Commendation for the University of Stirling from independent quality experts

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Stirling campus from above

The University of Stirling has been awarded the highest possible outcome in a review conducted by QAA, the UK’s independent higher education quality body.

The review concluded that the University had ‘effective arrangements for managing academic standards and the student learning experience’.

The QAA commended the University’s achievements in several areas including responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, student support and the institutional commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Professor Leigh Sparks, Deputy Principal (Education and Students) at the University of Stirling, said: “I am delighted that the University has received the highest possible outcome for our Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR) review.

“The review recognises and commends the University on a range of aspects of our work to ensure high academic standards and the quality of the Stirling student learning experience. I am particularly pleased that the exceptional work and effort of all staff and students during the pandemic has been identified for commendation.”

The review was undertaken by a team of five independent reviewers, appointed by QAA, during visits in March and April 2021. Its commendations included the following areas:

  • The University’s tailored, well-planned and agile response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the continued provision of comprehensive student-facing support services.
  • The University has made significant progress with its vision for the student learning environment, undertaking a significant re-design and redevelopment of its facilities.
  • In recognising the diversity of its student population, the University has developed an extensive range of high quality and accessible student services that support the need of all students.
  • A strong institutional commitment has ensured that equality, diversity and inclusion is embedded in the culture of the University and its collaborative partners.

Professor Sparks continued: “I am grateful to the review team, and to all staff and students who contributed to the ELIR review, both for their approach to teaching and learning over the last five years and specifically their inputs during this review. The University will now use the insights from the review, and our reflection, in our continuous focus on the enhancement of the student learning experience.”

QAA’s report also makes a number of recommendations, asking the University to:

  • Complete the fundamental review of its approach to data management which is currently underway and integrate key University information systems
  • Introduce a process for reviewing student-facing professional services that complements the current process of annual review
  • Review the current governance and reporting arrangements for the Institute for Advanced Studies, to ensure these provide the University with appropriate and effective oversight of the totality of the postgraduate research student experience

To read the full report, visit the QAA website