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Quality Enhancement Framework

The unique Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF) has been designed to support higher education institutions in Scotland in managing the quality of the student learning experience and to provide public confidence in the quality and standards of higher education.

QAA Scotland worked closely with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Universities Scotland and NUS Scotland to develop an enhancement-led approach to quality in the Scottish higher education sector. The strategy adopted has five main elements:

  • a comprehensive programme of institution-led reviews, carried out by higher education institutions with guidance from the SFC

  • Enhancement-led institutional review: external reviews run by QAA Scotland that involve all Scottish higher education institutions over a four-year cycle

  • improved forms of public information about quality, based on addressing the different needs of a range of stakeholders including students and employers

  • a greater voice for student representatives, we have taken the lead in involving students in quality management in higher education. sparqs (student participation in quality scotland), hosted by NUS Scotland, assists and supports students, students’ associations and institutions to improve the effectiveness of student engagement in quality processes and provides advice to the SFC and institutions on good practice in student engagement

  • a national programme of Enhancement Themes, managed by QAA Scotland. The programme encourages academic staff, support staff and students to share current good practice and collectively generate ideas and models for innovation in learning and teaching.

The work of QAA Scotland feeds into all these elements. This collaborative approach to quality is unique in many respects: in its balance between quality assurance and enhancement; in the emphasis which it places on the student experience; in its focus on learning and not solely on teaching; and in the spirit of cooperation and partnership which has underpinned all these developments.