The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) consultation on revision of external quality assurance review requirements

View the consultation here.

Read the EPC’s response here.


This consultation ran from October to December 2021. This is a consultation on changes to the requirements for external quality assurance review, which regulated institutions are required to undergo at least every six years under the Quality Assessment Framework for Wales. HEFCW proposed to update its requirements to increase the focus on quality enhancement, in response to the draft legislation for the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research, and to respond to feedback from institutions.

The Home Office confirmed that the previous quality assurance review arrangements met their requirements for educational oversight for Tier 4 and HEFCW liaised with them to ensure that any revised arrangements continued to do so.

Under the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015, HEFCW is required to assess or make arrangements for the assessment of, the quality of education in Wales provided by or on behalf of regulated institutions.

HEFCW does this through a requirement for regulated institutions to undergo regular quality assurance reviews. This provides the assurance required under the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015 with regards to quality, to enable Fee and Access Plans to be approved, and therefore for regulated institutions to access student support.

HEFCW proposed to change some elements of their requirements for external quality assurance reviews. HEFCW also proposed to retain a number of features, as set out in Annex A. Our Quality Assessment Committee has advised on these proposals.

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