Grŵp NPTC is an FE college in South Wales. The institution has a broad Higher Education programme which is a combination of directly funded and franchised provision. The majority of HE is franchised – 105 out of 650 students are directly funded, with programmes delivered in partnership with Swansea University (SU), The University of South Wales (USW), University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD), and Glyndŵr University (GU). The College provides annual reports for each HEI.
Governance of academic assurance
The Governing Body has direct responsibility for curriculum, quality, performance and standards -there is no separate sub-committee or academic board for academic matters. The previous Learning and Performance sub-committee was discontinued in favour of closer oversight of academic matters by the Governing Body.
There are 20 members of the Governing Body which includes two student reps- one each from HE and FE. There is a lead link governor for HE who has been Dean in a large university and other board members have knowledge of HE even though their appointment was not specifically for that purpose. The board is seeking to increase HE skills and knowledge base by an additional person once a vacancy arises to reduce risk of current HE knowledge being vested in one person.
New governors receive an induction which includes a face to face briefing from the Assistant Principal for HE (APHE). They can seek information at any time from the link governor for HE or from the Assistant Principal for HE. The Governing Body receive specific briefings as part of Governing Body business, as necessary, to increase their knowledge of HE matters. This has included a series of briefings regarding Quality Assurance Agency reviews, a separate set of briefings on the Teaching Excellence Framework and a governor development day on key student statistics.
The Governing Body receives reports against key performance indicators (KPIs) for both HE and FE. The KPIs include retention, outcomes, progression, access, etc. The Governing Body consider these against HESA data and historical trends. Reports also go to the Governing Body on National Student Survey results (The Group undertakes additional internal student surveys – the results of which are reported to the Governing Body); complaints; audits; teaching and learning observations; and safeguarding. Governors are invited to take part in learning walks to triangulate and understand the OTL (Observation of Teaching and Learning) data and process. The Governing Body also receives audit reports; inspection and review reports (e.g., from QAA) and self-assessment reports on HE. The Governing Body receives a ‘Star Chamber’ presentation from each School each year which reviews all aspects of provision and from 2017 this includes a separate Star Chamber for HE.
The Governing Body has links to the Student Union and the Principal meets with FE and HE student representatives prior to reporting in to the Governing Body on the student voice. There is an HE student representative group and an HE section in the Students’ Union.
Management of academic assurance
There are clear management structures in place for Higher Education provision with delineated remit and roles. Overall responsibility for the management and monitoring of HE standards and quality lies with the Vice-Principal Academic Services.
HE Quality and Enhancement Management Group
The Higher Education Quality and Enhancement Management Group (HEQEMG) advises the Senior Management Team (SMT) on the maintenance of academic quality and standards in the College’s HE provision and the enhancement of the quality of the HE student experience. Reports and data produced for the HEQEMG provide a robust self-evaluation of HE provision. Information is systematically generated and discussed at this strategic level meeting. Following the consideration of reports and data the Group identifies:
- Actions to be captured in a Quality Development Plan (QDP)
- Enhancement Projects.
Through a standing agenda item, the Higher Education Quality and Enhancement Strategy Group recommends to SMT the approval and/or revision of policies, processes and action plans to ensure and enhance the quality of Higher Education with particular regard to:
- Admissions and enrolment
- Student support
- Student assessment
- Learning resources
- Quality assurance
- The enhancement of pedagogy, the curriculum and the learning environment (including the Welsh Language and widening access).
The Quality Development Plan and Enhancement Projects are monitored by the HEQEMG and reported to SMT and the Governing Body.
HE Operational Working Group
There is an HE Operational Working Group (HEOWG) which maintains oversight and delivery of the operational functions in respect of the College’s Higher Education provision, including admissions, information, finance, IT systems and management information systems and advises the Higher Education Quality and Enhancement Management Group on the enhancements necessary to ensure operational systems are fit for purpose, accessible and trustworthy, and serve to improve the quality of the Higher Education student experience.
HE Co-ordinator Group
Chaired by the APHE the HE Co-ordinator Working Group (HECWG) maintains oversight and effective delivery of the College’s Higher Education programmes and advises the Higher Education Quality and Enhancement Management Group on the enhancements necessary to ensure that academic and operational systems are fit for purpose, trustworthy and serve to improve the quality of the Higher Education student experience.
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