Academic standards at Cardiff Met commended by the QAA
One of Cardiff’s three major universities has been praised in a recent report published by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) – the UK’s higher education watchdog. Cardiff Metropolitan University, formerly known as UWIC, was opened in 1976 and currently has a total student population of 17,000 within its 5 academic schools and 19 collaborative partner institutions. Even though it’s smaller than its biggest rivals, Cardiff University and the University of South Wales, Cardiff Met is frequently voted as one of the best places to study in Wales, and was named the top ‘new’ university in Wales in 2012 along with being ranked 1 st in Wales for its quality of international student experience.
Positive outcomes across the university
In the QAA report, the university, which was subject to merger speculation in April 2013, was judged to have met UK expectations for academic standards, the quality of student learning opportunities, the enhancement of student learning opportunities, and information about learning opportunities produced by the university. The university’s Learning and Teaching Development Unit, Students’ Union and Your Career online learning object were also identified as having good practice.
The university’s programme directors were also commended for ensuring that assessments meet approved requirements, while being balanced and fair. The report also said that staff development and training were particularly impressive thanks to the university’s policy of performance review, quality assurance processes and student feedback. The QAA team conducting the report also noted that students felt happy and settled with their teachers, with most of the student body agreeing that Cardiff Met tutors and lecturers are both knowledgeable and professional, while the resources academics provided met students’ needs.
Most noteworthy, however, is that Cardiff Metropolitan University was also praised for taking steps to actively engage students in making decisions which impact on the university and the experience it delivers.
How can Cardiff Met improve on these results?
Even though the QAA report mainly applauded the institution, it also instructed the university to improve in certain areas. By January 2015, the university needs to review and clarify its complaints procedure and ensure that it is accurately communicated to students. Furthermore, the university should also look at ways of improving policies and guidance relating to formative assessment feedback. Finally, by March 2015, the university should ensure that a consistent university-wide approach to areas such as support, training and monitoring has been implemented.
Speaking last month about the report’s findings, Cardiff Met’s deputy vice-chancellor Jacqui Hare said that the university was pleased to see feedback as positive as this.
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