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Quality Assurance (HE) in Europe: what next? Fiona Crozier Assistant Director, Development & Enhancement Group, QAA

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Presentation on theme: "Quality Assurance (HE) in Europe: what next? Fiona Crozier Assistant Director, Development & Enhancement Group, QAA"— Presentation transcript:

1 Quality Assurance (HE) in Europe: what next? Fiona Crozier Assistant Director, Development & Enhancement Group, QAA

2 Introduction Bologna Process General impressions, the Leuven communique, ENQA position paper… Try to define some of the trends and… …then try to predict their impact on… Stakeholders and policies Some examples

3 Bologna up to 2010: success or failure? Coherence, compatibility, harmonisation Three-cycle degree structure Development of reference points such as the qualifications framework for the EHEA and the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) Promotion of student mobility etc. All of which has been (subtly or obviously) changing the nature of HE in Europe

4 So what next? Trends… Globalisation/internationalisation (includes mobility and transnational education) Changing nature of the student body Lifelong learning/widening access (maintenance of quality & standards?) Links with employers/employer-responsive provision Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (AP(E)L) Development of learning outcomes QA of student assessment The (continuing) development/refinement of reference points (e.g QFs, ESG, Tuning) Increasing demand for useful and relevant public information “Multi-dimensional transparency tools” (rankings! Or league tables)

5 Impact on…stakeholders HE viewed from different perspectives: Students (ESU) Higher Education Institutions (EUA/EURASHE) QA agencies (ENQA) Public/parents Employers National contexts (governments, ministries etc).

6 Impact on policies/the work that we do Need for changing curricula? (E.g. knowledge v. skills?) Need for changes to student support systems? Needs for changes to student assessment Need to take on board rapidly changing technologies? Need to revise existing reference points to make them more fit for purpose? And/or devise new ones? How do we “quality assure all the above?” (Question to self: When does the associated bureaucracy defeat the purpose?! Accountability/assurance versus enhancement/improvement)

7 To conclude… The big themes: - Globalisation/internationalisation - changing nature of the student body - the growing need for more targeted information about higher education…leading to rankings/league tables?

8 Quality Assurance has somehow to cover it all..!!?? But HOW ? –programme accreditation ? what is the programme? there may not even be a programme ! (at the start) –accredit the provider/the provision? there may be / will be many different providers –the Learning Outcomes …? And/or the credit and their assessment ? –just the award/the degree? (its level and coherence)

9 Internationalised criteria (and their assessment) designed and meant as ‘reference points’ can easily become compliance requirements from harmonisation to homogenisation and the loss of cultural identity

10 To conclude The impact of stakeholder views and trends on… - all our work - QA is and will continue to be a partnership activity - harmonisation and convergence; recognition and celebration of diversity; not compliance

11 To conclude Higher education in Europe has demonstrated its capacity to adapt in the face of rapid change … Quality Assurance should be proportionate to ‘risk’ and carried out with –shared international principles –similar internationalised procedures –relevant national / international criteria The method used may be less important than adherence to the above principles?

12 Finally… Is there evidence to suggest that we’re on the right road?


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