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Second Cycle of Quality Assurance

Whilst the Council on Higher Education’s (CHE) first cycle of quality assurance audited institutional policies and procedures, in order to strengthen the quality of the academic offerings as well as the institution itself, the second cycle of quality assurance has a different emphasis.  It is believed that of the three core university functions (i.e. teaching and learning, research and community engagement), the greatest need lies in improvement of teaching and learning.

The approach will be implemented through the CHE’s Quality Enhancement Project which was launched in February 2014.  The focus of the project is on improving student success.

The Quality Enhancement Project comprises two phases, each of which is estimated to last two and a half years.  The purpose of phase 1 is focused on:
•    gathering information from institutions, with the intention of identifying common/ good practices;
•    encouraging institutions to identify practices which are working well; and
•    encouraging institutions to identify areas where improvements are needed.

Information gathered will be used by institutions as a baseline for priorities at the beginning of the phase. The information will then be used by the CHE to identify groups of institutions that will collaborate and engage with one another on the relevant focus area.  Institutions will submit a report on what they have done to date and intend to do in future in order to improve in the focus areas.  The final step in phase 1 will involve discussions with institutions aimed at identifying strengths and areas for improvement.  Phase 2 of the project will follow a similar process.

The main focus areas for Phase 1 are:
1)    Enhancing academics as teachers
2)    Enhancing student support and development
3)    Enhancing the learning environment
4)    Enhancing course and programme enrolment management

In order to implement the second cycle at UCT, five task teams have been set up to engage with these areas. The process will be overseen by the UCT Quality Assurance Committee.

For the full QEP document click here.