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Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022

Assessment of quality in higher education
Section 54: Assessment of quality of higher education

160.Subsection (1) requires the Commission to assess, or make arrangements to assess, the quality of higher education provided by each registered tertiary education provider and by those providers offering higher education provision on behalf of providers registered with the Commission. The duty applies to the assessment of higher education relating to the provider’s category of registration (subsection (2)). In addition, subsection (3) gives the Commission the power to assess, or make arrangements to assess, the quality of higher education provided by any tertiary education provider.

161.The Commission must publish the reports of these assessments (subsection (4)).

162.The Welsh Ministers may by regulations require assessments to be carried out at specified intervals and to publish the reports of these assessments within a specified period (subsection (5)). The Welsh Ministers must consult with the Commission before making such regulations (subsection (6)).

163.In this Part of the Act, references to an external provider relate to those providers who are responsible for providing all or part of a course of higher education on behalf of registered providers, but who are not registered providers in their own right (subsection (7)). The Welsh Minister may make regulations about who should be treated as an external provider (subsection (8)).

Section 55: Action plans following assessments under section 54

164.Following a quality assessment and published report, the registered provider providing the higher education, or the registered provider on behalf of which the higher education is provided, must—

  • prepare a written statement of its planned actions to respond to the report and the timescales to address these planned actions, and

  • send the action plan statement to the Commission and to the designated body (if the designated body carried out the assessment) (subsection (2)).

165.The provider must also publish the action plan statement (subsection (3)).

166.Compliance with the requirements in this section to write and publish the action plan statement is to be treated as an ongoing registration condition for registered providers for the purpose of the enforcement powers of the Commission in section 39 (directions) and section 41 (de-registration).

Section 56: Exercise of higher education assessment functions by a designated body and Schedule 3 - Assessing higher education: designated body

167.Schedule 3, introduced by subsection (1), sets out further detail as regards:

  • the designation of a body to conduct the assessment functions under section 54 on behalf of the Commission,

  • oversight of the body by the Commission, and

  • provision for the body to charge fees.

168.The Commission will not normally be expected to conduct the assessment functions if it has designated a body to conduct these assessments on its behalf but will retain the power to do so (subsection (3)).

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