Colleges have been given a broad thumbs up by inspectors in their analysis of the college reviews they conducted in 2004-06.
HMIE expressed confidence in the way learning and teaching was carried out in all 19 colleges they saw; 17 were doing well in terms of student progress and outcomes, as they were in leadership and quality management.
Nine colleges gave cause for concern about the attainment or retention of students. And HMIE was not confident that two colleges were managing well or doing enough to improve the quality of students' learning.
Overall in the learning and teaching process, 43 per cent of the 134 subject reviews resulted in a very good rating, 56 per cent good, and 1 per cent fair.
Although these figures showed that 99 per cent of subject reviews were good or better, HMIE noted that this only meant their strengths outweighed weaknesses. "With under half of the grades for learning and teaching processes recorded as very good, colleges should consider how to eliminate the weaknesses which were identified," the report states.
Student progress was 25 per cent very good, 59 per cent good, 16 per cent fair and 1 per cent unsatisfactory. A quarter of very good gradings was not good enough, the report stated.