The quality of our teaching is assured

The QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) is the independent body that checks on standards and quality in UK higher education. It monitors the way universities, colleges and alternative providers of UK higher education maintain their academic standards and quality.

Courses that are publicly funded must undergo external review to demonstrate that a national ‘threshold’ standard is met, and that quality is satisfactory. QAA is the body that undertakes this independent role in the UK.

QAA Oxford Business College

Latest report, July 2016

Since 2012 Oxford Business College has undergone oversight by the QAA. Their report issued in July 2016 is available here. By meeting their standards Oxford Business College ensures that your qualification will be recognised around the world.

The corresponding action plan is as below:

qaa-action-plan-september-2016-final-version

Key findings of the 2016 report

The key findings of the July 2016 QAA report are as follows:

  • The maintenance of the academic standards of awards meets UK expectations.
  • The quality of student learning opportunities meets UK expectations.
  • The quality of the information about learning opportunities meets UK expectations.
  • The enhancement of student learning opportunities meets UK expectations.

These judgements were supplemented by the examples of Good Practice detailed below, as well as by the affirmations listed in the first column of the plan:

  • The clear and supportive admissions processes which prepare students for an effective learning experience (Expectation B2).
  • The effective sharing of best practice including positive use of observation which facilitates the team ethos among staff (Expectation B3).
  • The positive, enthusiastic and consistent approach to the implementation and use of digital technology, which enhances student learning opportunities (Expectation B3).
  • The effective partnership between the College and its students which enables them to fully develop their academic, personal and professional potential (Expectation B5).

From the beginning of the preparation of the Action Plan, the student voice has been an integral source of input to the actions and success indicators, as well as to this commentary.

Good Practice identified in the report

Although a total of four instances of good practice were identified in the QAA July report, both students and staff agree that the most noteworthy of all is the one that highlights “The effective partnership between the College and its students which enables them to fully develop their academic, personal and professional potential”.

As far as the college ethos is concerned and its Mission to “provide each individual learner with the most positive learning experience”, this acknowledgment of an effective partnership confirms that we continue to approach this goal. It also complements the summary of our efforts from one of the students who was helping to prepare this commentary: “From Induction onwards, we’re aware how much individual attention is important to OBC and that they always welcome feedback and want to improve our experience.”

A job well done

OBC is pleased that its efforts to date in relation to conversion and retention were acknowledged in the July QAA report. In particular, the dedicated Committee established in 2014 to address these issues will continue to play an important role in further progress. The group allows the voice of all stakeholders to be heard.

Here is a related comment from the student team involved in this Action Plan / commentary: “Through a questionnaire that was conducted by a student, the student body was able to find the gap and commend the tutors. The conclusion of the questionnaire was that although the tutors were providing sufficient support during the course of their modules, it outlined the importance of the student’s ability to motivate themselves to complete tasks in due time, express their liking of group presentations etc…”

In respect of increased oversight of OBC’s academic programmes, a revised Senior Management structure is already in place (although it will continue to evolve), and this will facilitate the monitoring of our programmes. The recent inclusion of a student as member of the Senior Management Team (Strategic), as well as continued student involvement in most college committees, will ensure decisions incorporate the views of the student cohort.`