QAA – Higher Education, a Global Brand


The brand of a UK degree education is renowned across the world and it’s something that can easily be
taken for granted when you’re in the UK and when you’re in higher education,
that’s something that’s precious sometimes we perhaps have to remind
ourselves of it and of course the QAA has played an important role in that. We have an incredibly powerful brand for UK higher education, it is, in any
estimation, one of the top three systems in the world and many would argue the
best. When you look at genuine global competitiveness it’s not a long list you
know you have the city and, finance you you’d probably have the high value added export services and higher education massively outperforms for this
country, we’ve got global volume, scale quality and it is internationally
recognized. I know it’s an overused phrase – world-class but it is and every metric
says that. Many of the processes and approaches used across the world are
based on our QAA and we sustain that reputation. Any international
organization looking from the outside in sees a sector wide approach and
not only that, it sees high quality across the sector. Consider it as a platform, it’s a platform with a very high level and on that platform universities can
display their own distinctiveness but internationally the
understanding is we’re all standing on that platform. The UK reputation I think is
about consistency, a consistency of approach, a consistency of the
qualifications they’re given. Not all in all countries have the same type of
awards given out. I’ve heard for many TNE transnational partners before
who are almost desperate to have a British degree within their portfolio
overseas. If you go to somewhere like America their quality assurance and
their standards are managed from state to state and so they haven’t got that
framework that works right across the USA, whereas we have got it across
England, Ireland, Wales and Scotlan.d I think UK HE is really the envy of a
number of countries across the world and one of the reasons why I think that’s
hard won has been our constant insistence on quality and the QAA had an important
role to play in that. The UK has an agency whose judgments are
internationally respected, whose processes are internationally respected
and whose approach is not only recognized as best-in-class but has
influenced the developing assurance systems in other jurisdictions. And
inevitably that creates a sense that the UK knows what it’s doing and that’s been
a benefit, not only to the QAA itself but to the reputation of UK higher
education. And that definitely helps and supports UK universities and colleges as
they go overseas to recruit students. Our towns and cities are utterly transformed particularly in the North, I mean just look at Newcastle you know it is
physically unrecognizable from 30 years ago, partly because of the investment
that universities have made, born in part of their attractiveness to
international students but these are the key drivers of economic growth in cities
and towns across the UK and all of this change all of it is underpinned by the
quality of a UK degree People around the world can go to the QAA
and say can you tell me about that University, can you tell me the quality
of the degrees that they’re doing and it’s why we as a UK higher education
sector have been able to maintain a high-quality global brand

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