Acting as External Examiners in the UK: Going Beyond Quality Assurance

Amudha Poobalan, Padam Simkhada, Edwin van Teijlingen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Traditionally the role of the external examiners in UK universities or more formally Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is that of quality assurance (QA). Typically, an experienced academic who is not affiliated with the HEI (i.e., someone from another university) is invited to act as an external examiner for a particular course or a module. The external examiner’s primary role is to provide impartial and independent advice to ensure academic standards are upheld for a degree program; and that the degree is comparable with similar programs across the country and that the achievements of students are also comparable with students on courses at other universities. This primary role makes external examiners highly valued people in UK universities, and as a result, their views are nearly always taken seriously. Over and above this recognized primary role of QA, external examiners can also be engaged by the host university in other ways. These additional roles or tasks of the external examiner can help enhance teaching and learning in higher education. This chapter will reflect on the range of roles, including the ones that go beyond QA.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Role of External Examining in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Best Practices
EditorsEnakshi Sengupta, Patrick Blessinger, Andrew Ssemwanga, Barbara Cozza
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-1-83982-174-5 , 978-1-83982-175-2
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021

Publication series

NameInnovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
ISSN (Electronic)2055-3641


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