This report, commissioned by HEFCE from consultants KPMG as part of the Review of Quality Assessment, summarises the findings from a study of the cost of quality assurance and quality assessment practices in English higher education (HE) providers. This includes higher education institutions (HEIs), further education colleges (FECs) and alternative providers (APs). It is intended to establish a benchmark for comparison against the costs of potential future approaches to quality assessment in higher education.
The study draws on sources including:
- a desk-based review of data including the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC)
- an online survey of 46 HEIs, 14 FECs and three APs
- visits to nine HEIs, two FECs and two APs, including discussions with institutional representatives
- stakeholder workshops.
The report seeks to understand the cost to providers of existing quality assurance and quality assessment practices in the following areas:
- the activities that HE providers undertake in response to the requirements set out in the UK Quality Code for higher education and other external reference points
- the activities that HE providers would have undertaken, under their own initiative and in the absence of any regulatory requirements in this area, to secure the standard of awards and the quality of the academic experience for students
- the activities that HE providers undertake to prepare for audit or review by external agencies – specifically, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and professional, statutory and regulartory bodies
- the extent to which business developments and opportunities are supported or inhibited by the current quality assurance and quality assessment arrangements.