HE sector.