1. Course and Programme Design and Approval

The objective of University’s procedures for the design and approval of new courses and study programmes is to ensure academic standards are set at the appropriate level. This will ensure that the students will receive high quality learning & teaching experience fulfilling their personal goals as well as the national expectations of higher education. Therefore, it is essential that these procedures are both robust and effective.

  • In designing and approving new courses and study programmes, consideration is given to:
  • availability of resources
  • coherence and academic standard of constituent courses
  • standard and appropriateness of awards offered on completion of proposed programmes according to SLQF
  • relevance and appeal of programmes and courses for potential students
  • compatibility with other programmes and courses offered and the strategic objectives of the Faculty concerned as well as the University as a whole
  • the external context including Subject Benchmark Statements

2. Student Assessment

Faculties/departments need to be in a position to demonstrate that their student assessment processes comply with all the relevant regulations, policy and guidance. Those items identified below are key elements in the overall management of assessment processes, and should be monitored closely.

2.2 Appointment of Internal Examiners

The process for nominating examiners, as set out in the Examination Regulations and Guidelines for Conducting Examination

2.3 Examination boards

  • The examination boards are appointed in keeping with University policy.
  • Examination boards meet at Faculty level and University level to ensure that University policies regarding examinations are implemented.
  • Faculty Board recommends the Senate regarding appropriate level of achievement that the candidates required to obtain the award of First Class, Second Class (Upper Division), Second Class (Lower Division), and Pass; and in the case of examinations which are not classified, the nature and quality of work required for a Pass, Credit Pass and a Distinction.
  • The faculty/department should keep under regular review the balance of assessment methods used within the courses ensuring it is responsible, and promote effective learning.

2.4 Examiners’ reports

    • The faculty/department should have clear procedure as to which body (or bodies) is responsible for considering the reports of internal examiners and of external examiners, the reporting lines and the indicative timeline for their consideration.
    • The faculty/department is responsible for ensuring that appropriate and timely feedback is provided to and from internal / external examiners, and action to ensure that the system works effectively.
    • Availability of procedure within the faculty/department for ensuring that changes agreed as a result of examiners’ reports are implemented. This will normally rest with the relevant Teaching & Learning Committee, reporting to the faculty board and to subsequent years’ examiners. Students’ interests must be respected, and steps taken to inform them of changes.

2.5 Examination of research degrees

  • Faculties and departments should take particular care to ensure that the arrangements for approving the recommendations of the examiners of research degrees are robust and transparent, and, in all cases, ensure the independence of the approval process.
  • Faculties/departments should have arrangements for considering and approving examiners’ reports on individual candidates, and mechanisms to identify and report on any general points arising out of the reports.
  • Faculties/departments should consider ways to monitor the overall standards achieved by candidates for research degrees.

3. Student Representation & Feedback

3.1 WUSL is committed to the principle of student engagement in quality matters at all levels.

Our main purposes in gathering student feedback are:

  • to enhance the students’ experience of learning and teaching
  • to contribute to monitoring and review of quality and standards

Other objectives includes:

  • measuring student satisfaction with course design and delivery in terms of coherence and workload
  • finding out what worked and what did not and ways in which it might be improved next time
  • helping students to reflect upon their experiences
  • identifying good practice.

We rely on the feedback from our students to guide us and to confirm that the enhancements we make to our teaching learning provision translate to enhancement of the student learning experience. Effective student feedback relies on engagement of both staff and students. University places a number of expectations on the two groups.

Staff are expected to:

  • explain the purpose of collecting feedback, the methods that will be utilised, how the feedback will be analysed, how and when the findings will be considered and how actions taken as a result of the findings will be communicated back
  • encourage students to reflect on their learning experience
  • communicate responses to students and staff

Students are expected to:

  • reflect on their learning experience
  • provide feedback on their learning experience and other relevant/associated matters
  • engage with representatives of the Students’ Unions and communicate in responsible manner.

