Quality Assurance ('QA') refers to the systems and procedures the School uses to assure itself of the standards of its awards, and the quality of its teaching and other provision for students. These cover:
- the design, approval, monitoring and review of courses and programmes
- consultation with and feedback to students
- staff management insofar as it relates to teaching
The procedures are set out in the Quality Assurance Handbook, a guide for both academic and administrative staff, which also lists those who can provide further advice or support in each area. These are designed to meet both internal School needs and external requirements, principally of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), and are the primary condition of the funding which allows the School to continue teaching and research. Moreover, they can be a creative influence for staff and students as well as a necessary guarantee against poor practice. Synoptic guides for the most common procedures at course and programme level, with the requisite forms and reference to further details in the Handbook, can be found in the list of links on the left.
The Handbook will be updated from time to time, and questions about its content or suggestions for amendments should be sent to the Quality Assurance Team:
Changes to QA systems, whether brought about by external advice or internal feedback, are discussed in departments and faculties before recommendations are made to School committees. Chloe Weanie is secretary of the Learning and Teaching Quality Committee (LTQC), while senior responsibility for QA is held by the Director of Academic Development, Mandy Bentham, based in the Academic Development Directorate.
QAA Institutional Review 2013
In 2013 SOAS underwent Institutional Review by the QAA. The review report, which can be found here http://www.qaa.ac.uk/InstitutionReports/Pages/SOAS.aspx confirmed that the School meets UK expectations in all areas. A number of recommendations were made, and an action plan was drawn up to address these. The actions initially identified are now complete, as shown in the updated plan, but LTQC will continue to monitor progress in these areas and to report regularly on them to Academic Board and Governing Body.