The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council, undertakes two forms of external review of the University: Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR) and Reviews of Overseas Provision. In 2016/2017, Heriot Watt University was one of 5 Scottish HEI's to opt to participate in Year 2 of Teaching Excellence Framework.

Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR)

In common with all Scottish HEIs, every five years the QAA conducts an Enhancement-Led Institutional Review of the University's management of its processes for improving the student learning experience, monitoring and review, and strategic approach to quality enhancement. The review incorporates all of the University's provision, both UK and international.

Reviews of Overseas Provision

In addition to the Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR), the QAA conducts another form of External Review: the Reviews of Overseas Provision of higher education provided internationally by UK HEIs. The QAA adopts a country-specific framework for these Reviews, and the University's provision may be reviewed if it has a Learning Partner in the country in question.

Full details about the QAA's Reviews of Overseas Provision process is available on the QAA website. Reviews of Overseas Provision are based on the same processes and principles as ELIR/Institutional Audit; it is a peer review, evidence-based process. QAA uses the process to review the partnership arrangements of institutions, and also to gather information and case studies.

Teaching Excellence Framework

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a new, government-led scheme for recognising excellent teaching, in addition to existing national quality requirements for universities, colleges and other higher education providers. It provides information to help prospective students choose where to study.

The TEF is voluntary and each higher education provider decides whether or not they wish to take part.

The TEF was developed by the Department for Education in England. While higher education policy is a devolved matter, individual providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also able to take part if they wish to.

Participating higher education providers receive a gold, silver or bronze award reflecting the excellence of their teaching, learning environment and student outcomes. The awards cover undergraduate teaching.

The first results were published in June 2017. Participating higher education providers and their TEF awards are listed here.

Heriot-Watt University was one of five Scottish HEI's opting to take part in TEF Year 2 (2016/17). The University received a rating of 'Silver', which is valid for three years. The University’s Statement of Findings provides an overview of the Heriot-Watt’s performance in TEF Year 2