Understanding of academic life by lay members
The assurance on quality at the Arts University Bournemouth is built around the institutional strategy map – which sets out the key indicators that are used (including National Student Survey, retention rate, Destination of Leavers in HE). Reflecting the journey the institution has been on, these include indicators on the numbers of qualified staff employed, e.g. the proportion of staff with PhDs.
The Board receives an annual report on academic standards and quality which has detailed sections including data on retention, progression, and achievement. The report describes processes used to provide assurance, including the external examiner system, and it informs the Board that data is considered by the LTQ Committee. It also describes its annual verification process, by which the standards used across all subjects within the institution are compared.
The assurance report includes details of the work done to provide assurance at a partner Colleges. It provides an effective summary of the reports of external examiners. The LTQ also provides an explicit opinion that processes are effective and comply with external standards. The assurance report gives a clear summary of enhancement activities including collaborative projects, seminars delivered and numbers of staff gaining qualifications.
The Board is given details of the ‘challenge’ process, whereby every course leader meets with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the University Management Team to examine performance data and discuss priorities for the future.
The Board has been exploring different ways to engage with the academic business of the institution. A successful event took place at the February Board meeting, where the Board broke up into four groups and discussed key topics with members of the senior team including the Digital Environment for learning, teaching and assessment, academic staffing development and postgraduate awards.
Support is provided to Governors through a virtual ‘reading room’ where various key documents, briefings and other relevant material is accessible. This has been developed from the 24/7 electronic resource of the ‘Governors Reading Room’ into a ‘My AUB’ app for governors, so that they will be able to access this material easily at their convenience on a range of mobile devices.