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Two studies have been published to stimulate thinking and discussion to contribute to the review of future approaches to quality assessment in higher education being undertaken by HEFCE, together with the funding bodies in Wales and Northern Ireland. The Quality Assessment Review discussion document published in January asks important questions of higher education providers, of students, of employers, and of other stakeholders about what quality assessment arrangements should be like in the future.

We hope that these studies will prompt reflection on cross-sector themes and issues, and highlight innovative practices that might, with appropriate redesign, be effective within our own future quality assessment system. We are not seeking formal responses to these two studies but would welcome reflections on the issues raised in responses to our Quality Assessment Review discussion document.

International comparator study to inform the quality assessment review in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

This study provides an account of approaches to assessment of academic standards and quality in three competitor countries.  It considers quality assurance approaches in Norway, the United States and Australia, and focuses on issues such as the role of audit and reporting, the burden of different approaches, and the role of outcomes-based approaches.

Approaches to regulation in other UK sectors

This study presents a thematic analysis of regulatory approaches in other UK sectors: advertising, qualifications, financial services, accountancy and audit. Key areas addressed include regulatory approaches, enabling innovation, international and information issues.