News Article

Your National Interests

Aston Students' Union has represented your Academic Interests at a National level

Amna Atteeq, your Vice President (Education), has been working with the Student Voice team and more importantly you to respond to a number of national consultations about Higher Education. This is so we as your Students' Union can effectively represent your academic interests not just here at Aston but across the UK.

Why did we respond to these consultations?

The Higher Education Sector has been going through considerable change over the last couple of years. These changes have included the introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), passing of the Higher Education and Research Act (HERA 2017) and establishment of the Office for Students due in April.

These changes will not only impact the sector but current and prospective students. It is important for us as your Students' Union to represent your academic interests which is why we have it as a key priority in our strategic plan. A lot of the time we do this by supporting you as Student Reps and Officers to representing your voice and the voice of 14,000 students at Aston in meetings and as equal members of committees within the University. However it is important for us to keep an eye on what is happening in the wider sector and to get your voice heard on the big changes facing the sector. 

Our Responses

There were around six (6) consultations open during term 1 and Aston Students' Union, on your behalf, responded to the following four (4):

  • Designation of a body to perform HE assessment functions in England

  • Designation of a body for English higher education information

  • Consultation on the review of the UK Quality Code for higher Education (the Quality Code)

  • Securing student success: risk-based regulation for teaching excellence, social mobility and informed choice in higher education

Below we have provided some information about what these consultations were about and what our response was.

 

Securing student success: risk-based regulation for teaching excellence, social mobility and informed choice in higher education

The passing of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA) started the establishment of a new HE Sector Regulator in England called the Office for Students (OFS). This regulator is set up shop in April 2018 and will replace the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This consultation was all about the regulation Universities will follow in England and what the Office for Students will do as a regulator. One of the things covered in the consultation is the OFS taking a risk based approach and focusing on outcomes for students.

This is a large consultation and below you will be able to access the original consultation document and information along with Aston Students' Unions response.

Click here to access the original consultation document published on the Government Consultations Website.
Click here to access the Aston Students' Union Response to the above consultation.

 

Consultation on the review of the UK Quality Code for higher education (the Quality Code)

The UK has a UK wide Quality Code for Higher Education that has been supported and developed through the work fo the Quality Assurance Agency and applies to all Higher Education Institutions within the UK. You can access the current quality code by visiting the QAA website.

This consultation is to completely review the Quality Code and moves to align it to outcomes as opposed to quality processes that the current Quality Code looks at. Student Engagement has been as part of the current Quality Code with Universities having to:

"Higher education providers take deliberate steps to engage all students, individually and collectively, as partners in the assurance and enhancement of their educational experience."

This chapter has supported, and enabled students along with Student Unions, to develop a co-creation relationship with Universities and make student active partners in their education.

Below you will be able to access the consultation document and the Students' Unions response to the consultation.

Click here to access the original consultation document published on the Quality Assurance Agency Website.
Click here to access the Aston Students' Union Response to the above consultation.

 

Designation of a body to perform the assessment functions for higher education in England

This consultation is to determine who will become the Quality Body to perform assessment functions for the Office for Students in relation to the new regulatory framework. Prior to the consultation the government asked for organisations to make submissions to become the designated quality body and only the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) submitted an application.

Below you will be able to access the original consultation document and the Students' Unions response.

Click here to access the original consultation document published on the Government Consultations Website.
Click here to access the Aston Students' Union Response to the above consultation.

 

Designation of  a body for English higher education information

This consultation is to determine who will become the data body for higher education in england. Like with the Quality body consultation the government asked for organisations to make submissions to become the designated information body and only the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) submitted an application.

Below you will be able to access the original consultation document and the Students' Unions reponse.

Click here to access the original consultation document published on the Government Consultations Website.
Click here to access the Aston Students' Union Response to the above consultation.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions or would like to talk to someone about the Students' Unions repsonses to these consultations then contact Amna Atteeq, your Vice President Education, by emailing union.vpe@aston.ac.uk.

Alternatively you can contact the Student Voice team by emailing: union.voice@aston.ac.uk.

Update

The consultation outcomes have now been released for the above consultations with links provided below:

Update (2)

Amna Atteeq, your Vice President (Education), attended the QAA Quality Summit in Cardiff last week (24th-25th April). One of the sessions Amna attended was on the quality code where they informed us that guidance on the new code will be released in November. We will look to keep you informed with any further developments.

 

 

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