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Academic Development Directorate

Section F: Institutional Review

Committees:
  • Learning and Teaching Quality Committee [LTQC]
  • Academic Board
  • Governing Body
Advice:
  • Secretary to LTQC (Quality Assurance Manager)
  • Director of Academic Development

Like every other HEFCE-funded institution in England and Wales, SOAS is subject to periodic Institutional Review by the Quality Assurance Agency. The last review was in March 2013, and the review report, which can be found at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/InstitutionReports/Pages/SOAS.aspx, confirmed that the School meets UK expectations in all areas. Regardless of the outcome of an Institutional Review, recommendations are made for ways in which the institution can improve its management of quality and standards. SOAS's action plan shows the actions which have been and will be taken to address these recommendations, and will be monitored and updated by Quality Assurance Manager under the oversight of Learning and Teaching Quality Committee.

Institutional Review involves every part of the School which contributes to teaching or to supporting the student experience. The submission which the School makes before the reviewers’ visit is discussed by committees at every level, up to and including Governing Body. The reviewers can then request any additional document, and meet with any member of staff, in order to make their judgement about the School’s maintenance of standards. Recommendations made in the review report may refer to any area of the School’s provision. QAA Institutional Review reports are public documents, and their findings are widely noted in the sector and beyond. A critical report can be damaging for an institution in terms of reputation and recruitment (of both staff and students).

The School’s preparation for, and response to, Institutional Review, is co-ordinated by the Quality Assurance Manager, under the remit of LTQC. Every support will be provided for members of staff who are required to participate, but it is hoped that colleagues will recognise the importance of prompt and robust action both in preparing for this occasional scrutiny and in response to recommendations thereafter.