BU commended for the quality of student learning opportunities by QAA


Bournemouth University has achieved a “commended” judgement for the quality of student learning opportunities from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). This is the first time the judgement of commended for this category, the highest award possible, has been given to any university.

The term ‘learning opportunities’ describes the different mechanisms and facilities that a university provides in order to enable a student to succeed. For this category, the QAA look at many areas of how an institution supports students, including the quality of teaching students receive, academic support, the resources available to students including the library and IT facilities, and the general support they receive.

Professor John Vinney, Vice–Chancellor of Bournemouth University, said: “I am extremely proud that Bournemouth University is the first university to be commended for the quality of students’ learning opportunities. We work really hard to provide a unique top–quality academic experience that combines excellent education, research and professional practice with personalised student support.

The commendation is both a testament to the hard work of the staff and Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU), and a reflection of the continuing investment in our facilities. Everything that we do is focused on quality, and we will build on this success to ensure that we continue to give our students the opportunity to succeed throughout their career – wherever it may take them”.

The review identified a number of examples of good practice which led to the award. These include the many constructive measures BU takes to engage and involve all members of staff in its mission, values and strategic priorities, including those articulated in its Strategic Plan.

The review also highlighted the way that the University engages students individually, and collectively through the Students’ Union, in its development of academic strategy and policy.

The team of QAA reviewers who visited Bournemouth University also judged that the University’s academic standards, the quality of student learning opportunities‚, and the quality of information about learning opportunities all meet UK expectations.

The QAA review team made no recommendations on any issues for further improvement.

The review team included Professor Richard de Friend (previously of the College of Law), Dr Andrew Eadie (Hazeldene Educational Consultants Ltd), Dr Wendy Gill (the University of St Mark & St John), Ms Elizabeth Dobson-McKittrick (student reviewer from the University of Essex), and Ms Jessica Greenlees (review secretary).

  • The review carried out at Bournemouth University was an Institutional Review (England and Northern Ireland) (IRENI). More information on IRENI is available at www.qaa.ac.uk/institutionreports/types-of-review/ireni/pages/default.aspx.
  • The report on Bournemouth University is published on 6 September 2013. It is available at www.qaa.ac.uk/InstitutionReports/Reports/Pages/IRENI-Bournemouth-13.aspx.
  • QAA safeguards the public interest in the quality and standards of UK higher education. The QAA checks how UK universities and colleges maintain their academic standards and quality. They review and report on how they meet their responsibilities, identify good practice and make recommendations for improvement. The QAA publishes guidelines to help UK universities and colleges develop effective systems to ensure students have the best learning experience. Further information is available at: www.qaa.ac.uk.