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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

More about us and our work 

We have around 150 staff working in our offices in Gloucester and a further 12 in Glasgow. Our core business is to review and report on the performance of providers of higher education with regard to standards of awards and the quality of provision. We do this by working with higher education institutions to define academic standards and quality.

We publish guidance - in particular the Quality Code - that is routinely used by institutions in setting standards and designing a quality student experience. We help institutions to enhance the education they provide by citing areas of good practice and making recommendations for improvement.

We carry out and publish reviews against these standards, reporting on the performance of institutions.

In addition, we have a key role in advising governments on applications for the grant of degree awarding powers and university title - undertaking reviews of applicants and making recommendations.

We play a significant role in informing others of, and contributing to, international development in the quality assurance of higher education. We also manage the recognition scheme related to the Access to Higher Education qualification.


Our organisation was established in 1997. We were formed through the transfer of functions and staff from the former Higher Education Quality Council and the quality assessment divisions of the higher education funding councils for England and Wales.

Our work is financed through two main sources of income: subscriptions paid by individual universities and colleges, and contracts with the higher education funding bodies and government departments.

Explore the website for further information about the our work, the role of our Board of Directors and the nature of our reviews.


This website is archived by the British Library's UK Web Archive: preserving UK websites