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Welcome to the latest edition of the QAA Cymru newsletter, our quarterly publication capturing many of the latest developments in higher education in Wales and across the UK.

In our first newsletter of 2023, we introduce the latest developments and opportunities to help you get the year off to a great start  

Don’t forget to register for our regular Wales Quality Network (WQN) meetings. These are an excellent way of meeting colleagues across the country, sharing best practice and keeping in touch. You can find details of the latest scheduled meetings below. 

Continuing to improve our Welsh language support is a commitment we take very seriously, and we aim to increasingly operate as a bilingual organisation in our work in Wales. We've included information on the latest report on how we meet the our Welsh language standards, as well as how you can help shape future development that you would like to see. 

Enjoy the issue! 

Meet the team: 

Alastair Delaney is Deputy Chief Executive of QAA and continues to provide operational support for our work in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as strategic leadership more widely across SWNI. Alastair brings his extensive quality assurance, regulatory and further education experience to help support, develop and inform the Welsh approach to enhancement.
David Gale is our Quality and Enhancement Manager (Wales) and manages QAA’s review work in Wales. David has experience of many of the Agency’s review methods and brings expertise in both quality assurance and enhancement.
Holly Thomas is our Quality and Enhancement Specialist (Wales) and also works with higher education providers in Northern Ireland. As well as supporting our enhancement activity and review work in Wales, Holly champions the Welsh Language Standards at QAA through leadership of the Welsh Language Working Group. 
Christine Jones is a Quality Manager for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A former QAA reviewer and Dean of Education, she has over 30 years’ experience in HE.  Christine manages reviews and enhancement projects on a part-time basis. She is a fluent Welsh speaker. 
Scott McKellar is Media and Engagement Officer for Scotland, Wales and Northern Island. With a background in student engagement at a national level within higher education, his role is to promote and support the work of QAA and our Members across the devolved nations.
Rachel O'Shea is our Information and Enhancement Coordinator and provides vital support to help the teams in Scotland and Wales work most effectively.

In this issue: 

Review Method
  • QAA is continuing to revise and develop the Quality Enhancement Review Method


  • New QAA Cymru collaborative projects available 
  • Enhancement Conference 2023
  • Peer Observation of Teaching 
  • Micro-credentials  


  • Member Network Conference – let’s get together! 20 April 2023, Birmingham  
  • Wales Quality Network update 

Publications and consultations

  • QAA briefs members on artificial intelligence threat to academic integrity  
  • QAA Cymru publishes latest annual report on Welsh language engagement 
  • Professor Tim Woods, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience (Aberystwyth University), joins QAA Board  
  • Subject Benchmark Statement Consultation: English  




QAA is continuing to revise and develop the Quality Enhancement Review Method

QAA is continuing to revise and develop the Quality Enhancement Review Method. Since September 2022, QAA has received a lot of support and feedback from the sector. QAA has hosted a series of three Stakeholder Workshops, three External Quality Review (Wales) Method Advisory Groups, provided updates to the Universities Wales Learning and Teaching Network and Wales Quality Network and organised institutional liaison meetings. The method development has focused on several key areas including: strengthening enhancement and the form and structure of the evidence-base, as well as continuing to ensure students have a fundamental role in the method and developing the role of specialist reviewers. QAA will continue to keep the sector informed on the progress and development of the handbook and is grateful to all sector staff, students and reviewers who have supported the method development so far.  


New QAA Cymru collaborative projects available 

We have recently launched a call for expressions of interest for Collaborative Enhancement Projects (CEPs) funded by HEFCW through grant arrangements with QAA. This call is for two separate projects only, in the areas of Micro-credentials, and Student Complaints and Extenuating Circumstances. These projects are an excellent way of promoting collaboration, development and enhancement, bringing together valuable experience from multiple providers to benefit the whole sector. 

You can download the information pack and expressions of interest form here, and they should be completed and returned by 22 February 2023. Responses are welcomed in English and Welsh

Enhancement Conference 2023

QAA Scotland is celebrating 20 Years of the enhancement approach in Scotland in academic year 2022-23, and is bringing the celebrations to a close with the 5th International Enhancement Conference on 14 – 15 June.  Shaping the student experience together: 20 years of enhancement will take place at Glasgow Caledonian University, and critically reflect on the global impact of Scotland’s enhancement-led approach. Registration is expected to open in March 2023. If you would like to be notified when registration opens, you can sign up for email notifications.  

