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Presentation prepared for Bologna Process Seminar on Quality Assurance in Transnational Education London, Dec. 1-2, 2008 By: Antony Stella & Marlene Hamilton

2 INTRODUCTION International Guidelines under review:
INQAAHE Guidelines for Good Practice (GGP) Standards & Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) UNESCO Code of Good Practice for the Provision of Transnational Education UNESCO-OECD Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education

3 LOGISTICS UNESCO Code to provide parameters UNESCO-OECD Guidelines )
INQAAHE GGP ) outlined European ESG ) contextually Differences across Guidelines highlighted Similarities considered Criticisms arising

Covers a Preamble and two sections (Terminology, Principles), in addition to an Explanatory Memorandum. Is specific to Higher Education in the European Region and is subsumed within the ESG and UNESCO-OECD Guidelines Bears some relevance to other major Guidelines

5 Preamble (main issues)
Acknowledges rapid development of transnational education and the challenges posed Notes the important role of the new technologies Recognizes the role of national systems in preserving the cultural, social, philosophical, and religious diversity of the European Region

6 Preamble (main issues) Cont’d
Emphasizes the importance of the academic quality of programmes/degrees through this process and the role of qualifications in promoting mobility of both students and programmes Recognizes the role of other Codes in providing working frameworks Acknowledges the importance of underlying ethical principles and values and in finding commonly agreed solutions to any recognition problems in the region as well as globally

7 Preamble (main issues)Cont’d
Stresses the need to update implementation mechanisms on a regular basis Agrees to: (i) the provision of higher education programmes by means of transnational education, and (ii) offers recommendations on procedures and criteria for the assessment of foreign qualifications.

8 Terminology Offers a working definition for the commonly used terms
Agents Third Parties who act as intermediaries between awarding and providing institutions for establishing transnational education Agreement Document agreed formally by the partners which contains all collaborative arrangements

9 Terminology Cont’d Awarding Institution HE institution issuing degrees and other qualifications Educational Service Programme, or part thereof, leading after successful completion, to a qualification Partners Awarding and providing institutions involved

10 Terminology Cont’d Providing Institution: Institution involved in delivery of programme Transnational Arrangements Collaborative or non-collaborative Transnational Education All programmes in which learners are situated in a country different from that of the awarding institution.

11 Principles Covers eleven (11) issues
Transnational Arrangements Academic Quality and Standards The Policy and Mission Information Staff Members Culture and Customs Agents

12 Principles Cont’d Covers eleven (11) issues
Awarding Institutions Admission/Teaching & Learning Activities/Examination Process/Assessment Requirements Academic Work Load Qualifications

Objectives: To propose tools and a synthesis of best practices to assist Member States in assessing the quality and relevance of HE provided across borders To protect students and other stakeholders in HE from low-quality HE provisions Stakeholders: Governments HE Institutions/providers (including academic staff) Student bodies Quality assurance and accreditation bodies Academic recognition bodies Professional bodies

14 Recommendations Offered QA Agencies:
Include cross-border education (all modes) within the scope of quality assurance Strengthen network initiatives for QA agencies Ensure information dissemination regarding the QA mechanism and its implications Ensure adherence to the Code of Good Practice

15 Recommendations Offered QA Agencies: Cont’d
Establish mutual recognition agreements with other agencies Strengthen cooperation with other stakeholders in the national system Strengthen the international orientation of the QA processes Above all, promote mutual trust, dialogue, sharing of responsibilities and cooperation among all six groups of stakeholders.

16 The UNESCO-OECD Guidelines may appear to address only one aspect of QA (the CBHE issues), but the principles and values reflected therein are valid for any form of education, including national (domestic) offerings.

