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1 The University of Edinburgh Minutes of the meeting of Senatus Quality Assurance Committee (SQAC) held at 2 p.m. on Thursday 23 rd October 2014 in the Raeburn Room, Old College Minutes are draft until approved by the next meeting of the Committee Present Professor Jeremy Bradshaw Dr Linda Bruce Professor Karen Chapman Dr Tina Harrison Ms Tanya Lubicz-Nawrocka Dr Robert Mason Dr Gordon McDougall Mr Ronnie Millar Professor John Sawkins Deputy Principal (Learning and Teaching) Heriot Watt University Mr Dash Sekhar Professor Michael Summerfield Director of Quality Assurance, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (CMVM), Assistant Principal Researcher Development Head of Quality Assurance Team, Academic Services School of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Convener, Assistant Principal Academic Standards & Quality Assurance EUSA Academic Engagement Co-ordinator Associate Dean (Quality Assurance) College of Humanities and Social Science Dean (Quality Assurance), College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Director, Student Counselling Service, Representative of Student Services External Representative from Scottish Higher Education system Vice President (Academic Affairs) EUSA (VPAA) College of Science and Engineering (School of GeoSciences) In attendance Mrs Marion Judge Apologies Dr Shereen Benjamin Ms Erin Jackson Mr Barry Neilson Professor Ian Pirie Dr Jon Turner Mr Tom Ward Committee Secretary, Academic Services School of Education, College of Humanities and Social Science (CHSS) Co-opted Member: Distance Learning & E-learning Director, Student Systems Assistant Principal, Learning and Development Director, Institute for Academic Development Director of Academic Services 1

2 Welcome & Apologies The Committee welcomed Committee member Professor Michael Summerfield. Apologies had been received from Dr Shereen Benjamin, Mr Barry Neilson, Professor Ian Pirie, Dr Jon Turner and Mr Tom Ward. 1 Minutes of previous meeting QAC 14/15 2 A The Minutes of the meeting of 4 th September 2014 were approved as an accurate record of the meeting. 2 Matters arising from the Minutes of 4 th September 2014 QAC 14/15 2 B i. With reference to item 8, Internal Review Themes (paper QAC 14/15 1G) in which several themes for further development were noted for the attention of Researcher Experience Committee (REC), the Convener advised the Committee that a paper would be submitted to REC s December meeting requesting discussion of the proposals and follow-up action. REC is requested to inform QAC of actions taken in response to the recommendations. ii. Referring to item 8.iv of the paper on Internal Review Themes (QAC 14/15 1G) Interaction of Academic and Social Community and Space Allocation, the Convener referred to a paper which had been considered at REC s September 2014 meeting on, Teaching Space Management Pilot which was relevant to the theme, and advised of the work of the pilot and the consequent roll out of a university-wide teaching space management programme where further spaces for Postgraduate Research students would be identified. Professor Bradshaw advised that REC would be working closely with the group. iii.the Convener advised that the paper on ELIR Implementation Update - QAC 14/15 1 H - had been circulated to the wider University. iv. Clarification was sought from the College Dean CSCE on item 13. Action: Committee Secretary 3 Convener s Business i. The Convener advised the Committee of an announcement that HEFCE will be consulting with the Higher Education sector about a proposal to put quality arrangements in England, Wales and Northern Ireland out to competitive tender. In parallel with this, the Scottish Funding Council has announced that it would be undertaking a review of the Quality Enhancement Framework in Scotland. ii. Further revision to mapping of chapter B11 of the QAA Quality Code would be brought to the Committee at a future meeting. Action: Committee Secretary For discussion 4 College Quality Assurance Priorities Colleges provided updates on their key Quality Assurance and Enhancement priorities. Common themes across Colleges included: QAC 14/15 2 C 2

