Runshaw College is committed to making it easier for students and the wider public to access a range of information about the College and our university courses.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has specified which information should be made publicly available, and this information forms what is called the ‘Wider Information Set (WIS)’.
The WIS aims to:
- inform the public about the quality of HE, and in particular, help provide potential students with information that will help them make a choice about what and where to study.
- help provide evidence to contribute to quality assurance processes in institutions (specifically review by the QAA).
- help provide information that institutions can use to enhance the quality of their HE provision.
There are three categories within the WIS:
- Information on institutional context.
- Information about aspects of courses and awards.
- Information on the quality and standards of programmes.
Information on Institutional Context
We believe education changes lives, so we put teaching and learning and the needs of our students first.
As a comprehensive college serving its community, we strive for:
HE Vision and mission summary statement
We will raise aspirations and change students’ lives by providing an outstanding HE experience to students in the region. We seek to be the best HE in FE provider in the country.
We believe education can change lives, so teaching and learning and the needs of our students always come first.
Stemming from this our HE Programme mission is to;
- Expand our higher education programme by offering a distinctive, high quality portfolio of full and part time courses to meet the changing needs of students and employers within Lancashire.
- Widen participation in higher education through raising the aspirations of learners on vocational courses and offering compact timetables that allow students to earn whilst they learn.
- Promote and achieve academic excellence for both staff and students.
- Provide an outstanding learning environment where all students are given the opportunity and support to reach their full potential, add value to their lives, and prepare for the next stage in their education and careers.
- Harness innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment combined with the use of new and developing ICT and web based technologies
- Enhance students’ learning through harnessing new technologies both inside and outside the classroom.
- Develop close links with employers to ensure currency of curriculum, to promote skills and competencies to industry standard and so to enhance student career progression.
- Work in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to ensure our provision is fully accredited and quality assured in order to enhance students’ success and to provide specified progression pathways to UCLan.
Policies & Processes
Runshaw College has a strong reputation for the rigour and impact of its policies and processes. Policies and processes relating to our degree programmes align with those of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and accord with the expectations set out in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
To access these policies, please click the relevant link below.
UCLan Policies applicable to all Runshaw University students
UCLan policies applicable to Runshaw University students who use UCLan facilities
UCLan Data Protection Policy
UCLan Email Use Policy
UCLan IT Security Policy
UCLan Network Lite Fair Usage & Security Policy
UClan Rules for the use of IT facilities
UCLan Rules for Use of the Library
UCLan Smoking Policy
UCLan Summary of Conditions of Residence 2015-16
UCLan Conditions of Residence
UCLan Technical Services Loans Policy
UCLan Wireless Network Fair Usage & Security Policy
UCLan Regulations governing posters, notices, temporary signs and the distribution of literature
UCLan Disability Policy
UCLan Disability Policy Guidance
UCLan Freedom of Information Policy
Runshaw College Policies applicable to all Runshaw University students can be found here
We work with a wide range of organisations and individuals to ensure that we get an external perspective on the courses that we deliver in our Higher Education Programme.
Working with the University of Central Lancashire
We are proud to work in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and to offer our students an exceptional learning experience that matches the high standards of this leading university. To find out more about our partnership with UCLan, click here.
Working with our students
We see our students as partners in terms of the development, delivery and review of our courses and we engage with them in a variety of ways to achieve this. Our Student Engagement Strategy sets out the key elements of our approach to working in partnership with students.
In addition, both the College and the University set out general expectations in their respective Charters. Students will get the most from their experience with us when they meet these expectations.
Runshaw College Student Charter
Working with employers
Central to the mission of the HE Programme is our employer engagement which serves to shape our offer and to enhance the employability of our graduates. Our Employer engagement Strategy sets out the key elements of our approach to working in partnership with employers.
Information about aspects of courses and awards
To find out more about our university courses please click here. You will also find a link to the Programme Specification for each course. This is the definitive approved document for each course.
