It is essential that students continue to get what they need and expect from their experience of higher education, no matter which course they choose, where or how they study or what their background is.
While many universities and colleges offer high-quality courses, we want to make sure that all students get a good experience. That means up-to-date course content, useful resources and qualifications that hold their value.
We consulted on a set of initial proposals from November 2020 to January 2021. We have now published a second consultation that goes into more detail about our proposed requirements for high-quality courses, and our expectations for the standards of degrees and other qualifications for the providers that we regulate.
Some of the improvements we set out in the first consultation, which we are taking forward in this consultation, include:
- setting new, clearer requirements for both ‘quality’ and ‘standards’ which, if accepted, we would use to regulate all universities and colleges
- making it clear that all students should be on courses that meet or exceed these minimum requirements for quality and standards, including those studying in a modular or flexible way or studying overseas
- new sector-recognised standards for the classification of first degrees, which will protect the standards of different classes of degree.
What we want to know
We welcome views from students and student representatives on all of the proposals in this consultation. We are particularly interested to hear views about how we are defining and proposing to regulate ‘quality’ and ‘standards’.
We are proposing a revised set of conditions of registration, which all universities and colleges would have to meet, so that students are protected from poor quality courses or qualifications that don’t stand the test of time.
We’ve summarised these below, and you can find more detail about the terms we use and all our proposals in the consultation document.
Students must receive a high-quality academic experience which means their course:
- is up to date
- provides educational challenge
- is coherent
- is effectively delivered
- requires students to develop relevant skills.
To ensure that they have a high-quality academic experience and success in and beyond higher education, each cohort of students must receive:
- resources and support
- effective engagement.
Universities and colleges registered with the OfS must ensure that:
- students are assessed effectively
- each assessment is valid and reliable
- academic regulations ensure that awards and qualifications are credible
- awards and qualifications granted to students are credible when they are granted and when compared to those granted previously.
Universities and colleges must ensure that:
- the standards of courses are consistent with a set of standards agreed by the sector (these are ’sector-recognised standards’)
- awards are only granted to students whose knowledge and skills are consistent with sector-recognised standards.
Have your say
Read the second consultation on quality and standards