Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

Quality Assurance Agency For Higher Education

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Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

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Established in 1997, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) works to ensure that higher education qualifications in the United Kingdom are of a sound standard. It protects the public interest by checking how universities and colleges maintain their academic standards and quality. It also regulates the Access to Higher Education Diploma - a qualification that enables individuals without A-levels or the usual equivalent to enter higher education.


QAA is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee operating under the legal jurisdiction of England, and a charity registered in England and Wales and in Scotland. It is not an accrediting body and does not hold a list of recognised universities or colleges. This is held currently by the UK Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Chief Executive since October 2009 has been Anthony McClaran, who was previously Chief Executive of UCAS for six years. QAA is based in Gloucester with QAA Scotland in Glasgow.


In the UK the primary responsibility for academic standards and quality rests with individual universities and colleges, each of which has its own internal quality assurance procedures. QAA carries out external reviews and audits by visiting the universities and colleges and reporting on how well they meet their responsibilities. Reports also identify good practice and make recommendations for improvement.

QAA provides guidance and tools for setting and...
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