Our oversight processes

Our Partnerships team manages the University's UK and international partnership activity, in conjunction with the Dean and Deputy Dean of Partnerships.

Quality and Academic Development maintain a database of all partnership provision, including information on link agreements, validation and review activity and external examiners for all validated courses.

The work of the team and the key activities undertaken with our partner institutions, cover the following:

Formal meetings and reporting

  • Partnership Education Committee

    The University's Partnership Education Committee (PEC) is responsible for the effective implementation with our partner institutions of the University's policies and procedures for assuring academic quality and standards, and enhancing academic quality and the student experience. The PEC reports to the Education Committee and Academic Quality and Standards Committee (AQSC) as appropriate.

    The Education Committee is responsible for making recommendations to Senate on the implementation of quality assurance and quality enhancement policies, and receives regular reports from the PEC on the delivery and implementation of the Education Strategy across partnership institutions.

    The Academic Quality and Standards Committee supports the development and maintenance of the University's policies and procedures for assuring academic quality and standards, and enhancing the student experience. This includes determining and shaping policy and procedures for the development, validation, monitoring, periodic review and termination of all University programmes of study and determining admissions policy and entry tariff.

    On behalf of Education Committee, AQSC approves as appropriate proposals and recommendations from the PEC to establish, revalidate (following periodic review) and discontinue programmes of study and to report all decisions to the Education Committee. On behalf of the Education Committee, AQSC also approves, monitors and reviews all University of Essex awards offered by our partner institutions (except those that fall within the remit of the Joint Academic Committee for the University of Suffolk and to make recommendations to the Education Committee and to partner institutions on best practice and enhancement.

    You can view a diagram showing the relationship between the committees of Senate, alongside information on the membership and terms of reference of all University committees and copies of agendas and minutes.

    Partner institutions have formal representation on the PEC and representatives are routinely invited to join appropriate University working groups. Partner institutions' interests are represented at Education Committee, AQSC and Senate by the Dean of Partnerships.

  • Partnership Management Boards

    Each partnership is normally managed through a Joint Partnership Management Board that provides strategic management for the partnership, act as a forum for developmental issues and provide an opportunity to discuss matters that feed into the agenda of the PEC.

    These joint management groups are crucial to the successful operation of partnership activity and provide a flexible operational management structure. Their membership typically comprises senior members of both academic and administrative staff from the University and partner institution. Meetings are normally scheduled to alternate between the University campuses and the partner institution, and the Chair also alternates between the two institutions depending on the location of the meeting, emphasising the partners' equal status in the partnership and encouraging a shared approach.

    The frequency of meetings is determined on a case by case basis and reviewed annually.

  • Curriculum and Quality Group Meetings

    The Curriculum and Quality Group meetings take place between each partner institution and the University and oversee operational related matters. The group deal with areas such as curriculum development and review, marketing and recruitment, quality and standards, teaching and learning resources, staffing and finance.

    The frequency of meetings is determined on a case by case basis and reviewed annually.

Institutional review

Institutional review is the process by which partner institutions are reviewed at institutional level, usually every five years, to ensure that they remain suitable for the conduct of higher education programmes leading to an award of the University of Essex.

The process involves the submission of an evaluation report from both the partner institution and the University. This is followed by an institutional review event made up of a panel which is chaired by the Dean of Partnerships and members of staff from the University with involvement in or oversight of the partnership and a representative from the partner institution. The review event evaluates the reports and the supporting material provided and includes meetings with senior members of staff from the partner institution, course team representatives and students.

Information about the institutional review process is provided for existing partners.

Course review

The ongoing monitoring of courses is managed through two key processes:

  1. the annual review of courses
  2. the periodic review of courses, which is usually carried out every 5 years
  • Annual review of courses

    The annual review of courses (ARCs) brings together on a course level a summary of all developmental activity both undertaken and planned by a partner institution. The ARCs include a review and evaluation of the course, the development of action plans to include areas for improvement and enhancement and the identification of best practices. All ARCs are submitted to the Partnerships team and are reviewed by the Dean or Deputy Dean of Partnerships, who provide feedback to the partner institution on each report.

    Partner institutions with larger scale provision (as determined by the Dean of Partnerships) also complete an institutional level annual review. This draws together the key themes from the ARCs and identifies institutional level developments and actions to be taken.

    The actions plan from the institutional annual review and if appropriate particular items from the ARC action plans are monitored through the Curriculum and Quality Group meetings.

    Information about the annual review of courses process is provided for existing partners.

  • Periodic review

    A periodic review is conducted at a course level or for a group of related courses, usually every five years to evaluate and re-approve the course(s) for continuation. The process involves reviewing the continuing validity and relevance of the course aims and learning outcomes. It also ensures that the course continues to provide learning opportunities of an appropriate quality for students. Best practices and areas for improvement are identified and the course team will use the periodic review process to propose changes to the course to position it for delivery over the next five years.

    A periodic review event is held and chaired by the Dean or Deputy Dean of Partnerships, or a senior member of staff from the University. The panel includes an external subject expert, a student representative, an academic member of staff from the partner institution who is not a member of the course team under review, an academic member of staff from the University with relevant subject area knowledge and if applicable an employer or professional body representative.

    A reflective document is produced by the course team and submitted with supporting documentation for the periodic review panel to consider. During the review the panel will meet with the course team and current or former students on the course under review.

    Information about the periodic review process is provided for existing partners.