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Externality

Introduction

The UK Quality Code for Higher Education places considerable emphasis upon externality.

Part A of the UK Quality Code, Expectation A3.4 (external website) states:

In order to be transparent and publicly accountable, degree-awarding bodies use external and independent expertise at key stages of setting and maintaining academic standards

Chapter B1 of the UK Quality Code (external website) highlights the value and importance of bringing an external perspective to both design and approval:

...individuals external to the higher education provider offer independence and objectivity to the decisions being taken. This contributes to the transparency of the process and provides a basis for the comparability of academic standards across the higher education sector...
Advice from individuals external to the programme also contributes to enhancement, by providing additional perspectives...External advice provides expertise on current developments both in the subject area and in learning and teaching practices, and is sought from a variety of sources.

Indicator 6 in Chapter B8 (external website) states:

Higher education providers make use of reference points and draw on expertise from those outside the programme in their processes for programme monitoring and review

Experts external to the University bring their professional expertise and insight to the programme approval and review process: they are a valuable asset to the University in assuring that programmes are academically coherent, current in terms of the most recent academic, professional and industrial developments and relevant to the needs of employers.

External experts for programme approval and review

The University involves external experts in ways that are proportionate and appropriate to the type and stage of the relevant process and the decision being made. For example, at least one external expert is required for a Programme Approval or Periodic Review Panel.

External Experts for programme approval and review will not be current external examiners of the University. A period of 5 years should have lapsed between the nomination of an expert and the termination of any professional association with the School concerned.

Nomination and appointment of external experts

The following documents provide guidance and templates for the nomination, appointment and payment of external experts: