Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya

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Subject benchmark statements

The new VSMA Framework [ca] (2016) marked a step forward in programme ex-ante accreditation (validation) and furthered the concept of mutual trust between institutions, in addition to establishing a second pathway for programme ex-ante accreditation.

The concept of mutual trust should simplify the information requirements in ex-ante accreditation procedures, as well being more convenient in that an important part of the external review of proposals for new programmes of study can be managed directly by the university itself , provided that a series of guidelines for the external review are followed. As a general rule, this pathway may be used by faculties with a certified IQAs and at least 50% of their programmes accredited.

AQU Catalunya has started to define subject benchmark statements for each discipline for use in new programme design. Subject benchmark statements provide coherency and identity, as well as defining what can be expected of graduates in the subject, in terms of what they might know, do and understand on completing their studies.

A benchmark statement needs to at least clearly identify the degrees and programmes that it covers, the core skills and the intended learning outcomes. A subject benchmark statement is used as a reference point in the design, delivery and review of academic programmes. It provides general guidance for articulating the learning outcomes associated with the programme but is not intended to represent a set curriculum in a subject or to prescribe set approaches to teaching, learning or assessment. Instead, it allows for flexibility and innovation in programme design within a framework agreed by the subject community.

In 2017 AQU Catalunya has so far produced subject benchmark statements for programmes in Computing and Tourism.

Discipline Subject benchmark statement
Computing Subject benchmark statement Computing (2017)
Tourism Subject benchmark statement Tourism (2017)