THE watchdog for higher education is set to revisit the University of Southampton after the institution successfully appealed against a previous critical report.

It is the first time an appeal lodged by a university against a review by the Quality Assurance Agency has been upheld, and only the second ever lodged.

According to the QAA, the body that safeguards quality and standards in higher education, a team of reviewers visited the University of Southampton in October last year.

The reviews are carried out every six years to check on the quality of education delivered by an institution.

Before its publication the report was sent to university bosses who immediately lodged an appeal against some of the findings.

Details of the appeal are not being released, neither are the reasons for the QAA’s decision to repeat the review rather than amend the original report.

In a joint statement the QAA and the University of Southampton, a member of the Russell Group, whose members include the top universities in the country, said: “The University of Southampton’s appeal against the findings of its QAA Institutional Review has been upheld. In accordance with QAA’s published procedures, the review and judgements will be set aside and a new review carried out by a new review team.”

The fresh review is due to be carried out within the next few months after which the details of the appeal and the findings of the new report will be published.