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Eight UK Universities Under Investigation For Poor Quality Courses

On Thursday, the 26th of May, the Office for Students (OFS), the independent regulator for higher education in England, launched an investigation into eight unnamed universities to tackle poor quality courses.


These investigations will look primarily at Business and management courses including an examination of whether online learning provides the same experience and quality of education of face-to-face learning.


OFS is focusing on business and management in particular due to it being a large subject area where there is significant variation in performance across the whole sector. OFS states this data comes from National Student Surveys and exclusive data they receive.  The information they have received about some institutes is worrying hence why the investigation is taking place.


Susan Lapworth, interim chief executive of the OFS says: ‘we look at the quality of business and management courses more generally because around 400,000 students at OfS-registered providers study this subject every year and they are entitled to expect a high-quality experience regardless of the provider they choose.’ 


As well as this, OFS is focusing on a single subject area with a large student population as it will help them to understand patterns of behaviour the providers might be extending to other courses and potentially harming other subject areas. 


Other aspects of the investigation will cover how effective is the delivery of course assessments, the contact horse students receive and whether there are sufficient learning resources and academic support.


OFS will be writing to the universities this week setting out the details of the investigation. All investigations will be onsite visits and an invitation to academic experts to help tackle the onsite investigation.  


As well as the onsite investigations, OFS will be conducting a separate review of blended learning at these universities. A report will be written in the Summer of 2022 on the requirements needed to conduct effective blended learning and what isn’t acceptable.


OFS is not naming the universities under investigation at the moment yet this could change as further details are published. Susan Lapworth further states: ‘As well as the direct impact on the courses under investigation, this work sends a clear message to all universities and colleges we regulate that they should ensure that all their courses are well taught, well resourced, and provide students with a credible qualification that stands the test of time.’


Image Credit: Schudio

Updated: 30/05/22

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Tags: #education #highereducation #universities


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