University of Sussex Media Release.
. Excellent Results for Mathematics at Sussex

2 February l999
For immediate release

Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sussex has been commended for its high quality teaching as the result of an inspection by the Quality Assurance Agency last week. The subject group was awarded an impressive 23 points out of a possible total of 24.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) reviews are the higher education equivalent of school Ofsted inspections, which are part of a nationwide government inspection of university education that will eventually include every subject at every institution. The assessment is a thorough process examining the quality of the student experience. It involves a team of five reviewers coming to the University for four days to observe lectures, interview students, faculty and support staff, examine course handouts and inspect reams of documentation. The review is rated on a four point scale for six different aspects of teaching. These aspects, and the points awarded to Mathematics and Statistics are:

  • curriculum content and organisation 4
  • teaching learning and assessment 3
  • student progression and achievement 4
  • student support and guidance 4
  • learning resources 4
  • quality management and enhancement 4

The review panel gave oral feedback at the end of the inspection. Among their commendations were

  • high quality teaching and some very high quality learning, especially the workshops and exercise classes
  • the high level of attainment of students in the final years of the programmes
  • the employment record of graduates
  • the excellent relations between staff and students and the exceptional level of support from the school administrative and secretarial staff

Receiving the news of the outcome of the inspection, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alasdair Smith commented, "These QAA scores are very important for Mathematics and Statistics and will help it in attracting students. It is also important because they are used increasingly widely in league tables and elsewhere as indicators of a University’s performance. I am grateful to the Dean, faculty, students and support staff for achieving these excellent results."

For further information contact Sue Yates, Information Officer, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678384, Fax 01273 678335, email

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