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Quality and Standards

QAA Quality Assured kitemarkIntroduction

The University is responsible for the academic standards of all awards granted in its name, and the quality of students’ teaching and learning.  Bangor University has, over many years, developed an integrated and systematic approach to the management of academic quality and standards, adopting a range of quality assurance mechanisms designed to establish, maintain monitor and review the academic standards of its awards and enhance the quality of learning opportunities at all points of delivery, including collaborative provision at partner institutions both in the UK and internationally.

The University’s approach to quality assurance is underpinned by a number of key principles:

  • The University Senate, supported by its Task Groups, regulatory frameworks, policies and procedures, has the primary responsibility for the management of academic standards and quality;
  • a commitment to promote an culture of continuous improvement in programme delivery and management and the learning environment;
  • engagement with students, and, where applicable, relevant employers through appropriate representation, consultation and feedback mechanisms;
  • the use of relevant external and internal reference points, including the Quality Assurance Agency’s UK Quality Code for Higher Education, subject benchmark statements and the requirements and expectations of professional , statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs);
  • the use of external subject specialists in the approval and periodic review of the curriculum and in  monitoring assessment;
  • recognition that responsibility for programme delivery and management lies within Schools.  All academic staff have a duty to carry out allocated teaching, curriculum development and student support activity to the highest possible standards. 
  • Schools have robust mechanisms for the quality assurance and enhancement of all academic provision within the School, including research degree programmes.

Internal Reference Points

The University’s processes for assuring quality and standards are set out in detail in the Academic Quality Manual, which comprises a series of Academic Regulations, Codes of Practice, Guidelines and Procedures.  In executing these processes, the University is able to demonstrate to external bodies such as the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) that it has procedures in place to allow it to discharge its responsibilities for academic quality and standards effectively.  
In summary, the University applies the following quality assurance mechanisms to all taught programmes:

  • Peer-based validation and revalidation, with input from academic staff from outside the University (external subject specialists) and University and student reviewers;
  • Annual programme monitoring, by the programme team;
  • External Examiners to monitor academic standards;
  • School, College and University committees to allow scrutiny and consistent application of regulations, policies and procedures, with input from academic staff and student representatives;
  • Module evaluation and Staff-Student Liaison Committees to provide formal systems for students to give feedback and raise issues about the operation of the programme.

The following mechanisms also apply to research degree programmes:

  • External Examiners to monitor academic standards;
  • School, College and University committees to allow scrutiny and consistent application of regulations, policies and procedures, with input from academic staff and student representatives;

In addition, the University has a 6-year cycle of internal quality audit for all Schools.
Further information on the University’s quality assurance mechanisms can be found via the links below.

External Reference Points

The national body responsible for the oversight of academic quality in higher education institutions is the Quality Assurance Agency.  The QAA’s expectations are outlined in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education, which closely informs the University’s own quality assurance mechanisms.  The QAA reviews all higher education institutions every six years to confirm their compliance with the mandatory expectations of the Quality Code.  The University was last reviewed in May 2018, after which the QAA reported that:

Based on the information presented, the review team judges that:

• Bangor University meets the requirements of the ESG Part 1 for internal quality assurance.
• Bangor University meets the relevant baseline regulatory requirements of the Quality Assessment Framework for Wales.

This is a positive judgement, which means the University has robust arrangements for securing academic standards, managing academic quality and for enhancing the quality of the student experience.

The University also ensures that all its academic provision is aligned with the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW).