Mobility – Link to Quality Assurance Mobility key objective of Bologna process Bergen 2005: «still challenges to overcome» Recognition problems existing Recognition of foreign qualifications facilitated by transparent QA information Crucial role of national accreditation systems
National Agencies for Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Europe, 2005 Evaluations / Audits Accreditations
Mutual recognition of accreditation decisions – Political basis Bergen conference 2005 « We underline the importance of cooperation between nationally recognised agencies with a view to enhancing the mutual recognition of accreditation or quality assurance decisions. » European Parliament 2005 « Hereby recommend that member states... promote cooperation between agencies in order to build up mutual trust and the recognition of QA- and accreditation assessments, thus contributing to the recognition of qualifications for the purpose of study or work in another country. »
Mutual recognition of accreditation decisions - Purpose To increase transparency in higher education To remove barriers in the process of recognition of foreign qualifications To facilitate accreditation/recognition of joint programmes and other forms of trans-border education To enhance mobility of students and academic staff
ECA – Foundation and Aim Consortium of national accreditation organisations Established in November 2003 15 member organisations from 10 European countries: AT, BE, CH, DE, ES, FR, IE, NL, NO, PL Aim: mutual recognition of accreditation decisions among participating countries until 2007
Conferences of Berlin 2003 and Bergen 2005 Berlin:... the primary responsibility for QA in higher education lies with each institution and this provides the basis for real accountability. Bergen:... we urge the HE institutions to continue their efforts to enhance the quality of their activities through the systematic introduction of internal mechanisms and their direct correlation to external QA.
Institutional approaches to external QA, Europe 2005 Country MethodStart CHQuality Audit 2003 UKInstitutional Audit2003 SQuality Audit1995 NQuality Audit2003 FInstitutional Evaluation2004 DKInstitutional Audit2004
Institutional assessments – Strengths Respect of the autonomy of HEIs Enhancement of institutional quality mechanisms and facilitation of the development of a quality culture Sustainable effects at the level of institutional management Resource saving method
Quality Audits – Challenge and open questions Challenge: Limited information about educational provisions Open questions: How to assure good quality of study programmes during institutional assessments? How to guarantee that institutional assessments can be used for the purpose of transnational recognition of qualifications?
National QA system – Case study Switzerland External assessment of quality assurance systems of Universities is mandatory Based on «national guidelines for internal quality assurance at Swiss HEIs» (compatible with ENQA standards) Selective programme accreditation as supplementary tool of external QA National QA agency was evaluated in 2006 by international group of experts (on base of ENQA standards)
National Qualification Frameworks – Relevance Increased transparency in higher education Orientation for students and employers Improved international comparability of study programs/qualifications
National Qualifcation Frameworks – Challenges Scope of NQF: Higher education sector only or all sectors of education system? Change of paradigm: from inputs to outcomes How to define learning outcomes/competences? How to measure learning outcomes/competences? How to link the NQF with the national accreditation system?
Summary and conclusions Bologna process advances rapidly in Europe; QA plays key role Many challenges to overcome: implementation of ENQA standards, establishment of NQFs; mutual recognition agreements, etc. Open questions concern HEIs as well as QAAs close cooperation necessary