3 Strengthening student engagement and representation, particularly in relation to Online Distance Learning (ODL) students. In addition to work currently ongoing in this area, this is being addressed through the work of the Student Representation for Distance Learners task group. It was noted that it would be helpful for there to be some additional discussion in this area between EUSA and the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Action: Professor Bradshaw/ Ms Tanya Lubicz-Nawrocka Enhancement and development of collaborative processes. Development of College and University processes for setting up new programmes and collaborative agreements is ongoing (see item 7 below), with procedures for supporting and monitoring agreements being strengthened to ensure that University standards are met. It was noted that linkage in this area of work should take into consideration Centres for Doctoral Training, and relevant committees, such as REC. Action: Committee Secretary for Collaborative Provision Learning from each other, further development of College support for identification and sharing of good practice, and promotion of reflection on teaching/learning issues. A framework for the pilot of annual Programme Review is currently being taken forward in the College of Humanities and Social Science. QAC will consider any wider implications for the University quality assurance framework in due course when the pilot has concluded. It was noted that Colleges are continuing enhancement work in the areas of; effective monitoring of Personal Tutor system; supporting use and encouraging development of systems such as, Path Programme Builder and EvaSys. 5 Complaints Monitoring Quarterly Report The report covered three areas: complaint statistics for the academic year ; report on Stage 2 complaint investigations; caseload handled through generic . It was noted with interest that 95% of complaints were being resolved at front line. It was understood that further detail on the substance of the type of complaints being handled would be available in the annual report, which would be provided later in the year. The Committee observed that benchmarking would be helpful. The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine would confirm regarding their statistics. QAC 14/15 2 D CLOSED Action: Committee Secretary for committee agenda Professor Bradshaw for CMVM statistics 3

4 6 External Examiner Update QAC 14/15 2 E The Committee noted that the pilot of the External Examiner Reporting System (EERS) was now live, and a number of external examiner reports had been received. Planning and preparation was now taking place for full roll-out of EERS Project to the wider University. Guidance would be provided on management of the new appointments process. The Committee provided positive feedback on the work being done, and the benefits of the new system were emphasized. 7 Collaborative Provision Update Verbal A verbal update was given on ongoing work on the enhancement of Collaborative Provision processes. A working group had met to discuss proposed refreshed processes for setting up academic collaborative (or general partnership) agreements. Memorandum of Understanding and Memorandum of Agreement templates had been circulated for comment from the wider University prior to finalisation. Consideration of Postgraduate Research needs in this area was highlighted. It was noted that REC had agreed that Associated Institution templates and documentation would be included in the Collaborative Provision review, and that the review would look at existing documentation held in relation to Associated Institutions. Action: Committee Secretary to circulate draft MoU/MoA templates to College Deans, and to ensure Collaborative Provision group includes Associated Institutions in review. For approval 8 Senate Committee Guidance on authoring papers QAC 14/15 2 F The Committee was advised that following Court s refreshed guidance in practices relating to authoring committee papers, Senate Committees were requested to consider and endorse amendments to existing practice in this area, as outlined in the paper. The purpose of the proposed amendments was to enhance the Senate Committees operation by establishing new guidelines on authoring committee papers and on managing the communication, implementation and evaluation of committee decisions. The Committee approved the paper, subject to confirmation of the finalisation of the new committee papers coversheet template. Action: Committee Secretary/Tom Ward 9 UK Quality Code Mapping: Chapters B4 and B8 QAC 14/15 2 G Mappings to the UK Quality Code of Chapters B4 and B8 were discussed. Further to comments on draft mappings being incorporated, the mappings were approved. It was stressed that the mappings are dynamic documents, and that all mappings of chapters to the QAA Quality Code will be reviewed again in Semester 2. The Convener highlighted the need to ensure 4

5 that mappings were primarily linked to key policy and guidance. Action: Committee Secretary/Linda Bruce 10 Internal Review Reports and Responses: QAC 14/15 2 H The Committee considered the following reports: Business and Accounting - Final Report Geography 14- week response Politics and International Relations 14-week response The reports were approved. Comments (noted in Appendix 1) will be fed back to Schools, and to the wider University, as appropriate. QAC 14/15 2 H - Appendix 1 The Committee discussed an alternative approach to handling this area of committee business. It was agreed that going forward, and for a trial period: Internal Review reports and responses for consideration by the Committee would be circulated to the Committee at least 2 weeks in advance of the meeting. Committee members would send back comments on reports to the Committee Secretary a week before the date of the Committee meeting. The Committee Secretary would send a reminder to Committee members who had not responded 4 days before the deadline. The Committee Secretary would circulate responses received to all Committee members prior to the Committee meeting The Committee Secretary would summarise comments into brief feedback, which would be circulated to Schools as appropriate. It was agreed that this new approach, if successful, could facilitate a move towards handling this area of Committee business electronically in future. It was further agreed that this process provided an opportunity for Committee members to make positive and encouraging comments on reports, endorsing at University level the commendations made by review teams. It was noted that due to the volume of reviews taking place in semester 2, and consequent volume of reports, lead readers would be required. Action: Committee members, Committee Secretary For information 11 ELIR 2015 Planning Update QAC 14/15 2 I 5

