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An Overview of Quality Assurance in the EHEA by Prof. Andreas G. Orphanides President of EURASHE, Rector of European University Cyprus, and Ex-President.

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Presentation on theme: "An Overview of Quality Assurance in the EHEA by Prof. Andreas G. Orphanides President of EURASHE, Rector of European University Cyprus, and Ex-President."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Overview of Quality Assurance in the EHEA by Prof. Andreas G. Orphanides President of EURASHE, Rector of European University Cyprus, and Ex-President of EQAR Board ============================================= “Meeting of Directors General for Higher Education” Filoxenia Conference Centre, Lefkosia (Nicosia), Cyprus 22-23 October, 2012

2 QA in the Bologna Process 1999 Bologna 2001 Prague 2003 Berlin 2005 Bergen 2007 London European cooperation in quality assurance Primary responsibility of HE institutions for quality European Standards and Guidelines Register of QA agencies Cooperation of QA agencies and HE institutions E4 Group 2008 Founding of EQAR

3 Current Components of QA in EHEA There are European Standards and Guidelines for internal and external quality assurance of HEIs, and for external qual­ity assurance agencies. European quality assurance agencies (including accreditation agencies) submit themselves to a cyclical review every five years. There is a European register of quality assurance agencies (EQAR), which acts as a gatekeeper for the inclusion of agencies in the register. There is an annual European Consultative Forum for Quality Assurance (EQAF) in the form of international conference.

4 Implications of Current Components of QA in EHEA The consistency of quality assurance across the EHEA is improved by the use of agreed standards and guidelines. Higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies across the EHEA are able to use common reference points for quality assurance. The Register makes it easier to identify professional and credible QA and accreditation agencies. Procedures for the recognition of qualifications are strengthened. The credibility of the work of quality assurance and accreditation agencies is enhanced. The exchange of viewpoints and experiences among agencies and other key stakeholders are enhanced through the work of the European Consultative Forum for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

5 Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area Part 1: European standards for internal quality assurance within higher education institutions Part 2: European standards for the external quality assurance of higher education institutions Part 3. European standards for external quality assurance agencies

6 Fundamental principles of ESG The stakeholders’ model, that is to say, the interests of students as well as of employers and of society at large. The central importance of institutional autonomy, tempered by a recognition that this brings with it heavy responsibilities. The need for external QA to be fit for its purpose and to place only an appropriate and necessary burden on HEIs.

7 MAP-ESG project By the E4 Group (ENQA, ESU, EUA, EURASHE) Mapping the implementation and application of the ESG in the European Higher Education Area The results integrate the perspective of all stakeholders E4 recommendation to and mandate from the Ministerial meeting in Bucharest in April 2012 for a careful revision of the ESG in order to improve their: clarity applicability, and usefulness

8 The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) “EQAR’s mission is to further the development of the European Higher Education Area by increasing transparency of quality assurance, and thus enhancing trust and confidence in European higher education.” A register of credible and legitimate QA agencies – Substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) as criterion for inclusion – Evidenced through an external review by independent experts – Open to European and non-European agencies Stakeholder-managed – Founded (2008) by ENQA, ESU, EUA, EURASHE (E4 organizations)

9 Ability for higher education institutions to be evaluated by an agency outside the country, 2010/11

10 Principles on QA that underpin the ESG, EQF and EQAVET Quality and QA are primarily the responsibility of the institutions or organisations providing education or training and should be an integral part of their management, thus respecting the diversity of nations and regions, institutions and sectors, their missions, strategies and cultures; Quality and QA require the involvement of all stakeholders, both internal and external; Both internal and external QA should be cyclical, systematic, structured and prolonged with measures enhancing the quality based on the conclusions; QA systems should therefore include clear and measurable objectives and standards, guidelines for implementation, coherent evaluation methods which link self-assessment to external reviews, feedback mechanisms and appropriate resources; External QA should be undertaken independently taking into consideration elements of input, process and output within their contexts; The external reports should be public; The external QA agencies or bodies should be subject to regular review; Because of the ever growing internationalisation, QA should incorporate an international dimension, both in contents as in organisation.

11 Strengths of European QA There is strong consensus regarding the principles and/or the functioning of QA in HE in Europe; internal QA is primarily focused on continuous quality enhancement; external QA should extend internal QA in a healthy way, so as to provide the institution/programme with a mirror and suggested improvements; external QA is the key element in accountability; self-evaluation of the audited should be independent and involve all stakeholders, conduct a site visit and publish its outcomes, as well as follow up its recommendations in a systematic and cyclical way; the external QAAs themselves are subject to cyclical review; The European QA that is systematic, professional, fit-for-purpose, targeted towards enhancement and public accountability, and based on trust.

12 Weaknesses and Opportunities of European QA If the stakeholders do not trust each other … If the QAA is not professional … If the panel is not international … If the cycle is too long or the follow-up measures go unchecked … Countries have been reluctant to give more autonomy to HEIs and QAAs and to recognise degrees and decisions internationally. National governments do not sufficiently trust the whole cycle of QA that they themselves regulate. A major weakness and deficiency is that European QA does not apply to research at the institution.

13 Some final recommendations EQAR listing of a QAA reflects a shared trust, but not a choice of a quality assurance model or quality assurance system. It is a government responsibility to create clarity and transparency to stakeholders and society about the external quality assurance, ranking and classification systems used in higher education. Institutions may benefit from transparency tools that respect the diversity in higher education in an accessible way. Stakeholders’ organisations in higher education have a specific responsibility towards higher education institutions for communicating with them and informing them on trends and evolutions. In developing QA models and systems, the Bologna process should always be the governing principle and basis. the creation and development of trust in the promotion of quality cultures are essential. The instruments of QA must serve to identify, verify and evaluate the overall quality of higher education and training within broad, sustainable quality cultures.

14 Thank you for your attention

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