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4. External examiners

4.1 External examining provides a crucial means for maintaining academic standards. External examiners provide informed, independent and comparative views of academic standards, of assessment processes and programme structures, and of good practice and innovation. All taught programmes and subject components (disciplines) require an external examiner.

4.2 The External Examining of Taught Programmes Policy sets out information for Faculties and external examiners on nomination, appointment, reporting  processes, and on roles and responsibilities.

4.3 The purposes of the external examiner system are to ensure that:

  • the degrees awarded by the University are in accordance with the qualifications prescribed by Sri Lanka Quality Framework and applicable subject benchmark statements, and that the standards of student performance are properly judged against this;
  • the assessment process measures student achievement against the intended learning outcomes, and is rigorous, fairly operated, and in line with University policies and regulations;
  • that the assessment process is fair and is fairly operated in the marking, grading and classification of student performance, and that decisions are made in accordance with University regulations;
  • the University is able to compare the standard of awards with those in other higher education institutions;
  • programmes and units are well structured and balanced with appropriate content;
  • good practice and innovation relating to learning, teaching and assessment is identified and shared.

External Examiners also advise on the quality and enhancement of learning, teaching and assessment.

4.4 In order to achieve these purposes, External Examiners need to be able to:

  • participate in assessment procedures; and
  • comment and give advice on assessment procedures and standards and jointly agree, as members of the Board of Examiners, the detailed assessment, award and final degree results.

4.5 The University operates a two-tier assessment board structure and therefore appoints external examiners at course unit/course module or subject discipline and award level.

4.5.1,  Course Unit/Module or Subject discipline external examiner responsibilities

Course Unit/Module or Subject discipline external examiners are responsible for confirming academic standards at unit/module level on the basis of a sample of student work and should be confident that:

  • the marking carried out by internal examiners is accurate, consistent and fair to students;
  • assessment is conducted in accordance with the regulations of the University and any requirements of professional and statutory bodies;
  • students are fairly placed in relation to the rest of the cohort;
  • assessment will enable students to demonstrate the achievement of the unit learning outcomes;
  • assessments are set at an appropriate level; and
  • board decisions are reached in accordance with University policy.

4.5.2, Award external examiner responsibilities

Award external examiners are responsible for confirming the standards of the University’s awards on the basis of attending progression and award boards and should be confident that:

  • board decisions are reached in accordance with University policies; and
  • students are considered equitably and objectively.

The operational procedure of appointing external examiners, termination of appointments, reporting and reflection

5. Annual Study Programme Monitoring

5.1 Annual Monitoring is the building block of the University’s Academic Quality Enhancement processes and the process whereby Faculties and the University check that courses and programmes meet the expectations of staff and students.

5.2 Annual monitoring has a key role in:

  • maintaining academic standards
  • monitoring and enhancing the management of student assessment and of feedback to students
  • monitoring student performance and progression
  • evaluating the quality of the student experience and identifying enhancements
  • evaluating the effectiveness of learning and teaching resources and identifying matters requiring attention
  • identifying, promoting and disseminating good practice
  • gathering evidence of local initiatives and progress in relation to the Faculty Learning and Teaching Plan and the University Learning and Teaching Strategy
  • informing the Faculties and University of matters requiring their attention

5.3 Programme monitoring should be carried out in every year by the respective Faculties facilitated by FQAC. Course in-charges or Programme Co-ordinators conduct a review of the course unit/module following the completion of teaching and assessment.

5.4 Faculties/departments will need to consider what measures of their procedures best capture the concept of ‘programme monitoring’. Examples include formal consideration of:

  • external examiners’ reports; any reports from accrediting or other external bodies;
  • staff and student feedback; feedback from former students and their employers;
  • student progress and other relevant data; material available to students such as programme specifications, student handbooks and websites.

5.5 Good and innovative practices are highlighted for sharing and enhancing teaching learning process. There must be reflection on the information gathered and plans proposed for improvement to respond to any issues or aspects of the provision that can be developed.

