QAA Scotland logoAll UK higher education institutions are subject to a periodic institutional review conducted by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) on behalf of the various Funding Councils in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, reviews are undertaken by QAA Scotland and take the form of an Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR).

ELIR has an enhancement purpose and focus, defined as "taking deliberate steps to bring about improvement in the effectiveness of the learning experiences of students". ELIR is concerned with the University's strategic approach to enhancement, and the effectiveness of its implementation.  The scope of the Review includes all of Heriot-Watt’s credit-rated provision, wherever and however it is delivered (five campuses, academic and industrial partners, online) and includes the learning experience of all students (UG, PGT, PGR)

The review is structured around the following five areas:

  1. Institutional context, its student population and ELIR
  2. Enhancing the student learning experience
  3. Strategy and practice for enhancing learning and teaching
  4. Academic standards and quality processes
  5. Collaborative provision

The outcomes of the Review will include an “effectiveness” judgement on the institution’s arrangements for the quality of the student learning experience and the academic standards of its awards, and also a series of commendations and recommendations.

Consultation on ELIR Contextualised Themes

The University is currently consulting with staff and students across all modes and locations on its ELIR Contextualised Themes.  The Contextualised Themes Discussion Paper, which provides a link to the accompanying online survey, is available on the ELIR SharePoint site

ELIR4: January/March 2020

The Quality Assurance Agency Scotland (QAAS) will undertake its fourth Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR4) of Heriot-Watt University in 2019/20. The Review will comprise:

  1. Submission (by 15 November 2019) of a Reflective Analysis, Advance Information Set and supporting evidence. Production of these core documents will be led by the Academic Quality team in collaboration with the wider institution. Drafts and final versions will be accessible in due course - through the Learning and Teaching SharePoint library 
  2. Review Visit, which will be in two parts: Planning Visit, 30 January 2020; Review Visit, 16-20 March 2020.  During both visits, the ELIR Team will meet with staff and students from across all areas of Heriot-Watt.