University Academic Quality and Standards Committee

Shortcuts: Purpose | Terms of Reference | Membership | QuorumMode of operationMeeting dates | Record of business

The University Academic Quality and Standards Committee (AQSC) is a sub-committee of the University Education Committee. 


The purpose of the Committee is to:

a) Oversee the framework for the quality and standards of education provision (undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research postgraduate programmes) and the student academic experience at the University;

b) Oversee and ensure appropriate action is taken in response to identified quality matters at the relevant level (institution, faculty, school, programme), particularly where there is evidence of risk to quality and standards;

c) Oversee and respond to the requirements of external quality assurance bodies, such as the Quality Assurance Agency;

d) Provide academic scrutiny of proposals for new and the re-validation of existing programmes and educational collaborative partnerships;

e) Be responsible for the maintenance of education regulations, policies and codes of practice;

f) Promote and report upon good practice and innovation

Terms of reference

The Committee has delegated authority from University Education Committee (UEC) for decision-making on the matters within its remit, except where:

• the Committee believes that a decision would benefit from a broader discussion at UEC (in which case it will provide a summary of the matter with a recommendation);

• a decision is required that has significant implications to the University’s education provision and/or the student academic experience;

• otherwise stated in a specific term of reference.

Oversight of the Quality Framework

1. To govern and oversee the effectiveness of the University’s Quality Framework for assuring educational provision at the University, taking account of both the internal and external context, ensuring that it takes proper account of the views of students, external examiners, external quality bodies and members of staff.

2. To ensure that the individual components are integrated and combined to form a cohesive Framework.

3. To set the agenda for review and identify specific priorities and themes to be reviewed by the University Quality Team on an annual basis, in liaison with the University PGR Committee for those relevant to research postgraduate programmes and students.

Operation of and outcomes arising from the Quality Framework

4. To review the (individual and summary) outcomes from the University’s quality framework, ensuring that the quality and standards of education provision and the student learning experience are being upheld and relevant concerns or imperatives are being satisfactorily addressed by:

i. Identifying any institutional-level quality matters and ensuring that these are resolved;

ii. Overseeing school and programme education action plans as mechanisms for improvement;

iii. Being assured that appropriate action is taken in response to identified issues or concerns by faculties, schools and programmes; and requiring timely action where a significant risk to quality and standards is identified.

5. To oversee the submission of the annual report to the Board of Trustees on quality and standards.

6. To respond to any issues identified from a review of institutional level data and information on key quality measures (e.g. degree classification ratios).

7. To receive and consider reports from examination boards (e.g. Research Degrees Exam Board) as to be assured of the quality of the awards being made by the University.

External quality assurance bodies and requirements

8. To oversee preparations for institution-level quality reviews (e.g. by the QAA) and on specified conditions for the University’s ongoing registration as a provider with the Office for Students.

9. To ensure alignment between the University’s requirements for quality and standards and all relevant external reference points, including the UK Quality Code.

10. To respond to external imperatives and relevant consultations as they relate to the quality and standards of education provision.

Approval and re-validation of programmes

11. To scrutinise proposals and make recommendations for approval to University Education Committee for establishing new programmes of study or new areas of provision and significant changes to existing programmes.

12. To oversee the periodic re-validation and re-accreditation of existing programmes.

13. To oversee the implementation and effectiveness of teaching-out plans for programmes that are being withdrawn.

14. To review and agree proposals for establishing new educational collaborative partnerships and overseeing the delivery of existing partnerships (with the Education Partnerships Evaluation Group acting in an advisory capacity).

Regulatory framework

15. To develop discrete education regulations or policies where a substantial issue relating to academic standards has been raised and/or there is a significant risk of non-compliance (note: currently delegated to Codes Executive Group).

16. To scrutinise and agree new and significant revisions to education regulations, codes of practice, and policies that govern the University’s academic provision and the student academic experience.

Academic integrity

17. To oversee the implementation, development and maintenance of a developmental approach to academic integrity at the University, including dealing with allegations of academic misconduct.

18. To monitor institutional level data and information regarding academic misconduct across the University and intervene where appropriate.

Identify good practice

19. To highlight, report and refer any arising issues and areas of good practice with regards to academic standards and, more widely, learning, teaching and assessment.


Regular reports to University Education Committee and communications with faculties and professional services via its members. 


The membership of the Committee for 2019-20 is as follows:

Job titleName
Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education Quality and Standards) (Chair)  Professor Sally Heslop
Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (PGR) or nominee  TBC
Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) or nominee  TBC
University Education Director (Quality)  Dr Catherine Hindson
University Education Director (Quality)  Dr Kate Whittington
University Education Director (Quality)  Professor David Dymock
University Education Director (Quality)  Dr Helen Heath
Director of Academic Quality and Policy or nominee Mike White (nominee)
Faculty Education Director TBC
Faculty Education Manager (representing the FEMs) Siobhan Pegler
Bristol SU Sabbatical Officer  Hillary Gyebi-Ababio
SQR representatives 

Nina Di Cara

Angus Voice

Representative from AQPO [Adviser to the Committee] Chris Walker

 In attendance:


The Chair (or nominee) and at least five other staff members of the Committee to include two UEDs.

Established subgroups

Mode of Operation

1. The Committee will normally meet seven times a year.

2. The Committee will normally report to University Education Committee following each meeting.

3. The Committee’s annual schedule of business will be identified at the start of each academic year. Additional items of work are subject to annual negotiation with the Chair of the University Education Committee.

4. Chair’s powers may be utilised between meetings of the Committee to address exceptional circumstances. Any action undertaken through Chair’s powers will be reported to the next meeting of the Committee.

Meeting dates

University Academic Quality and Standards Committee reports to University Education Committee so the meetings are scheduled to enable this.

The scheduled dates for 2019-20 are as follows:

University Academic Quality and Standards Committee reporting schedule 2019-20
Paper deadline for University Academic Quality and Standards CommitteeUniversity Academic Quality and Standards Committee meeting dateReports to University Education Committee meeting date
Tuesday 3 September 2019 Thursday 12 September 2019 Wednesday 25 September 2019
Friday 27 September 2019 Tuesday 8 October 2019 Tuesday 22 October 2019
Friday 25 October 2019 Tuesday 5 November 2019 Wednesday 27 November 2019
Friday 22 November 2019 Tuesday 3 December 2019 Wednesday 29 January 2020
Friday 10 January 2020 Tuesday 21 January 2020 Wednesday 29 January 2020
Friday 21 February 2020 Tuesday 3 March 2020 Wednesdsay 18 March 2020
Monday 6 April 2020 (due to Easter) Tuesday 21 April 2020 Wednesday 20 May 2020
Friday 15 May 2020 Wednesday 27 May 2020 Wednesday 17 June 2020

Record of business

University Academic Quality and Standards Committee submits regular reports to University Education Committee (its parent committee) to record its recent business.  These reports are available for download (UoB only)