17 European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) Some key aspects: Part 1: Internal quality assurance within HEIs 1.1 Policy and procedures for quality assurance Should commit explicitly to quality Have a strategy for continuous enhancement of quality Policies should have a formal status Should be publicly available Preferably a role for students and other stakeholders

18 1.2 Approval, monitoring and periodic review
1.3 Assessment of students Should publish criteria, regulations and procedures Apply them consistently 1.4 Quality assurance of teaching staff qualified and competent available to those undertaking external review

19 1.5 Learning resources and student support 1.6 Information systems
adequate and appropriate 1.6 Information systems collect, analyse and use relevant information for the effective management 1.7 Public information: regularly publish up to date, impartial and objective information both quantitative and qualitative

20 Part 2: External QA of higher education
2.1 Use of internal QA procedures 2.2 Development of external QA processes aims and objectives of QA should be predetermined 2.3 Criteria for decisions explicit published criteria that are applied consistently 2.4 Processes fit for purpose fitness to achieve the aims and objectives

21 2.5 Reporting 2.6 Follow-up procedures 2.7 Periodic reviews
Should be published and written in a style, which is clear and readily accessible 2.6 Follow-up procedures predetermined follow-up procedure implemented consistently 2.7 Periodic reviews should be undertaken on a cyclical basis 2.8 System-wide analyses should produce from time to time summary reports

22 Part 3: External quality assurance agencies
3.1 Use of external QA procedures for higher education should take into account the presence and effectiveness of the existing external QA processes 3.2 Official status should be formally recognised by competent public authorities should comply with requirements of the legislative jurisdictions

23 3.3 Activities 3.4 Resources 3.5 Mission statement 3.6 Independence
should undertake external QA activities on a regular basis. 3.4 Resources adequate, both human and financial 3.5 Mission statement clear and explicit goals and objectives contained in a publicly available statement 3.6 Independence autonomous responsibility conclusions made in their reports cannot be influenced by third parties

24 3.7 External QA criteria and processes used by the agencies
pre-defined and publicly available include self-assessment, external assessment by experts, and site visits publication of a report, and a follow-up procedure. 3.8 Accountability procedures procedures for their own accountability.

25 Guidelines under four sections
INQAAHE GGP   Guidelines under four sections Section 1 relates to the agency’s governance and accountability (Practices 1-4) Section 2 is about the agency’s relationship with HEIs (Practices 5-7) Section 3 is about the agency’s review process (Practices 8-10) Section 4 is about the agency’s external activities (Practices 11-12)

26 1. Governance of the agency
written mission statement or set of objectives external quality assurance as a major activity systematic approach to achieving the objectives a practical management plan that is linked to resources appropriate ownership and governance structure

27 2. Resources adequate and accessible human and financial resources 3. Quality Assurance of the agency a system of continuous quality assurance of its own activities internal self-review of its own activities external reviews at regular intervals

28 4. Reporting Public Information
informs and responds to the public full and clear disclosures of its relevant documentation accountability by publicly reporting decisions discloses to the public external review of its own performance

29 5. Relationship with HEIs
recognises that quality is primarily the responsibility of the HEIs respects the academic autonomy of HEIs consults stakeholders on its criteria and standards aims to contribute to quality improvement as well

30 6. Requirements for the Review
documents that indicate clearly the expectations 7. Requirements for Reporting to the agency includes a self-evaluation, external peer review, and a follow-up procedure.

31 8. The Evaluation Process
clear documentation on standards used, assessment methods and processes, decision criteria, and other information necessary for external review. specifications on the characteristics, selection and training of reviewers. When practicable, the EQAA should include at least one external reviewer from another country or jurisdiction in the external panel.

32 9. Decisions decisions must be impartial, rigorous, thorough, fair, and consistent. reported decisions are clear and precise. 10. Appeals appropriate methods and policies for appeals no conflict of interest.

33 11. Collaboration exchange of good practices, capacity building, review of decisions, provision of transnational education, joint projects, and staff exchanges. 12. Transnational/Cross-Border Higher Education policies relating to both imported and exported higher educationmay be the same as those for domestic providers and domestic provision consider relevant guidelines issued by international agencies and other associations consult with appropriate local agencies in the exporting or importing countries

34 MAJOR DIFFERRENCES BETWEEN INQAAHE GGP AND ESG (and with reference to UNESCO-OECD Guidelines where appropriate)

35 Origin Involvement of the Stakeholders Endorsement Scope Authority Attention to CBHE Network Efforts Accountability vs Improvement Emphasis


37 1. Origin ESG is the response to the twin mandates given to ENQA in the Berlin Communiqué of September 2003 to develop an agreed set of standards, procedures and guidelines on quality assurance and to explore ways of ensuring an adequate peer review system for quality assurance and/or accreditation agencies or bodies. Thus the mandate for ESG came from the Ministers/governments whereas the GGP was the work of quality assurance agencies from over 65 countries.

