The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) today (1 August) launches a new quality mark to assure students and the public of the quality and standards of UK higher education.
In the initial rollout of the scheme, the quality mark will be available exclusively to QAA subscribers who have achieved positive outcomes in their institutional-level reviews.
QAA will monitor the initial rollout with a view to extending the scheme in due course to the full range of higher education providers it assures.
QAA Chief Executive Anthony McClaran said: 'In launching the QAA quality mark, we are asking universities to join us in our mission to meet and shape students' expectations and to improve public understanding of higher education standards and quality.
'As an independent and trusted agency, we believe that QAA's quality mark will reassure prospective students at home and overseas that the academic standards and quality of the institution to which they are applying meet nationally agreed expectations.'
Professor John Vinney, vice-chancellor of Bournemouth University, said: 'Bournemouth University is recognised as one of the most innovative universities, bringing together professional and academic excellence.
'We are proud of our commitment to achieving the highest level of quality and standards, and the new QAA quality mark is a great way to celebrate that commitment. It is an easily recognisable international badge of excellence that will give instant reassurance to students and the public that Bournemouth University offers a high quality learning environment and a great student experience. We will be wearing our badge with pride.'
Professor Peter Fidler, vice-chancellor of the University of Sunderland, said: 'We very much welcome the introduction of the new quality mark, which makes QAA's role in the assurance of quality and standards more transparent and visible to the public as well as to the sector.
'In an increasingly diverse market we believe this mark acts as a standard of quality for established providers and supports the recognition of the UK’s Higher Education brand at home and overseas.'
QAA has launched the quality mark in response to demand from the UK higher education sector, as an official seal of approval to institutions that have undergone a QAA review and achieved a successful outcome.
The quality mark comprises the QAA logo together with the year in which the institution was last reviewed. Until now, QAA has strictly limited the use of its logo, which is a registered trademark.
For more information about the QAA quality mark, visit www.qaa.ac.uk/pages/logo-licence.aspx.