The University of Leicester has taken a number of steps in recent years to strengthen the understanding and oversight that Council has of quality and standards and academic assurance within the institution, with a particular emphasis on improving the quality of interaction between Senate and Council.
The inclusion of Council members as external members of programme validation boards has proved to be an excellent way to get ‘under the bonnet’ of academic provision at a deeper level, without undue interference and helped to bring alive their scrutiny and assurance role. Because programme validation takes place in a structured and managed way, it allows Council members to delve into the various component parts which are associated with ensuring that a programme is approved. It also provides a means for Council members to better understand the range of academic assurance which exists within the institution.
Through improving their understanding of the internal processes, it has allowed Council Members to better understand reports from Senate, and offer more informed scrutiny of academic matters at the Council itself.