Imperial College London QUALITY ASSURANCE REVIEWInterim Report Julia Buckingham
TERMS OF REFERENCE • To review existing QA processes and consider their effectiveness and value • To identify ways in which the College might exploit systems more effectively in its QA processes and management thereof • To identify ways in which the College can be innovative and proactive in its approach to QA and thereby position itself in a leadership position • To consider the resource implications • To make recommendations for change • To report to the SEC
MEMBERSHIP • Julia Buckingham • David Lloyd Smith • Stephen Richardson • Jeff Kramer • Richard Thompson • Karim Meeran • Dot Griffiths • Denis Wright • Jackie de Belleroche • Hannah Theodorou • Rebecca Penny
AREAS REVIEWED • Committee structure • Academic Development and Enhancement – taught courses • Academic Development and Enhancement – research degrees • Collaborative arrangements • Student welfare • Recruitment and career development of academic staff and PDRAs • Complaints, appeals, disciplinaries etc.
RECOMMENDATIONS - COMMITTEES • QARC disbanded • Course reviews to be considered by Studies Committees • Research training reviews to move to the Graduate Schools • Remaining business to be transferred to QAAC • QAAC to be retained • Clear delineation of the decision making powers of Departments, Studies Committees/Graduate Schools and Senate • Improved dissemination of information • Delineation of QA vs. strategy and of the powers of Senate and the SEC/Management Board.
RECOMMENDATIONS – TAUGHT COURSES • Faculties and Departments to ensure that teaching is given strategic attention • Teaching development grants and awards to be supported • CASLAT to be reviewed • Career structure and roles of teaching fellows and learning technologists across College to be defined • SOLE questions to be reviewed • Streamlining the 5-year review process and annual monitoring • Improved methods of sharing best practice
RECOMMENDATIONS – RESEARCH DEGREES • Separation of the processes for dealing with applications for PGT and PGR students • Changes to the procedures for registration and monitoring of PGR students • Changes to the research degree reviews • Improved environment for research students • Consideration of merging the graduate schools
RECOMMENDATIONS – STUDENT WELFARE • Improved co-ordination and web-site • Enhanced personal tutor system • Separation of the roles of DPS and postgraduate tutor • Role of College Tutors made clearer and more accessible to students • Improved information to applicants about the College’s provision for disabled students
RECOMMENDATIONS – STAFF RECRUITMENT AND DEVELOPMENT • All academic posts to be advertised internationally and short-listing by several people • Early career staff to be ‘protected’ from teaching and admin • Probation to be rigorous • Teaching to make a clear contribution to the criteria for promotions, pay awards and bonuses • Joint appointments to be carefully managed • Clarification of the use of PDRAs (and PhD students) in teaching • Outreach strategy to be reviewed
RECOMMENDATIONS – STUDENT APPEALS, COMPLAINTS AND DISCIPLINARIES - 1 • Web-cleanse and development of a dedicated new site with up to date procedures and simple flow charts • Examination appeals – broaden authority so that no one person makes a decision • Disciplinaries • College Discipline Panel to be chaired by the Dean of Students to ensure collective knowledge/experience on the Panel • Appeals – Discipline Review Panel to be chaired by a lay-member of Council
RECOMMENDATIONS – STUDENT APPEALS, COMPLAINTS AND DISCIPLINARIES - 2 • Complaints • Stages 3 and 4 to be merged and dealt with by the Dean of Students, Pro-Rector (Education) and Academic Registrar. • If the complaint involves a member of staff, HR to be informed at an early stage • If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the stage 3 investigation, he/she should approach the OIA • Guidance to be provided by the Central Secretariat.11
RECOMMENDATIONS – STUDENT APPEALS, COMPLAINTS AND DISCIPLINARIES - 3 • Examination irregularities and plagiarism • Apply the same procedures to students who plead guilty and not guilty • All decisions to be made by a Panel not an individual • Hearing Panel to be replaced with a Review Panel • Introduce a tariff system • Appeal panel to be chaired by a lay-member of Council