5.6 The outcomes of this review are reported to the Faculty Board or in an Annual Monitoring Report. The reports are important for documenting that quality and standards are being assured and enhanced and that good practice is promoted.

5.7 Responses are also provided ensuring that actions and outcomes are reported back to staff and students at the relevant committees as given below.

  • Staff-Student Liaison Committees: To gather input from Students and confirm that the Annual Monitoring Report reflects their experience
  • Faculty Teaching & Learning Committee: To review and direct action at Faculty level teaching and learning aspects.
  • Faculty Curriculum & Academic Development Committee: To review and direct action related to curriculum.

5.8 Annual Monitoring Reports are considered by the Senate ADPSEC. ADPSEC reviews the Annual Monitoring Reports to: identify trends and common issues across the Faculties; identify good practice with potential application across the wider university; and ensure a timely response and action, where appropriate, to issues raised for resolution at University level.

5.9 IQAU also monitors the effectiveness of Annual Monitoring on behalf of the University and recommends potential enhancements.

5.10 The Annual Monitoring Process is supported by the IQAU who can provide guidance and advice.

6. Periodic External / Internal Review of Study Programmes

Internal Reviews


6.1 We believe that the responsibility for quality and standards lies effectively where the power to control or change practices exist, and that is with the University itself. Quality Assurance is a continuous process, not a one-time event or an event at specific intervals. Therefore, this process has been incorporated as a part of the University’s continuous concern for maintaining and enhancing quality.

6.2 The University operates two (2) periodic internal review processes:

  1. Periodic Programme Review looking at undergraduate programmes;
  2. Periodic Graduate Programme Review looking at the learning experience of postgraduate taught and research students

6.3 Process 1 is carried out to verify compliance with minimum standards in respect of eight (8) quality criteria in the Programme Review Manual published by the QAC. The eight (8) criteria that encompass the key aspects of the programme operations including inputs, the processes that facilitate achievement of outputs and outcomes are listed below.

  1. Programme Management
  2. Programme Design and Development
  3. Human and Physical Resources
  4. Course/Module Design and Development
  5. Teaching and Learning
  6. Learning Environment, Student Support and Progression
  7. Student Assessment and Awards
  8. Innovative and Healthy Practices

Under each criterion, the recommended/ proven procedures and practices that contribute to enhance the quality of the programs of study listed as ‘best practices’ in the Programme Review manual of QAC are taken into account. Faculties are expected to adopt and internalize the best practices into their programmes.

This internal review should mimic the External Programme Review Process of QAC. Each review is carried out by a Panel that includes at least one academic external member, who is a subject specialist. Other panel members comprise senior academic staff members of the faculty (preferably Professors) as decided by the Faculty Board. The Panel also includes a member of staff from the Senate ADPSEC, who has expertise in the process and is responsible for preparing the report. The panel will review the programme taking into account the marking scheme given in the Programme Review Manual.

6.4 Process 2 will be carried out using a set of Criteria developed for postgraduate research degrees. (Note: Criteria and standards will be formulated by IQAU/QAC of UGC)

6.5 These two processes are conducted in every two (2) years starting from 2018.

6.6 The outcome of the Periodic Review is a detailed report that highlights strengths and achievements and includes recommendations for change that are aimed at strengthening provision and further enhancing learning and teaching provision and the student experience. The report is submitted first to the Faculty Board which endorses or amends the report and the recommendations and forwards them to the Senate and IQAU for information and necessary action.

6.7 It is expected to provide feedback to students on the outcomes of the review and on the actions taken.


6.8, IQAU provides support, briefings and guidance for faculties at all stages of the process and co-ordinates training for Panel members.


External Review


6.9 External Review of Undergraduate Study Programmes are carried out by an external panel appointed by the QAC of UGC to verify compliance with minimum standards in respect of eight (8) quality criteria in the Programme Review Manual published by the QAC. The eight (8) criteria that encompass the key aspects of the programme operations including inputs, the processes that facilitate achievement of outputs and outcomes are listed below.

