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Staff selected to become External Examiners

University Centre South Devon staff have once again been invited to provide expertise by being selected for External Examiner (EE) roles. David Worthington, lecturer in Civil Engineering and Construction Management, has taken up a four-year contract at the University of Ulster, whilst Issy Hallam, lecturer in Education and Psychology and Higher Education Social Mobility Lead, has taken up a four-year contract with Lancaster University at University Centre Blackburn.

Dave and Issy join Alison Milner (EE for Roehampton University & Suffolk University), Claire Langham (EE for BPP University and Oxford Brookes University) and Pawel Szymanski (EE for University Arts London).

Q&A with David Worthington

What is an External Examiner?

External Examiners are ‘Critical Friends’ who are employed by one institution and provide assurance of quality and standards, as well as advice to another. Practically, it involves me normally visiting the University of Ulster twice a year, to meet with students, the programme team and to sample students work. I will also attend the end of year Panel whereby I provide a summary of my comments and am asked to confirm the quality and standards of the programme.

Why is the role of an External Examiner important?

Universities, and Colleges with Degree Awarding Powers like South Devon College (the awarding body of UCSD), are autonomous and rely on external expertise to assure quality and maintain standards.  External Expertise is seen as the corner stone of the Higher Education sector, with most institutions working within the guidance provided by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Who can become an External Examiner?

EE’s are generally very experienced academic staff within their discipline, they are often selected on the basis of their track record within their subject, having had extensive experience in curriculum development and quality assurance.  In my case I also attended an EE development programme run by Advanced HE.