From education to employment

UK Quality Mark for Cirencester College

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has confirmed the quality and standards of provision at Cirencester College following its review in May 2016.

A team of QAA reviewers visited Cirencester College and judged that its academic standards, the quality and enhancement of its student learning opportunities, and the quality of information about learning opportunities all meet UK expectations.

The review identified a number of examples of good practice. These include:

  • extensive support for students to use placements and work experience to inform career choices
  • effective use of ‘Career Ready’ boards to simultaneously engage employers and students in programme development
  • a dedicated Subject Learning Coach for higher education, which has enhanced staff development opportunities.

The review made several recommendations for improvement, including to:

  • review and amend the Higher Education Academic Appeals Procedure to take account of guidance on best practice published by the OIA
  • develop a formal process for monitoring and tracking students’ progress and personal development.

Libby Reed, Vice Principal Cirencester College, said: ‘The College is delighted with the outcome of its Higher Education Review, which affirms the positive feedback we receive from our HE students.

‘The College has formulated an action plan to address the recommendations of the review report in a timely manner. We believe we provide a unique HE experience, with small class sizes, high levels of support and a vocational emphasis.

‘This suits many students who may feel uncomfortable studying in a large university and also provides a balance between academic study and the skills that employers require. This is borne out by the achievements of our students in their future study and careers. We now look forward to developing new courses to build on our successes.’

QAA’s Higher Education Reviews are carried out by experts from other universities and colleges. Every review team includes a student reviewer, because QAA believes that students should be partners in the quality assurance of their education.

The team that reviewed Cirencester College comprised Julia Baylie (QAA), Howard White (Univeristy of Bath) and Ian Woodland (student reviewer, Truro and Penwirth College).

A successful review means that Cirencester College can display the QAA Quality Mark, indicating to UK and international students that it meets national requirements for standards and quality.

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