38 2. Involvement of the stakeholders
ESG is the result of joint efforts by various stakeholders. The ESG report notes that the achievement of such a joint understanding is a tribute to the spirit of co-operation and mutual respect that has characterised the discussions between all the players involved (EUA, EURASHE, ESIB and ENQA). The Ministers also asked ENQA to take due account of the expertise of other quality assurance associations and networks.

39 ESG aims to cater to the interests of students as well as employers
ESG aims to cater to the interests of students as well as employers. It recognises that the interests of the higher education institutions and student representative bodies are not always the same, the former seeking a high level of autonomy with a minimum of external regulation or evaluation (and that at the level of the whole institution), the latter wanting institutions to be publicly accountable through frequent inspection at the level of the programme or qualification. Consultations with those stakeholders have brought in certain perspectives which are not very explicit in the other guidelines.

40 3. Endorsement ESG was published with the endorsement of all the organisations named in the Berlin Communiqué. INQAAHE GGP was published with the endorsement of its member agencies while the UNESCO-OECD guidelines, although not legally binding, anticipate implementation by its Member States as appropriate to their national context .

41 4. Scope ESG provides standards for internal and external quality assurance, and for external quality assurance agencies. The standards are in three parts covering internal quality assurance of higher education institutions, external quality assurance of higher education, and quality assurance of external quality assurance agencies. INQAAHE GGP is specifically addressed to external quality assurance agencies.

42 4. Scope Cont’d ESG aspires to promote an appropriate balance between the creation and development of internal quality cultures, and the role which external quality assurance procedures may play. INQAAHE GGP addresses this issue through the guidelines to the external quality assurance agencies.

43 5. Authority European quality assurance agencies will be expected to submit themselves to a cyclical review within five years. A European register of quality assurance agencies is being developed that will list QA agencies that demonstrate adherence to ESG through these reviews. This adds an element of conformity and authority. In fact the ESG report states that the consistency of quality assurance across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) will be improved by the use of agreed standards and guidelines.

44 5. Authority Cont’d INQAAHE as a voluntary network of QA bodies depends on the voluntary uptake of the GGP by its members.

45 6. Attention to CBHE The UNESCO-OECD guideline has a focus on QA of CBHE although the guidelines are applicable to domestic provision as well. To some extent it is built on the contrast between the need to regulate the internationalisation of higher education and the fact that existing national quality assurance capacity often focuses exclusively on domestic delivery by domestic institutions.

46 6. Attention to CBHE cont’d
Therefore, it addresses a challenge for the current quality assurance systems while the other guidelines are about making the good practices more prevalent.

47 6. Attention to CBHE cont’d
INQAAHE GGP has a specific guideline on transnational or cross-border education. The OECD-UNESCO guidelines recommend that external quality assurance agencies ensure that their quality assurance arrangements include foreign and for-profit institutions/providers as well as distance education delivery and other non-traditional modes of educational delivery.

48 6. Attention to CBHE cont’d
ESG report indicates that it is considered too early to include a reference to this in the European standards for external quality assurance. However, the European register has a provision to include agencies from outside Europe operating in Europe as well as European agencies with cross-border operations.

49 7. Network Efforts Strengthening network efforts finds an explicit mention in the INQAAHE GGP as well as the UNESCO-OECD Guidelines. ESG does not mention that explicitly. ENQA considers that the OECD-UNESCO recommendation that agencies should sustain and strengthen the existing regional and international networks is included through other aspects of the ESG. For example, the ESG does mention that ‘institutions should be able to demonstrate their quality at home and internationally’.

50 8. Accountability vs improvement
ESG states that ‘quality assurance for accountability purposes is fully compatible with quality assurance for enhancement purposes’ while INQAAHE GGP does not get into this contentious argument and simply acknowledges that both accountability and quality enhancement need attention.

51 Goals specific only to INQAAHE GGP include:
  9. Emphasis Goals specific only to INQAAHE GGP include: Creating a framework to guide the creation of new QA agencies Promoting professional development among QA agencies and their staff

52 9. Emphasis cont’d These are not explicit in the other guidelines. INQAAHE being the professional network of QA agencies has given attention to these specific needs of its members.


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