In April 2012, the IIS was successfully reviewed by the QAA, whose purpose is to safeguard standards and improve the quality of higher education in the UK. The Institute was highly commended by the individuals who conducted a Review of Educational Oversight (REO). The reviewers said that they were particularly impressed by the rigorous admissions process to the graduate programmes, the worldwide perspective that underpins the specialist curriculum; the preparation, support and supervision of students’ field studies, and the operation of the committees and boards together with strong governor involvement.
Following the REO, all private colleges were informed that an Annual Monitoring Visit would take place to check progress over the last 12 months. The IIS had its Annual Monitoring Visit on 9 May 2013 and has been recognised as having made Commendable Progress. There are four potential ratings an organisation can be given following an REO, which are: Commendable Progress; Acceptable Progress; Making Progress but Further Improvement is Required; Not Making Improvement.
There are only five organisations (out of 44 that have been reviewed so far) which have received the highest rating of Commendable Progress following a QAA review, of which the IIS is one.
The reviewers stated that, “The Institute has taken positive and comprehensive action to maintain and develop the good practice identified in the April 2012 review report. Staff, during the visit, demonstrated their commitment to a culture of quality enhancement extending beyond the action plan. The effectiveness of the committee structure has been enhanced through the development of a consolidated action plan to provide an overview of progress against actions across all committees.”
They also highlighted that, “The Institute has made commendable progress in addressing the recommendations arising from its review. Assessment forms have been amended to include both the percentage and equivalent grade on assessed work. This has been well received by students. A single point of reference for all quality assurance related policies and procedures has been established that is accessible to both staff and students. In addition, an overarching quality statement is available to staff.”
Dr Fayyaz Vellani, Head of the Department of Graduate Studies at the IIS said:
“We are pleased that the IIS has been recognised as having made Commendable Progress since the REO visit by the QAA in April this year. While we have made good progress on our action plans, we recognise that there is no room for complacency. In the coming years, we will strive to refine and improve our educational offerings at the IIS, so that we can be sure that our programmes continue to maintain high academic standards, and give our students the best possible preparation for their future careers.”
Those colleges that have made commendable progress will be exempted from an annual monitoring visit next year. The final report following the REO, published on the QAA website on 20th June 2013, is available here.