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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

About us 

QAA's Sarah Halpin being filmed for our Introduction to QAA film 

We are the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Our mission is to safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education.


Watch a short introductory video about who we are and what we do.


We offer advice, guidance and support to help UK universities, colleges and other institutions provide the best possible student experience of higher education.

We conduct reviews of institutions and publish reports detailing the findings. Our reports highlight good practice and contain recommendations to help improve quality. The peer reviewers on our review teams have recent experience of providing or assessing higher education. Each team also includes a student reviewer.

To support standards and promote quality enhancement, we publish a range of reference points and guidance. These publications are widely used by UK academic staff responsible for shaping the student experience. The UK Quality Code for Higher Education (the Quality Code) sets out the Expectations that all providers of UK higher education are required to meet and has three main parts on academic standards, academic quality and information about higher education provision. Providers use the Quality Code to design their respective policies for maintaining academic standards and quality.

At a time of rapid change, we aim to be at the heart of the debate about quality, standards and enhancement. Both in the UK and internationally, we lead or participate in discussions and consultations with a wide range of interested parties, including institutions, funding councils and students' union representatives. We also advise the government on decisions about institutions newly applying for the power to award degrees and bear the title 'university'.

Our strategy states our aims for 2011-14. They are to:

  • meet students' needs and be valued by them
  • safeguard standards in an increasingly diverse UK and international context
  • drive improvements in UK higher education
  • improve public understanding of higher education standards and quality.

The majority of our staff are based in our offices in Gloucester, while a smaller team devoted to quality assurance in Scotland is based in Glasgow. All our staff aim to be professional and approachable, working actively with all who have a stake in UK higher education to safeguard standards and improve quality.

Read more about us and our work here, or explore the website.

This website is archived by the British Library's UK Web Archive: preserving UK websites