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Publishing the full report - consultation meetings 18 and 24 November

  Around 55 members attended the two events
   
  The majority of those who attended were against the idea of publishing the full report.
Reasons against (in no particular order):
   
  1. The information will be fixed for four years with no possibility of change
   
  2. There is no evidence to suggest that students or their agents would find the information useful
   
  3. The reports are inconsistent and there is no possibility for institutions to discuss the contents of the report prior to moderation. This would be much more of a problem if the reports were published.
   
  4. Negative comments do not encourage students to attend an institution, do not give the UK a competitive advantage, nor the accredited a competitive advantage over the non-accredited sector.
   
  5. There is a danger of others distorting the information to the detriment of the institution.
   
  6. Students and their agents may not understand what the 'not-mets' mean e.g. the relationship between 8.1, 8.3 and 8.6. The Scheme is not sufficiently understood by the consumer.
   
  7. The report is too culturally specific and not sufficiently accessible for non-native speakers.
   
  8. The report is a developmental (and leverage) tool rather than a marketing tool. The audience for whom the report is written is not the student.
   
  9. The impact and method of publishing the full report have not been clearly thought through.
   
  10. There is a lack of clarity about the legal ownership of the report.
   
  The majority of those who attended were in favour of the principle of putting information from the inspection report in the public domain to aid decision making
   
 

Recommendations

   
  11. We conduct research to establish what sort of information and in what format would be useful for students and their agents in helping them select an institution.
   
  12. We increase our efforts to provide more information about the Scheme in general to (students and their) agents.
   
  13. We look at the possibility of some form of 'negotiated' report.
   
  14. We aim to have a proposal for early summer 2004 that is agreed by the majority of the membership for implementation in 2005.
   
 

John Shackleton 5th December 2003

   
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