This month a report has been published on the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) website following an Institutional audit of Writtle College in late November last year.
The purpose of the audit was to provide public information on the quality of the learning opportunities available to students and on the academic standards of the awards that the College offers on behalf of Writtle College’s validating partner the University of Essex.
As a result of investigations, the audit team's view of Writtle College is that:
• Confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the academic standards of the awards that it offers on behalf of the University of Essex
• Confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the quality of the learning opportunities available to students.
In addition, the audit outcome reported that the College's approach to quality enhancement is characterised by a strategic commitment to improve the quality of students' learning opportunities linked to the College's own values and vision. The audit team found that Writtle College takes deliberate actions to improve the quality of the learning opportunities available to students.
Other features of good practice at Writtle College highlighted by the QAA were:
• The way in which the curriculum is designed, developed and delivered to take advantage of staff research and professional practice
• The comprehensive student support system and the demonstrable commitment of staff to the support and enhancement of student learning
• The institution's strategic approach to staff development, including the reward and recognition schemes for academic and support staff
• The institution's strategic approach to enhancement
In response to the Institutional audit Principal of the College, Professor David Butcher said:
“Writtle College welcomes the outcomes of the Institutional audit and the judgements of confidence in both the soundness of our present and likely future management of the academic standards of our awards, and the quality of the learning opportunities available to our students.
We are pleased to note the highlighting of a number of areas of good practice. In particular, the way in which the curriculum is designed, developed, and delivered, the comprehensive support systems that are in place to enhance student learning, and the commitment of staff to support learners. The College is also pleased that the audit team recognised the institution’s strategic approach to the enhancement of quality, linked to the College’s own values and vision.
The College considers the audit report to be a constructive contribution to the on-going development and enhancement of our mission.”
Writtle College is one of the largest publicly funded institutions in England, serving the agricultural, horticultural and associated industries. Since 1997 the College has enjoyed a 'strong collaborative partnership' with the University of Essex.
To arrive at its conclusions, the audit team spoke to members of staff throughout the audit process. To read the full report, please visit: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews/reports/institutional/Writtle11/RG705WrittleCollege.pdf