6 It was noted that planning for ELIR was well under way, and that Colleges were being kept updated on progress. Electronic Business 12 QAA Consultation on Subject Benchmark Statements See: Relevant Schools had been advised of the consultation on subject benchmark statements. The next meeting of the committee is on Thursday 11 th December 2014 at 2pm in the Hodgson Room, Weir Building, Kings Buildings Marion Judge, Secretary to the Senatus Quality Assurance Committee. Date: 28/10/2014 6

7 APPENDIX 1 Quality Assurance Committee Meeting 23 rd October 2014 Internal Review Reports and Responses: Reference Paper QAC 14/15 2 H Summary of comments and suggested actions from Quality Assurance Committee relating to Internal Review Reports and Responses in Paper QAC 14/15 2 H Report Final Report QAC Comments/ Action requested Report Status Approved Business Accounting and The comments below are noted as Good Practice, to share with School as appropriate: Appointment of UG and PG Director of Programmes who is a member of the School Executive team and Board. The appointment of year heads. Promotion an environment that provides great opportunities to students, especially in transferrable and business-relevant skills. Excellent that the School is part of the ECU gender charter mark scheme. The Assurance of Learning Matrix could be of wider benefit in CHSS CHSS might consider the development of a strategy for formalising internships within the curriculum. Business School action in dealing with feedback would be useful to share across the College. Academic mentoring scheme could be adopted elsewhere. Involvement of alumni in student events. Actions: Gillian Mackintosh to convey the above positive comments on good practice to the School College Dean : for suggested dissemination across College of relevant good practice highlighted above, as appropriate 7

8 Academic Services (University): Academic mentoring scheme /involvement of alumni in student events For University: The University might consider clarifying the roles of PT and student support and running seminars for management and those involved in teaching to improve these distinct roles and avoid duplication of roles Action: Academic Services to take forward 14 week responses: Geography Approved Reference recommendation: School recommendations on teaching vision, teaching-related promotion, relationship between research structures and learning/teaching Recommendation Reference: Degree area recommendation connected with colocation Recommendations on assessment and marking The School might wish to consider whether a written document might be useful to articulate the vision, or whether the vision for teaching can form part of a strategic plan for the school Confirmation is requested in relation to the School s response to the recommendation on structures, which should be addressed in the year-on response. Action: Gillian Mackintosh, for clarification and for attention of School It is suggested that it might be beneficial to ensure that there is specific consultation with students, and that this can be reflected on in the year-on response. It is suggested that a more detailed agenda of the various tasks, connected with specific timelines might be of organisational assistance to those responsible for leading the work. It would be helpful if the recommendations from the review team could be embedded in the review. Recommendation on course monitoring This discussion of how course monitoring works within Geography is of potential interest to CHSS in the development of programme monitoring and its relationship with course monitoring. Action: College Dean CHSS Clarity on some of the deadlines is required. A report on feedback to students appears to be missing from the response. To address in the year-on response. Politics and International Relations 14-Week Response: Politics and International It is suggested that it would be helpful to identify some clear targets for completion of actions as initially recommended. 8 Approved

9 Relations Recommendation Reference: 2. It is suggested it would be helpful to share more widely guidance for staff on marking and assessment. Action: Academic Services, for wider University Recommendation 6 that the subject area clarifies and communicates role of Personal tutor and SSO so that students can distinguish different types of support Recommendation Reference: 7. More clarification of the role is required. Work on tutor training and support seems wide-ranging and strong. Action: Gillian Mackintosh to feed back to School 9

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