Links with Awarding Bodies
Runshaw College works in sole partnership with UCLan. All Degrees delivered by the College are awarded by UCLan – the ‘awarding body’. As such UCLan sets the academic standards for all courses and approves the College to deliver and maintain these standards on its behalf.
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the UK Quality Code for Higher Education
Established in 1997, the QAA safeguards UK higher education quality and standards. It checks how well institutions meet their responsibilities, identifying good practice and making recommendations for improvement. The QAA also publishes guidelines to help institutions develop effective systems to ensure students have high quality experiences. As part of their practices, they conduct reviews and publish reports on whether or not a higher education provider meets expected standards in terms of academic standards, the quality of learning opportunities, the enhancement of learning opportunities and the information provided about the providers higher education.
Outstanding in anyone’s language!
The latest Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Review of the College’s Higher Education provision took place in December 2015 with the Report published in March 2016. It resulted in a fantastic acknowledgement of the high quality of the university courses we offer.
The QAA is the HE equivalent of Ofsted and while the process is very different to that of the more well-known ‘inspection’ body the rigour with which it is undertake is every bit as thorough and demanding. The same process of Review is applied to all organisations offering higher education courses. The Review visit was undertaken by a Team of 3 QAA Reviewers plus a Review Manager and lasted for 3 days in the week commencing 7th December 2015
Like all universities and colleges offering degree level courses we were reviewed against the UK Quality Code for Higher Education which sets out a series of ‘expectations’ that HE providers are expected to meet in terms of 4 core areas;
- Academic Standards
- The Quality of Learning Opportunities
- Information about Higher Education
- The Enhancement of Learning Opportunities
Providers are also asked to choose one of two ‘themes’ for the Review Team to consider and we elected for ‘employability’.
So what are the possible outcomes?
The Review Team is asked to determine if a provider ‘meets’, ‘does not meet’ or’ requires improvement to meet’ Academic Standards and can make similar judgements for the other core areas, plus, for these they can also make a ‘commendation’ for exceptional practice. So any provider can achieve a maximum of 3 ‘commendations’.
The Review Team is also asked to identify ‘good practice’ and to make ‘recommendations’ in areas which need improvement. They may also make ‘affirmations’, in essence encouraging the provider to continue with steps already being taken to address an area for improvement.
There are no ‘judgements’ made on the theme but commentary is made in the Review Report.
The outcomes of the QAA Higher Education Review of Runshaw College were as follows.
In the 4 core areas they found that;
- The maintenance of the academic standards of the awards offered on behalf of degree-awarding bodies meets UK expectations. (NB – providers can only meet or not – you can’t be ‘commended’ for academic standards)
- The quality of student learning opportunities is commended
- The quality of the provider’s information about learning opportunities meets UK expectations. (No other College has had a commended for this element either!)
- The enhancement of student learning opportunities is commended
The Team also identified the following areas of good practice.
- The thorough and effective way in which the College integrates its own practices with those of the awarding body
- The systematic approach by course teams to support students in becoming independent learners
- The strategic approach to enabling students to develop their academic potential through initiatives such as the Transition Strategy
- The holistic approach to enabling students to develop employability skills
- The focus on the development of student’s assessment literacy particularly as exemplified by the use of peer and self-assessment
- The outward facing approach which enables staff at all levels to identify opportunities for enhancement and share them with colleagues
- The shared focus of College staff on developing and implementing strategies of continuous improvement
The Team made no ‘recommendations’ or ‘affirmations’.
So what does this mean in relation to other providers. Well, of the 63 Colleges Reviewed by the QAA under this Higher Education Review methodology (to August 2015) our outcomes would rank us in the top 5%. Given that;
- Only 3 (of 63) other colleges offering HE achieved 2 Commendations. All were for learning opportunities and enhancement. No college has had a commendation for ‘information’.
- Of the 63 colleges only 2 others had, like us, no recommendations.
- Of the 63 colleges only 3 others had more good practice cited – 8, as compared to our 7. (3 others had 7)
So we are sure that we can genuinely say that the Review Team found us to be ‘outstanding’ in anyone’s language!
The full Report can be found here.
