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Quality Enhancement Support Team (QuEST)

The Quality Enhancement Support Team (QUEST) is committed to enhancing the student experience and ensuring confidence in the quality and standards of our programmes.

QuEST is responsible for ensuring compliance and engagement with key external requirements such the Quality Enhancement Framework for Scotland, the UK Quality Code for Higher Education and the Quality Assurance Agency on behalf of UWS. 

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QuEST aims to work in partnership with Schools, Programme Boards, SAUWS and Professional Service Departments to enhance the student experience through planned and deliberate steps in line with the University's strategic approach to quality.

Within UWS, QuEST oversees the implementation of the Quality Code for Higher Education and advises staff on policy and procedures via the Quality Handbook. The Quality Handbook contains guidance and information on the following core internal activities:

QuEST actively supports a quality enhancement approach that emphasizes the importance of sharing practice and evidence-based decision making. Colleagues in QuEST are experienced quality practitioners with a can-do, solution-focused attitude, we are here to help!

Please contact us at

The Quality Handbook 2020-21

The Quality Handbook is a definitive source of policy and procedures for the assurance and enhancement of academic quality. The Quality Handbook, which is updated on an annual basis, reflects current sectoral guidance and meets the expectations of the Quality Code for Higher Education and other external reference points.

Download The Quality Handbook

Partnership with SAUWS

QuEST works in partnership with SAUWS on the implementation of the University's Student Representation Policy. QuEST in partnership with SAUWS supports training for student representatives through the Institutional Associate Trainer Scheme and through liaison with sparqs. QuEST maintains the database of student representatives and works closely with School Service Delivery Officers to ensure this is updated on an annual basis.

Active Support for Committees

In advancing the enhancement agenda for UWS, QuEST actively supports the following key decision making bodies:

Education Advisory Committee (EAC) and its sub groups:


QuEST also supports a range of short life working groups tasked with realising the aims of the Corporate Strategy and the associated Enabling Plans.

Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR)

The last ELIR of University of the West of Scotland took place in November2019. Both the Outcome and Technical Reports from this review are available to download from the QAA website using the link below.

Download the latest UWS ELIR reports

The next review is scheduled to take place during session 2023/24.

More information on the ELIR methodology can be found on the QAA website.

QAA Website


Linda Aitken

Linda Aitken is a Quality Enhancement Coordinator within QuEST.  Linda works within the area of Collaborative Activity and is Secretary to both the Partnership and Collaborations Committee (PCC) and the Collaborative Partnerships Operations Group (CPOG).  Linda monitors the ongoing quality arrangements for franchise Partners by coordinating regular reviews, and for validated Partners through coordination and attendance of Joint Programme Panels.

Linda is also the main contact for all things relating to Credit Rating.  Ask Linda about Collaboration (validated or franchised), Credit Rating of External Provision and operational matters concerning collaborative Partnerships:

Nina Anderson-Knox

Nina Anderson-Knox is Head of QuEST (Quality Enhancement Support Team) and has over 18 years of experience of working in Higher Education within the field of quality assurance and enhancement. She is a passionate supporter of enhancement and the transformation of student lives through education and firmly believes in the importance of being solution focused and working in partnership with students, academic and professional services colleague. Nina is a member of the Scottish Teaching Quality Forum and is a regular presenter at QAA Scotland events and workshops. Ask Nina about the Quality Handbook, the Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF), Programme Approval, and ELIR.  

Helen McLean

Helen McLean is the Senior Quality Officer (Enhancement and Impact) within QuEST. She has 14 years of experience of working in Higher Education in the fields of quality assurance, student support and business intelligence. She has a particular interest in data-driven decision making to enhance the student experience. She is Secretary to the Education Advisory Committee and the ELIR Steering Group. Ask Helen about Quality Handbook, Annual Monitoring, External Examining, ELIR and the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.  

Sharon Cosh

Sharon Cosh is a Quality Enhancement Officer, providing professional and specialist guidance to staff across the University on quality assurance and enhancement activities.  She is Secretary to the Academic Quality Committee and manages the External Examiner appointment process.  Having previously worked as the Governance Support Co-ordinator for the University’s Court Office Sharon has a wealth of experience in HE governance and committee management.  She is enthusiastic about supporting colleagues across the University to enhance quality and enrich the student experience. Ask Sharon about External Examiners, Regulations and the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.


Donna Taylor

Donna Taylor is a Senior Quality Enhancement Officer within QuEST (Quality Enhancement Support Team), with 20 years of experience of working in Higher Education across a range of quality related areas.  Within QuEST, Donna manages the Institution-Led Reviews (ILRs) which are a requirement of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and works with colleagues to ensure our periodic cycle of internal review is undertaken.  Donna also plays a key role in overseeing collaborative activity at UWS, engaging with the sector to develop new approaches to manage this often challenging area of activity.  Donna has involvement with annual monitoring and is enthusiastic about student engagement into all quality processes to ensure an excellent student experience.  Ask Donna about ILR, collaboration, annual monitoring and student engagement.

Donna MacAlister

Donna MacAlister is the Quality Administrator in QuEST and supports all colleagues across the team.  Donna has 16 years’ experience working at UWS.  Donna is responsible for management and oversight of the external examiner database and provides administrative support for the following committees, Education Advisory Committee, Academic Quality Committee and Collaborative Forum.  Donna supports the updating of the Quality Handbook and the QuEST intranet site and has access to all key QuEST documentation such as the External Examiner Handbook and reports, Institution-led Review Reports, Committee Minutes and Annual Monitoring information, Donna is a great first point of contact regarding all the work of QuEST so please do not hesitate to contact her for any further information.

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Last updated: 31/08/2018