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IFT celebrates successful International Quality Review from UK''''s QAA

The Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) has received a successful International Quality Review from the UK''''s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), following a review process carried out in December 2016. The review team acknowledged that IFT meets all the 10 standards set out in Part 1 of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.

A team of QAA reviewers visited IFT and judged that IFT’s overall quality assurance policy, the academic and administrative standards, the design and review of the programmes, the quality of student learning, teaching and assessment, and the extensive range of support available for students and staff, among many other criteria, all met QAA’s standards.

QAA also identified four best practices and made four recommendations. Three of the four best practices were related to student-centred learning, teaching and assessment, while the fourth area of best practice was identified as relating to student admission, progression, recognition and certification. In particular, the inclusion of students and industry partners as interview panel members when interviewing prospective students emphasised the effective relationship IFT has with its students and industry partners.

The review report also noted that IFT''''s processes for the design and review of programmes involves “an impressive range of stakeholders,” making it a sound process that meets international standards. Given the industry orientation of much of IFT''''s education provision, the review team said that the institution’s approach to delivering and managing internships was “particularly effective”. This was underpinned by a very coherent and interactive relationship with industry partners, suggested the QAA report.

IFT would like to thank its students, faculty members and staff, for their concerted effort, continuous feedback and commitment to excellence, which has now been recognised by a prominent external body in the field of quality assurance in higher education. The Institute will continue working closely with the Macao SAR Government and industry partners to respond to the needs of Macao’s expanding tourism market, as well as to contribute to the future development of Macao’s higher education and tourism industry.

The International Quality Review is designed to analyse and reflect on each reviewed institution’s approach to quality assurance; and to test and benchmark its existing processes against international quality assurance standards. The review also helps to drive improvement and excellence regarding each participating institution’s approach to quality assurance.

Each QAA review is carried out by experts from universities or colleges without connection to the reviewed institution. Every review team includes a student reviewer, as QAA believes that students should be partners in the quality assurance of their education. The official report has been made public and is accessible via the QAA website:

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/ReviewsAndReports/Documents/Institute-for-Tourism-Studies-Macao-IQR-16.pdf.