QAA reports on assessment and international students

24 June 2008

In response to the latest reports released from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), The Director General of the Russell Group, Dr Wendy Piatt, said:

“The world class reputation of Russell Group universities depends on maintaining excellence. This is why our universities keep a strict watch on standards, for both home and overseas students, with various rigorous checks. Audits from the QAA play a significant role in this process.

“The sector is addressing the need to update the degree awarding system with, for example, plans to improve the information on a student’s transcript alongside their degree classification.

“We should not forget, however, that research evidence has proven a strong correlation between entry qualifications and degree results that continues to exist. It is important to recognise that the increase in the percentage of Russell Group students gaining firsts and 2:1s from 1994-2002 correlates with a rise in the entrants' qualifications and an increase in standards at the time the Russell Group was established.

“The QAA analysis acknowledges that universities are taking measures to provide additional support for international students. The Russell Group make great efforts to integrate international students into the academic and social communities. A recent survey has shown particularly high levels of satisfaction among international students at our universities, with a higher rate of overall satisfaction than the sector average."
Notes to Editors

  1. Previous research from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has established a strong correlation between entry qualifications and degree results. Also analysis of data in the annex of the Higher Education Policy Institute’s (HEPI) 2007 report, “The academic experience of students in English universities” shows that this correlation continues to exist.
  2. The i-graduate’s ‘International Student Barometer (ISB)’ is the largest study of the international student experience and the latest results, based on feedback from nearly 25,000 international students at Russell Group universities, found that 84% noted their satisfaction with the ability to get personal support and time from academic staff when it was needed. International students had a higher rate of overall satisfaction at Russell Group universities than the average overall rate (83% compared to 82% )

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