A panel of staff from the University of Liverpool, UK, visited Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University reviewing the campus facilities and meeting students, University senior managers, and academic departments.

The University of Liverpool is XJTLU’s partner institution and carefully monitors all of its programmes to ensure that they meet appropriate standards for the issuing of its degree certificates. The primary focus of the visit was XJTLU’s plans for the next 10 years, particularly in the areas of research and internationalisation.

“In order to oversee its accreditation arrangements, a visit is undertaken biennially as part of Liverpool’s monitoring of XJTLU’s academic provision and quality assurance processes,” explained Isik Cotten of the Programme Management and Quality Assurance Office at XJTLU.

“The panel reviews arrangements between the University of Liverpool and XJTLU in relation to operational and quality assurance matters, making specific reference to The Quality Code for Higher Education published by the Quality Assurance Agency in the UK, and to University of Liverpool’s policies and procedures,” explained Isik.

“The visit may also provide the opportunity for developmental engagement between the University of Liverpool and XJTLU,” she added.

Members of the review panel for 2017 were Professor Gavin Brown, pro vice-chancellor for education, Professor Chris Sanderson, postgraduate director for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Professor Liz Sheffield, associate pro vice-chancellor for the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Liz Crolley, University of Liverpool’s chief institutional moderator, Trish Barker, head of academic quality and standards, Sonia Li, academic quality and standards officer, and Ananda Mohan, vice-president of the Guild of Students at the University of Liverpool.

The monitoring visit began with a tour of XJTLU’s South Campus including the International Academic Exchange Centre building and the Design Building. The panel also visited the Civil Engineering Lab (where they were shown the new structural testing machine), the Computer Science and Software Engineering Lab, and the XJTLU Library.

The visit included in-depth monitoring of the departments of Computer Science and Software Engineering and Civil Engineering. Additional sessions were held with the full range of students studying at XJTLU, including University of Liverpool students studying at XJTLU on the ‘One Year in China’ and ‘Study Abroad’ programmes, as well as academic staff in a number of learning and teaching-, and research-related areas.

Other topics covered by the monitoring visit included postgraduate study, student support, examining and moderation, research, and quality assurance processes. The visit concluded with a wrap-up meeting with XJTLU senior managers for the panel to offer them their valuable feedback, with a detailed written report to follow.

Various commendations were made by the panel, including recognition of the University’s buddy programme and language partner system which the panel commented could be implemented at the University of Liverpool. They also commended XJTLU’s commitment to pursuing and expanding opportunities for students outside of the University, including through internships and the IETE initiative.

by Danny Abbasi; photos by Liping Tian

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