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Academic year 2022-23 marks the 20 year anniversary of the introduction of the Quality Enhancement Framework. We are using this milestone to undertake a deep and wide-ranging evaluation of one of its five key elements - the Enhancement Themes.


This significant and ambitious sector-wide project will help us explore how, and to what extent, the Themes have impacted on the Scottish student experience, and in what ways this work has influenced enhancement approaches globally.


With a deeper understanding of what works well and a focus on developing evaluation capability, we have a great opportunity to make a step change in Scotland’s enhancement approach and support the Scottish sector in addressing future challenges as we all work to support SFC with the introduction of its Tertiary Quality Framework.


Leading the evaluation are Professor Stella Jones-Devitt (Staffordshire University) and Dr Liz Austen (Sheffield Hallam University). Stella and Liz have been working closely with sector colleagues and QAA Scotland on both the evaluation of 20 years of the Enhancement Themes and our current 2020-23 Theme, Resilient Learning Communities.


Our vision

Universal Evaluation Framework

The Universal Evaluation Framework aims to liberate colleagues from their fears around evaluation tasks and capabilities. It has been designed to support all, regardless of levels of evaluation experience, role and starting points.

You can find out more about the Framework in the article, Evaluation for all? Why evaluation within and beyond higher education should be universal and accessible. It discusses some of the challenges of current evaluation work in higher education and how Stella and Liz’s work seeks to address this impasse. It also incorporates a case study that outlines a potentially game changing tool which aims to engage colleagues and capture evidence of what works in an accessible and transparent way.

Evaluation project updates

Year two


The latest video from our evaluation consultants provides a short update on the work achieved during the second year of the Themes evaluation project.

Year one

Our evaluation consultants produced a short video summarising the work that took place during the first year of the evaluation project and our plans for the next steps.

Evaluation resources

Fantastically Active Focus Groups' workshop

In September 2022, Professor Stella Jones-Devitt and Dr Liz Austen, ran an interactive workshop designed to help sector colleagues improve their understanding of and how to best use Focus Groups, often the data collection tool of choice when working with groups. The workshop introduced colleagues to several practical mechanisms to enhance engagement and result in gaining more effective evidence. You can watch a full recording of the event.

Sensational surveys - workshop


In March 2022, our evaluation consultants, Professor Stella Jones-Devitt and Dr Liz Austen, held an interactive online workshop designed to help build confidence in using a survey as an effective evaluation tool. It focused on using effective decision making concerning when to use a survey for evaluation purposes, designing an efficient and engaging survey to maximise response rates, and ensuring that ethical considerations are addressed robustly. You can watch a recording of the event and view the resources.


Using Creative Methods in Evaluation - workshop


In November 2021, Professor Stella Jones-Devitt and Dr Liz Austen, ran a highly interactive workshop for colleagues focused on ways of applying creative methods to evaluative processes. You can watch the recording in full and download the slides.


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General resources

A guide to basic evaluation in higher education (why needed and how to do it)

Publication date: 13 May 2021

Evaluating the overall impact of interventions: A ten-point framework

Publication date: 24 Jun 2021

Watch our digital glossary videos

You may find these three short video clips helpful in explaining some common terminology.




The Staff and Student Guides to Using Evidence in Higher Education are also good sources on evaluation methods.