Aberystwyth academics join expert panels setting higher education standards

Dr Louise Marshall, Dr Gareth Hall, and Dr Jenny Mathers

Dr Louise Marshall, Dr Gareth Hall, and Dr Jenny Mathers

27 January 2022

Three Aberystwyth University academics have been appointed to expert panels which help set the standards and content of higher education courses across the UK.

Dr Louise Marshall, Dr Jenny Mathers and Dr Gareth Hall have been appointed members of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) advisory groups, which ensure standards in higher education are upheld.

The QAA is an independent body which monitors and advises on standards and quality in higher education across the UK. It leads the development of Subject Benchmark Statements which describe the nature of study and the academic standards expected of graduates in specific subject areas. They show what graduates might reasonably be expected to know, do and understand at the end of their studies, and are used in the design, delivery and review of academic programmes.

Each statement is reviewed regularly by an advisory group, including members of the academic community, employers, professional, statutory and regulatory bodies, and students. 

In 2022 the QAA is reviewing Subject Benchmark Statements for 13 subjects.

Dr Louise Marshall, Reader and Head of the Department of English and Creative Writing said:  “I am delighted to have been appointed as a member of the advisory group reviewing the Subject Benchmark Statement for English. These benchmarks are an important framework for quality and standards in UK Higher Education provision. I am very much looking forward to working with colleagues from across the sector to shape the future of the subject. Aberystwyth University has a long and illustrious history of excellence in teaching English and Creative Writing and it is particularly pleasing, in the University’s 150th year, to be representing Aberystwyth and colleagues throughout Wales in the development of our disciplines.”

Dr Jenny Mathers, Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Politics, commented: “I am very pleased to be part of the Politics and International Relations panel. It is a great opportunity to work with colleagues in this discipline from universities across the UK and to share insights from the experience and expertise in learning and teaching that I have developed at Aberystwyth University.” 

Dr Gareth Hall, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, has been made a member of the advisory group considering the Subject Benchmark Statement for Psychology. He said: “I am really pleased to be supporting academic standards in higher education through my contribution to the important work of the advisory group. I look forward to working with the other members to shape the teaching of our discipline in the years ahead.”

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, added: “I warmly congratulate my colleagues, whose appointments to these advisory groups are testament to the reputation and respect they have in their respective academic fields.  It is gratifying to know that Aberystwyth University academics are contributing to this important work which will future-proof higher education teaching in these discipline areas.” 

Dr Ailsa Crum, QAA’s Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement and Standards said: “The commitment and dedication of our experienced advisory groups helps to ensure that Subject Benchmark Statements continue to be valued by disciplinary communities. We are grateful to all of those who have volunteered their time to support this vital activity and look forward to working closely with them in the review of Subject Benchmark Statements this year.”

For a full list of the advisory groups and their membership, visit the Subject Benchmark Statement reviews 2022 page of the QAA website.