Top marks for student learning initiative

An innovative and pioneering approach to the learning and teaching experience offered to students at the University has been praised by the body tasked with monitoring the quality of Higher Education in Scotland.

The University received the highest possible judgement for its student learning experience by the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland (QAAS), which every four years conducts a review of teaching quality known as the “Enhancement-Led Institutional Review”.

Student experience

The review looks at the work being done by universities to improve the student learning experience.

Edinburgh achieved the highest possible judgement for its work in this field and also for its work in securing academic standards.

The review team visited the University on two occasions in October and November 2015, scrutinising a large amount of documentation and meeting with a range of staff and students. Many areas of positive practice were identified.

The Edinburgh Award

One area highlighted was The Edinburgh Award - an employability scheme established by the University’s Careers Service in collaboration with the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA).

The award recognises extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, as well as involvement in initiatives such as the Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS) in which students “buddy” or mentor other students.

The University of Edinburgh is a truly global university and we want to offer a world class student experience to match that. This recognition by QAAS confirms that the university is a great place to come and study. Higher Education is an increasingly competitive market place and we feel that the learning and teaching experience we offer students at Edinburgh makes us stand out from the crowd – from the flexibility of our four year degree, through our mentoring schemes to the support we offer to students wanting to enter the jobs market at the end of their time at University.

Professor Charlie JefferyProfessor of Politics and Senior Vice Principal

Further development

The review team also set out a small number of ‘areas for further development’.

These include: the support we give our PhD students, both in developing their doctorates and in their wider career development; further development of the recently introduced personal tutor system, building on the positive progress to date; enhancing student representation at school and college level, building on the existing strong relationship we have with Edinburgh University Students’ Association at institutional level; developments in assessment and feedback; and strengthening how we recognise and reward contribution to teaching.

The review provides a valuable opportunity for the University community to critically reflect on the quality of the student experience and consider potential for improvement. We are delighted that the review team has endorsed our priorities for further development and has provided constructive feedback on how best to take them forward.

Professor Tina HarrisonAssistant Principal Academic Standards & Quality Assurance