HEPI report on “The Comparability of Degree Standards”

03 June 2010

Responding to the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) report, “Comparability of degree standards?”, Director General of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities, Dr Wendy Piatt, said:

“We have an outstanding higher education system in the UK – one which attracts the most talented students and staff in the world.  Russell Group universities offer high-quality research-led learning underpinned by excellence in academic standards and robust quality assurance.

“We welcome the fact that the HEPI report recognises that the UK has one of the most robust and extensive systems of quality assurance both within and between institutions in the world.  Russell Group universities are constantly seeking to ensure that these processes are applied consistently and strengthened where required to provide students and employers with the necessary assurances about the quality of teaching and degree standards.

“The report also gives welcome recognition to the healthy diversity which exists in the UK higher education system, and the differences in the standard of outcomes of different universities.  We agree that it would be misguided to seek to achieve comparability outcomes in an environment of mass participation in higher education and such significant differences across the higher education sector.

“We firmly believe that prospective students should have access to clear information about the kind of educational experience they are likely to receive from different courses and institutions, the opportunities provided by universities, and where they are likely to secure the greatest returns on the investment they make in their education. We are working on improving the information that is currently on offer to students.  Such information is essential to help students make informed choices about the kind of degree which meets their needs and expectations.”

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