Above and Beyond

Students and Academic Reps play a significant role in identifying where Cardiff University can improve. If you engage with the University, if you feedback to your school about your course you are contributing to quality assurance. Quality assurance is all about working towards and maintaining a high standard of education.

Below are some of the processes that you can feed into as a Student Academic Rep, and details about surveys that you and some people in your cohort will take.

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is an independent body entrusted to monitor and advise standards and quality in UK Higher Education. Every five years the QAA come in to assess the University as part of an institutional review, essentially they tell the University what they are doing well and what they need to improve.

Annual Review and Enhancement (ARE)

Every year the University asks each school to create a report summarising how they deliver your education and how they are working towards improving your overall experience. The report contains key facts and figures of engagement. They present NSS, PRES and PTES results which track how satisfied you are with your course. Schools publish how many new students they are recruiting and list what new modules are being created.

We ask students from the same college but a different school take part in the review process. This is an extremely important way to make improvements to schools. If you are chosen to be on the panel you will be involved in important discussions with senior members of staff and heads of schools. This is also a great thing to have on your CV – only a small group of students are involved in the meetings every year.

Periodic Review (PR)

Periodic Review is a more comprehensive version of ARE. Each school takes part in Periodic Review on a five year cycle and demands a great deal of time from school staff. Academic Reps will be asked to sit on Periodic Review panels and students might be interviewed as well.

National Student Survey (NSS)

National Student Survey is a survey for all final year undergraduates to complete. This survey is used to find out student opinion on a whole host of different areas from the quality of teaching, to assessment and feedback, library resources and staff support. The NSS is used as a benchmark to compare Cardiff University with every other University in the UK. The results for the National Student Survey 2019 can be viewed here.

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) & Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PTES)

Postgraduate research students have the opportunity, like the undergraduates, to give their feedback on their student experience. There are two surveys, one for research, PRES and the other for taught students, PTES. The questions differ from the NSS and go into more detail about research culture and supervision. The two surveys partnered together provide a wider for the University to identify areas of enhancement for the postgraduate experience.

Engaging with annual review and filling out key surveys empowers students to shape Cardiff University both immediately and in the longer term. You have a fantastic buy-in to tell the University about your course, about the culture of learning and the resources that have been made available to you over the span of your degree.