- NUI Galway praised for driving an open, transparent culture of quality, and promoting equality and diversity
- Recommendation to mainstream best practice in support services to manage increasing student numbers and needs relating to international students, access, disability and mental health
NUI Galway has successfully completed a review as part of quality checks conducted by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the state agency responsible for the external quality assurance of further and higher education and training in Ireland.
A panel of national and international education experts conducted a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of the university’s quality assurance procedures, highlighting examples of good practice which were seen to deliver positive benefits for students and staff, and making recommendations on areas for improvement in the coming years.
NUI Galway was praised for:
- The openness and transparency of their self-evaluation process, publishing their report and sharing helpful case-studies.
- Driving a culture of quality to ensure that all staff have ownership of quality assurance and enhancement
- Promoting equality and diversity through the appointment of senior leadership in these areas, student work on gender recognition and achievement of the institution-level Bronze Athena Swan award
- Having conducted a full review of research activity and performance
- The positive contribution of professional support services such as its academic writing, career development, learning and teaching and researcher development centres
The expert panel identified the following areas for improvement for the university:
- Consideration of the future role and development of the Quality Office with possible links to related support services such as its Centre of Excellence in Learning and Teaching, to share good practice and developmental activities
- Consideration of a direct reporting relationship by the Quality Enhancement Committee to internal academic governance bodies
- A review to comprehensively understand their programme development and provision
- Ongoing annual monitoring of individual school review outcomes to assess progress in achieving development goals
- Develop a system to mainstream support service projects that are successful and demonstrate impact thus managing increasing student numbers and the complexity of their diverse needs in the areas of international, access, disability and mental health
Professor Sibrandes Poppema, former President of the University of Groningen, chaired the expert review panel:
“The Review Team was deeply impressed by the inclusive process of developing the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report, where staff and students were visibly involved, as well as by the format of the document, especially the integrated case studies. The open character of the process was reflected in the publication of the ISER on the external website. The institution has a clear direction and has taken commendable steps in developing an accessible policy and procedures repository, professional support services for the students, research quality improvement measures and internationalisation, equality and diversity, as reflected in the Bronze Athena Swan.”
President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said,
“NUI Galway welcomes this positive QQI review, its findings and looks forward to addressing the valuable recommendations as we embark on a new strategic era here at the University. The review acknowledged our openness and transparency throughout the self-evaluation process but also our commitment to driving a ‘culture of quality’ and promoting ‘equality and diversity’ throughout our community for the public good. We take quality very seriously and value the confirmation of our compliance with quality assurance regulatory and statutory requirements. We commit to continuous improvement across the campus to meet the needs of our students, including our support services, our teaching and learning and our research agendas.”
Through its CINNTE cycle of reviews, QQI assesses and reports on how effectively all 19 publicly-regulated higher education institutions are maintaining and enhancing quality in education. The reviews explore how institutions have improved their teaching, learning and research systems, and how well institutions have aligned with their own mission, quality indicators and benchmarks. Reports on University College Dublin, University of Limerick, IT Carlow and Waterford IT will follow in 2020.
Padraig Walsh, CEO of QQI highlighted the value of the CINNTE review process to the entire higher education system:
“Every QQI CINNTE review is based on rigorous assessment by a panel of national and international experts of the quality of education provision across an entire institution. Each one serves as a useful tool, allowing students to evaluate and have confidence in the quality of their education. The whole-hearted engagement of our HEIs with their expert panels, the examples of good practice so often brought to light, and the way in which subsequent recommendations are embraced are especially deserving of praise. Together, they ensure the student is situated at the very heart of the teaching and learning agenda.”
Read the NUI Galway CINNTE report in full.
Read the NUI Galway Summary Quality Profile.