My group (right) was given the job of engaging the sector in a major inquiry which we called the Graduate Standards Programme. The work was intensive, challenging and very rewarding. It gave me a chance to engage with many people as I worked on modularisation and its effects. We produced over a dozen reports and presented our findings to many audiences across the UK.
| || |
The main thrust of our Final Report was that universities and colleges should be more explicit in defining their degree standards and the information, assumptions and processes behind them. There should be common frameworks, structures and typologies to facilitate greater understanding of the relationships between the standards of one institution and those of another. These should incorporate collective, sector-wide expectations and understandings of the various levels and categories of award. The National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education Chaired by Lord Dearing was also active during this time and Ron Dearing visited us to consider our findings. A number of recommendations made in the Committee’s Report reflected the findings and recommendations of the GSP and paved the way for new regulatory (quality assurance) frameworks that were later developed by the Quality Assurance Agency which took over HEQCs functions in 1997.
So what's the point of this story. Well one of the things that has always bothered me is its as if HEQC never existed and yet all of us who were a part know that we very much existed and played a significant brokerage role to enable the HE system to understand itself. None of HEQC's publications were digital (and its a significant omission that so far a part from my efforts here they have not yet been digitised) consequently HEQC has virtually no digital presence on the internet. I felt it was right to honour the work of all the people who worked for HEQC, several of whom have sadly died.