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What is the relationship between the HE qualifications framework and quality assurance? Stephen Adam, June 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "What is the relationship between the HE qualifications framework and quality assurance? Stephen Adam, June 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is the relationship between the HE qualifications framework and quality assurance? Stephen Adam, June 2011

2 Definitions: QUALITY: ‘The level of excellence’ QUALITY ASSURANCE : ‘The means (internal and external) and processes by which the quality of academic provision is maintained and confirmed’ STANDARDS : ‘Accepted measurement on which to base a judgement’ QUALITY ENHANCEMENT: ‘Improving quality’

3 Qualifications frameworks (levels, standards, transparency) Lifelong Learning (VET-HE links + Recognition of prior learning RPL) Credits a and credit systems (ECTS/ECVET) Mobility (Student, staff, programme) Recognition (Lisbon Recognition Convention) Student - centred Learning (Quality of student Experience) Curriculum Development (learning outcomes) Employability Agenda (transferable skills) QUALITYASSURANCE The pivotal place of quality in the Bologna Process NB. There is no Bologna automatic recognition!

4 The EHEA Bologna cycles are designed to aid countries in the development of their own level descriptors (which have more detail) and must directly relate to the EHEA descriptors (standards). Following self-certification the HEQF of different countries will link to a common standard. Without confidence in the quality assurance of a country/institution there will be no recognition of qualifications. The Bologna reforms are permeated with tools to aid transparency and hence ‘fair recognition’ judgments can be made…

5 The main Bologna QA tool: The E4 Standards and Guidelines for Quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (SAG)

6 Main solution: ‘European Standards and Guidelines (ESG)’ 1.INTERNAL: Policy and procedures for QA Approval, monitoring and periodic review of programmes and awards Assessment of students Quality assurance of teaching staff Learning resources and student support Information systems Public information 3.STANDARDS & PROCESSES FOR QA AGENCIES: Status, activities, resources, independence, criteria, accountability, etc. 2.EXTERNAL: Use of internal QA procedures Development of external quality assurance processes Criteria for decisions Processes fit for purpose Reporting Follow-up procedures Periodic reviews System-wide analyses:

7 Institutional management of quality assurance – some issues to consider (there is no perfect blueprint for this!) Create a system that is supportive, avoids QA bureaucracy + any atmosphere of fear + covers all aspects of the institution (accommodation, research, support facilities, etc.) Establish a system to review QA arrangements – do they work (evidence) ? Establish and change priorities/focus as necessary, e.g. employability, student- centered learning, mobility, flexibility, generic skills, assessment methods Establish clear routes for accountability + QA as a standing committee item + a unit/centre with responsibility (second in staff) Ensure QA has high profile, direct reporting + independent leadership + sufficient resources + full student participation Establish a permanent staff development policy linked to a policy for quality enhancement Create awareness of QA links to external reference points/standards: NQF, ENQA, EQAR, learning outcomes, subject benchmarks statement/sectoral standards, recognition, employability, etc Publish an institutional QA handbook (to include standards, definitions, objectives, formats/tools, processes, etc.) + strategy for implementation Have clear approaches for programme: (1) Review (2) Validation (3) Annual monitoring Instigate periodic institutional audits + check if a quality culture exists/is emerging Ground the new system in the use and application of learning outcomes + use it to impact on curriculum development Stephen Adam, May 2011: E4 Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area


9 Web references Bologna QF web site: Council of Europe HE site: EQF site: European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) – see workshop reports (especially workshop 5 report – Quality Assurance and Qualifications frameworks):

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