7.1 How teaching quality is assured at LSE

Academic and Student Affairs Committee reviews of departmental provision

The Teaching Quality Assurance and Review Office (TQARO) runs the School's various internal teaching quality procedures. These procedures are set by the Academic and Student Affairs Committee (ASC) and the Academic Board.

One of the main quality assurance procedures is the ASC reviews of departmental provision. Each department and institute is reviewed every five to six years. These reviews help the School, as the awarding body, assure the quality and standrards of its awards. The reviews explore departmental provision under four main headings: academic standards, quality assurance, quality enhancement and student views. They are developmental in nature, and aim to identify and share good practice. Where departments identify gaps or omissions in their provision, the review team suggests examples of relevant good practice from their knowledge of other review outcomes.


Annual programme monitoring

A separate quality assurance procedure (the outcome of which froms part of the evidence base for ASC reviews) is annual programme monitoring. These in effect require departments to conduct annual mini reviews of their taught programmes based on a range of data TQARO provides for the purpose (eg, external examiner reports, student performance data, survey results). Departments are required to complete an annual programme review template which results in the production of an action plan for each programme.

External quality review

All UK universities are accountable to their relevant funding councils (for example, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, HEFCE), and ultimately to the Government. In recent years, there have been various systems of external review for both teaching and research. On research, there is a system called the Research Excellence Framework (REF) which has replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Whilst it is not relevant in this context, you may wish to find out more about it in order to better understand the context in which you are teaching - see www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref|. On teaching, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)operates a national external review system. You can find out more at  the QAA website (www.qaa.ac.uk|). The main point to be aware of is that QAA's Higher Education Review system asks the School to present for scrutiny its own quality assurance mechanisms and procedures against QAA requirements.


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