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Education Quality and Policy Office

 

The Education Quality and Policy Office supports faculties and departments in developing their quality assurance and enhancement procedures within the frameworks set out by the General Board

Local quality assurance arrangements are monitored and reviewed through the General Board's Education Committee and its sub-committees, which set out policy and guidance frameworks within which Faculty Boards and equivalent boards operate. The Education Committee works closely with the Senior Tutors' Committee and the Board of Graduate Studies, and also liaises with the Councils of the Schools.

The University's democratic governance structure allows for approval and consultation at a number of levels. For major changes to teaching provision, formal approval is needed by the General Board and Council. The Regent House is then given the opportunity to comment and advise on the proposals and, if called for, vote on their approval in a formal ballot.  Virtually all central bodies have joint College and University membership which encourages dissemination of information on initiatives at an early stage. Visit the University Governance pages for more information about University approval and consultation processes.

In addition to the central Committees, the following governance bodies support quality assurance of teaching and learning: 

  • Councils of the School
    Each Council acts as a co-ordinating organisation for its group of faculties and departments; they serve to promote links between their constituent faculties, to distribute funds and to advise the General Board on their faculties’ resource needs and priorities. The Councils contribute to overall quality assurance through the appointment of members for panels for internal reviews, and by commenting on the reports. Councils are consulted about resource implications of major changes to courses or the introduction of new programmes.
  • Faculty Boards and Degree Committees
    Faculty Boards are statutorily responsible to the General Board (via its Education Committee) for ensuring that teaching within the faculty is appropriate and of a high standard. Faculty Boards receive information, advice and recommendations from University-level bodies, take account of external developments in their subject areas, and are expected to consider and address the recommendations and requirements of any Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies. In addition to any internal sub-committees set up to manage teaching provision, Faculty Boards are expected to consult formally with relevant Directors of Studies Committees and Councils of the School for any impact on College teaching provision or resource allocation, respectively.  Many faculties will also have a Degree Committee which oversees the quality of graduate and postgraduate provision specifically.  
  • Teaching Committees
    It is expected that each faculty (and in some cases, each department) will have a committee whose main remit is to oversee teaching and learning issues. In some cases this may be the Faculty Board or Degree Committee, but in others these bodies may delegate to a dedicated teaching committee.
  • Staff-student Joint Committees
    In addition to the Teaching Committee, where representation may be limited due to numbers, it is recommended that each faculty and/or department will have a committee consisting of both junior and senior members, at which issues concerning teaching and learning (amongst others) can be raised. Minutes of the meeting should be kept and forwarded to the Teaching Committee or Faculty Board as appropriate. There should be a clear line of responsibility for responding to issues raised at the joint committee, including feeding back to students on actions taken.

Most of these bodies elect student representatives; further details can be found on our Student Election pages.