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QAA confirms Abertay's quality student experience

12 August 2016

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has confirmed the quality of the student experience and the academic standard of awards at Abertay University following its review in March and April 2016.

A team of QAA reviewers visited the University and judged that it has effective arrangements for managing academic standards and enhancing the student learning experience.

Professor Steve Olivier, Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said:  ‘This is really great news and confirms that we are on the right track regarding the academic sustainability of Abertay University, maintaining our standards and continually seeking to improve.  A judgement of 'effective' is the best of the three possible outcomes of a QAA review, and an affirmation that we are committed to doing the best we can for our students and that students are appreciative of our efforts.  

'All the credit for this splendid result must go to the whole academic community at Abertay for their hard work and dedication to the cause of providing the best possible learning experience for our students.'

The review identified a number of examples of good practice. These include:

  • The University’s approach to managing assessment, including the electronic management of assessments which has helped students better understand their attainment, incentivised student performance and promoted good feedback practice.
  • Student support arrangements through the University’s one-stop service, known as the Support Enquiry Zone, which offers a range of activities to effectively support students beginning and during their studies.

The review also highlighted that the University has successfully established a Graduate School which has had a positive impact on the postgraduate student experience, providing a focus for postgraduate support and fostering a positive postgraduate community of students and staff.

The review identified a number of areas for development, for example:

  • Ensure the planned quality review exercise considers both the University’s curriculum reform project and meets sector guidance.
  • Systematically evaluate the success of the significant strategic change activity at the University to recognise the extent and speed of the changes that have taken place and to continue embedding the resulting policies and practice.  

A successful review means that the University can display the QAA Quality Mark, indicating to UK and international students that the University meets national requirements for standards and quality.

The review team comprised: Mark Charters (student reviewer from Glasgow School of Art), Professor Hilary Grainger (University of the Arts, London), Emeritus Professor Marianne Howarth (formerly of Nottingham Trent University ), Emeritus Professor Ian Pirie (University of Edinburgh), Dr Tess Goodliffe (international reviewer from the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority) and Dr Pamela Sinclair (University of Stirling).

Their report on Abertay is available at:

The review was an Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR). More information on ELIR is available at:

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