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European Quality Assurance in Higher Education after the London ministerial meeting: moving towards 2010 (and beyond) Vatican City, 14 November 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "European Quality Assurance in Higher Education after the London ministerial meeting: moving towards 2010 (and beyond) Vatican City, 14 November 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Quality Assurance in Higher Education after the London ministerial meeting: moving towards 2010 (and beyond) Vatican City, 14 November Peter Williams President ENQA

2 ENQA network founded in 2000; association in 2004 umbrella NGO for European QA agencies 35 Full members, 10 Candidate members associates and affiliates since 2006: 12+2 structure: Board, General Assembly, Secretariat from Helsinki to Brussels in 2008 external reviews of ENQA member agencies by 2010 co-operation within E4 (EUA, ESU, EURASHE)

3 European standards and guidelines (ESG)
drafted by ENQA in consultation with EUA, EURASHE and ESIB approved by the Bologna ministerial conference in Bergen in 2005 consist of ESG for internal QA within HEIs (Part 1) ESG for the external QA of higher education (Part 2) ESG for external QA agencies (Part 3)

4 London Communiqué: extracts on QA (1)
[…ESG] have been a powerful driver of change in relation to QA. All countries have started to implement them and some have made substantial progress. External QA in particular is much better developed than before […] student involvement at all levels has increased […] Since the main responsibility for quality lies with HEIs, they should continue to develop their systems of QA. We acknowledge the progress made with regard to mutual recognition of accreditation and quality assurance decisions, and encourage continued international cooperation amongst QA agencies.

5 London Communiqué: extracts on QA (2)
The first European Quality Assurance Forum, jointly organised by EUA, ENQA, EURASHE and ESU/ESIB (the E4 Group) in 2006 provided an opportunity to discuss European developments in QA. We encourage the four organisations to continue to organise European QA Fora on an annual basis, to facilitate the sharing of good practice and ensure that quality in the EHEA continues to improve.

6 London Communiqué: extracts on QA (3)
We thank the E4 Group for responding to our request to further develop the practicalities of setting up a Register of European Higher Education Quality Assurance Agencies. The purpose […] is […] open access to objective information about trustworthy QA agencies that are working in line with the ESG. It will therefore enhance confidence in higher education […] and facilitate the mutual recognition of QA and accreditation decisions. We welcome the establishment of a register by the E4 group […] The register will be voluntary, self-financing, independent and transparent. Applications for inclusion on the register should be evaluated on the basis of substantial compliance with the ESG, evidenced through an independent review process endorsed by national authorities […] We ask the E4 group to report progress to us regularly through BFUG, and to ensure that after two years of operation, the register is evaluated externally […]

7 The Register – progress to date
after the ministerial endorsement, a Register working group set up by E4 Project Manager appointed, with EC funding name and acronym: European Quality Assurance Register in Higher Education, EQAR website under construction, will be launched in December 2007: will be founded as an association under Belgian Law -> statutes and structure need to conform with that law founding GA meeting on 4 March 2008 envisaged first applications in June 2008

8 EQAR in practice (1) Register Committee
11 members in their individual capacity 5 government observers Appeals Committee 3 members Approval based on nominations Election General Assembly Founding Members E4 Group Social Partners BE and EI Governmental Members EHEA Governments, CoE, CEPES Executive Board: 4 members (elected on proposal of the E4) Secretariat: Director (1 FTE) + Administrative assistant (0.5 FTE)

9 EQAR in practice (2): membership
non-governmental members: founding members (the E4 organisations) social partner members (EI, BE) governmental members all parties to the European Cultural Convention intergovernmental organisations that are consultative members of the BFUG (CoE, UNESCO-CEPES) members not to be confused with the agencies listed in the Register members pay annual membership fees, agencies pay application fees and annual fees (to stay listed)

10 EQAR in practice (3)

11 EQAR in practice (4) promotes student mobility by providing a basis for the increase of trust among the HEIs; reduces opportunities for “accreditation mills” to gain credibility; provides a basis for governments to authorise HEIs to choose any agency from the Register, if that is compatible with national arrangements; provides a means for HEIs to choose between different agencies, if that is compatible with national arrangements; serves as an instrument to improve the quality of the quality assurance agencies and to promote mutual trust among them.

12 EQAR in practice (5) – what will it look like?
will be an easily accessible, publicly available, web-based information tool consisting in a list of QA agencies operating in Europe available at contains basic information, such as: agency’s name and contact information QA services provided by the agency ENQA membership country where the agency is established countries in which the agency operates

13 Relationship between ENQA and EQAR
ENQA is an umbrella organisation for QA agencies, a membership organisation organises events, publishes reports, shares and promotes good practice, conducts different (research) projects represents the interests of its members in the EHEA and internationally EQAR will be an information tool on trustworthy agencies, a list on the internet will not organise events, publish reports, share good practice or conduct (research) projects

14 Relationship between ENQA and EQAR
ENQA will be a (founding) member of the EQAR association ENQA will nominate two representatives for the Register Committee ENQA will nominate one of the four members of the Executive Board and thereby be involved in the day-to-day management of the EQAR

15 The Register balance sheet (so far)
The answers an informative list of QA agencies A weapon against bogus agencies The remaining questions Duplication with ENQA membership? Different decisions from ENQA? Complexity of structure? Who’s going to pay? Control of agencies? Ossification of ESG? Proven market/need? ‘Sledgehammer to crack a nut’? A new empire? Possible future misuse?

16 Bologna Process: priorities for 2009
mobility social dimension data collection employability EHEA in a global context stocktaking degree system and employability of graduates recognition of degrees and study periods implementation of all aspects of QA in line with the ESG national qualifications frameworks, learning outcomes and credits, lifelong learning, and the recognition of prior learning

17 Bologna Process: 2010 and beyond
will go on in some format: BFUG will report to the Leuven/La Neuve ministerial meeting in 2009 on the possible further development and support structures possible reformulation of the EHEA vision? an independent assessment in 2010 of the Bologna Process

18 Feedback from members at the Oslo GA – ENQA priorities for short term
strengthen the internal communication within ENQA; clarify the relationship between ENQA and EQAR; create standards, supplementary to the ESG, on transnational themes such as the quality of e-learning; play a major role in the Bologna Process as an overarching “political” organisation providing frameworks for the evolution of QA agencies; continue to be open to all agencies and, as a learning organisation, enable agencies to develop continuously; develop a lead role in representing the interests of its member agencies at European and international levels.

19 European quality assurance agency? European think-thank?
ENQA in the future European quality assurance agency? European think-thank? inclusiveness / exclusiveness? compact association or going back to loose network? the ‘political’ role after the establishment of EQAR? the future of the ESG? wider international role for ENQA? radical rethinking of quality assurance?

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