  1. Programme Management
  2. Programme Design and Development
  3. Human and Physical Resources
  4. Course/Module Design and Development
  5. Teaching and Learning
  6. Learning Environment, Student Support and Progression
  7. Student Assessment and Awards
  8. Innovative and Healthy Practices

Guidelines given in the Manual for Review of Undergraduate Study Programmes of Sri Lankan Universities and Higher Education Institutions are followed in this process.

7. External Review of Institution

7.1 QAC of UGC has established a peer review process to review the Institution as a whole. Its main objectives are to safeguard standards of awards and quality of delivery in higher education; to identify good practices; to facilitate continuous quality improvement; and to inculcate the quality culture into the higher education system.


7.2 The University underwent its first Institutional Review in 2009 and achieved the highest possible outcome. The Review Report concluded that the University has effective arrangements for managing academic standards and the student learning experience and that these arrangements are likely to continue to be effective in the future. The second cycle of Institutional Review will take place in 2018.


7.3 University will prepare a Self-Evaluation Report (SER) according to the Manual for Institutional Review of Sri Lankan Universities and Higher Education Institutions based on the ten criteria given in the manual in every five (5) years.

The ten criteria which will be looked at are the following:

  1. Governance and Management.
  2. Curriculum Design and Development.
  3. Teaching and Learning.
  4. Learning Resources, Student Support and Progression.
  5. Student Assessment and Awards.
  6. Strength and Quality of Staff.
  7. Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Commercialization.
  8. Community Engagement, Consultancy and Outreach.
  9. Distance Education.
  10. Quality Assurance.

7.5 External panel of peers will evaluate the University based upon the SER submitted and a final report carrying an overall grade will be submitted. The final report of the Institutional Review will enter the public domain through the QAC website so that all stakeholders including students, graduates, prospective employers, grant providing agencies, educationists and policymakers have access to it.


7.6 The University / IQAU ensures that all faculties, departments and support units have access to the report. After all concerned academics, administrators and support staff have read at least the sections relevant to them, their reactions will be obtained in a formal manner and discussed in special meetings of the ADPSEC, Faculty boards, Senate and Council. A comprehensive follow up action plan will be drawn up and integrated into the current action plan. The IQAU and other relevant committees will continue to monitor the progress in redressing defects and enhancing quality. The Institutional Review report will be made available for public scrutiny through the University’s/HEI’s website.

8. Accreditation

8.1 Accreditation is the process whereby a professional association or non-governmental agency gives recognition to an institution for its demonstrated ability to meet predetermined criteria for established Professional, Statutory or Regulatory standards. The academic content and other aspects of taught programmes can often be influenced by the requirements of accrediting bodies and professional associations. Accreditation Bodies are concerned to ensure that graduates entering the professions they oversee have the skills and knowledge that enable them to practise their profession safely and appropriately. Accordingly, PSRBs are particularly interested in the content of degree programmes, the staff and physical resources available to support students’ learning, and assessment standards and thresholds for professional entry. Accreditation provides potential benefits for students, e.g. recognised fast-track route for graduates seeking professional status, exemption from certain professional examinations. It also provides benefits to the University being a further way of assuring and enhancing the quality of teaching and learning provision in Subjects and providing a further source of information for Annual Monitoring and Periodic Subject Review by means of accreditation reports.

8.2 Wayamba University has the confidence to submit themselves or their programmes for accreditation in future.

8.3 Such reviews normally take the form of visits by a panel of members of the relevant body, who prepare a report on their findings. The format and organisation of these reviews and what is required of subject areas in preparation are defined by the Professional or Salutatory Board concerned. Summary reports from the faculties on accreditation reviews are received by ADPSEC and submitted to the Senate. An annual summary of accreditation review reports summarises learning and teaching issues identified in the accreditation process.