Summary report: Runshaw QAA Higher Ed Review lo-res
As a response to the Report the College is required to develop and publish an Action Plan showing how the College will take forward the best practice that the Review Team identified. Click here to view the Action Plan which will be updated annually.
Information on the quality and standards of programmes
The following further information is available to Runshaw University students via the College VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) or it can be made available on request to the public. If you would like to request this info, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- procedures and outcomes for programme approval, monitoring and review
- external examination procedures and the role of external examiners
- policies for student complaints, appeals and representations.
Information on recent external reviews and inspections of the College’s Higher Education provision
In common with all providers of Higher Education, the College is subject to external review to ensure that it meets the expectations set out in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
The QAA Integrated Quality Enhancement Review (IQER) Summative Review 2011
In 2011, the College was subject to IQER Summative Review. The full Report can be found by clicking here.
The Review made the following judgements about standards and quality
- Confidence in the College’s management of its responsibilities, as set out in its partnership agreements, for the standards of the awards it offers on behalf of its awarding bodies.
- Confidence in the College’s management of its responsibilities, as set out in its partnership agreements, for the quality of learning opportunities it offers.
- Reliance can be placed on the accuracy and completeness of the information that the College is responsible for publishing about itself and the programmes it delivers.
The Review identified the following areas of Good Practice
- the implementation of the Professional Development Policy ensures that the delivery of the provision is supported effectively by staff development
- the College has very effective procedures for the assurance and enhancement of learning and teaching, which provide students with a high quality learning experience
- the College has a large range of effective student support procedures, which students value highly and which result in very high retention and achievement rates
- work-based learning with effective employer engagement on the Foundation Degrees is of a high standard and enhances students’ appreciation of the world of work
- students benefit from specialised documents like the Handbook and Diary and ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ guides, which provide student-friendly and detailed guidance on key aspects of programme delivery.
As part of its response to the Review the College was required to develop and to implement an action plan to spread good practice and to address the advisable and desirable recommendations made by the Review Team.
The UCLan Periodic Course Review 2015
As part of its processes to set and to maintain academic standards the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) undertake a four year cycle of Periodic Course Review (PCR) at which all courses which were approved more than 18 months previously are subject to full review and re-approval.
Runshaw College’s Higher Education provision was subject to PCR in March 2015. 12 panels comprising 5 members per panel (including external academics and industry representatives) reviewed all courses over a period of 2 days.
The outcomes of the PCR have been shared with all students.
- All courses were re-approved.
- A significant number of courses had no Conditions set or Recommendations made.
- For a minority of courses conditions were set to which Course Teams, the College or the University host school must respond by June 2015
- For a minority of courses recommendations were made to which Course Leaders must respond in their Annual Monitoring Report for 2014-15
- Much Good Practice was identified and this will be further disseminated and developed during the 2015-16 academic year and beyond.
The Ofsted Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Inspection of the UCLan Teacher Education Partnership 2015
Runshaw College is proud to be part of UCLan’s extensive partnership network for the delivery of Post Graduate and Certificate in Education courses for Initial Teacher Education (ITE)
In common with all other such providers this provision is subject to Ofsted (as opposed to QAA) inspection and the College was pleased to be part of the Ofsted inspection of UCLan’s Teacher Education Partnership in 2015.
The Inspection is a two stage process and the final outcomes will not be known until the second stage is complete in the Autumn of 2015. Once complete the full Report will be available on the Ofsted website.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Audit of the College’s Key information Set (KIS) 2014
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) require all providers of HEFCE funded courses to provide standardised Key information Sets (KIS) for all courses.
In 2014 the College was subject to a HEFCE audit of its KIS procedures and the information produced and displayed on the College’s website.
The outcome of the audit was that;
- we (the auditors) have gained assurance over the systems and protocols used in deriving the KIS data, based on the KIS 2014/15 rules. In reaching this conclusion we have made recommendations that, if implemented, should further improve the systems and protocols used in deriving KIS data, and hence its accuracy.
- The college is required to develop and to implement an action plan to meet the recommendations of the audit, the deadline for which is May 28th 2015.