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Revised operating model for quality assessment

We have now published a revised ‘operating model’ for quality assessment in higher education in England. 


We, and the other UK funding bodies, primarily fulfil this duty by contracting with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). The QAA currently review the quality of higher education in publicly funded institutions. The QAA carries out these reviews in English institutions on HEFCE’s behalf.

Assessing quality

Under the terms of its current contract with HEFCE, QAA assesses whether and how HEFCE-funded providers of higher education are maintaining:

  • academic standards
  • the quality of learning opportunities
  • the quality of information about their HE provision
  • the enhancement of learning opportunities.

QAA publishes a report on the findings from each review on its web-site.‚Äč The method currently used to carry out these reviews is Higher Education Review.

Public information about higher education

Public-facing information about HE is an integral and increasingly important part of quality assurance. 

‌Universities, colleges and national organisations produce a broad range of information to this end. Some of this is published on the Unistats website, including the results of the National Student Survey and the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey

More on providing information about HE

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) publishes a wide range of data about English HE.


As part of its statutory duty, HEFCE operates a Strategic Advisory Committee with a particular role in respect of quality assessment.


For more information about assuring the quality of teaching in English higher education, contact