Peer Observation of Teaching 

QAA is undertaking an enhancement project on Peer Observation of Teaching as part of the grant arrangements with HEFCW for 2022-23. The project is identifying current practice in higher education providers in Wales and comparing this to UK-wide practice. QAA recently shared a short survey with all regulated higher education providers, and will follow up this information with a series of interviews. The project will lead to a report and sharing practice webinar in June 2023. If you have any questions about this project, please contact  


QAA is also supporting an enhancement project on Microcredentials as part of the grant arrangements with HEFCW for 2022-23. The project is considering how the current Microcredentials Characteristics Statement is being used across the sector in Wales, and will build on the HEFCW December 2022 publication Higher Education for the Nations: Developing Microcredentials. There will be a series of sharing practice webinars in May 2023.  

Member Network Conference – let’s get together! 20 April 2023, Birmingham  

Our Member Network Conference provides an opportunity for colleagues to explore current sector challenges and share ideas with like-minded colleagues. We look forward to being back in person this year for networking in 3D!   This event will have a firm focus on the future structure and scope of the UK Quality Code. Drawing on our work in the current year, it will invite you to identify the format and content that will add most value to quality and standards in your institution – to do that we will devote the morning to an interactive workshop.  In the afternoon, there will be shorter sessions and prompts for discussion on a range of hot topics, including awarding gaps, continuous and annual monitoring, and data and evaluation. Register here

Wales Quality Network update  

The Wales Quality Network meets regularly to help colleagues make new contacts, explore shared challenges and promote quality. The latest confirmed meeting dates are 7 March and 21 June. The Network exists to support you and help you make the biggest impact at your institution. If you would like to contribute to a future meeting or make suggestions for areas you would like to focus on, please get in touch

Interested in joining our Wales QAA Member community?
Contact us on to find out how QAA can benefit your provider and students.  


QAA briefs members on artificial intelligence threat to academic integrity  
QAA has published a briefing note to support members in tackling challenges to academic integrity which have been brought about by the rise of artificial intelligence tools. It has been produced following widespread concern that new software tools like ChatGPT could be used by students to generate work on their behalf without correctly acknowledging or attributing their use. Artificial intelligence has been identified as a key topic for discussion at the HEFCW-funded Welsh Integrity and Assessment Network. You can read it here.

QAA Cymru publishes latest annual report on Welsh language engagement 

QAA Cymru has published the latest annual report on its engagement with the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 during academic year 2021-22. The report demonstrates how we comply with our commitments to the Welsh Language Standards (No. 2 regulations) 2016 in service delivery, operations, policy-making and record-keeping, as well as our wider commitment to the Welsh language and its role in higher education in Wales. You can read the report in full on the QAA website

We are committed to seeking opportunities to extend our Welsh language commitments. If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can better support Welsh language provision, please let us know.


Professor Tim Woods, (Aberystwyth University) joins QAA Board 

Professor Tim Woods, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience (Aberystwyth University), has joined the QAA Board as a nominee of Universities Wales. Professor Woods has taken over from Professor Maria Hinfelaar, Vice-Chancellor at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, who finished her 6-year term in September 2022. Professor Woods has also become the Chair of the Wales Strategic Advisory Committee, a sub-committee of the QAA Board.   

Subject Benchmark Statement Consultation: English  

QAA is inviting staff, students, employers, and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs) to respond to a consultation on the revised Subject Benchmark Statement for English. The Statement will outline the academic standards expected of English graduates and articulate what they might reasonably be expected to know, do and understand at the end of their studies. The consultation documents are published on our consultation web page and responses should be submitted via the online survey. The closing date for responses is Monday 20 March at 18.00 and we plan to publish the final Statement in summer 2023. 



For a full list of events, take a look at our Membership Calendar

Other newsletters

Sign up to our other QAA newsletters to find out about more of our work across the Agency.


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If you have a project or initiative you would like to share, drop us a line at and we can work together to create a feature for the next QAA Cymru newsletter. 

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