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The role of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education ENQA latest developme

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Title: The role of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education ENQA latest developme


1
The role of the European Association for Quality
Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) latest
developments in quality assurance in Europe
  • Peter Williams
  • President
  • ENQA
  • Chief Executive
  • The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher
    Education, UK

2
Overview
  • The role of ENQA
  • latest developments in quality assurance in
    Europe
  • The European Standards and Guidelines
  • The European Quality Assurance Register
  • The current position and longer-term needs
  • A possible trajectory for 2020 and beyond?

3
The Role of ENQA
4
ENQA
  • network founded in 2000 association in 2004
  • independent umbrella organisation for European QA
    agencies
  • activities meetings, workshops, conferences,
    publications
  • representative of QA agencies in Bologna Process
    (consultative member)
  • co-operation within E4 (ENQA, EUA, ESU, EURASHE)
  • structure Board, General Assembly, Secretariat

5
Membership of ENQA
  • ENQA membership requires external review and
    substantial compliance with ESG (cf. EQAR)
  • external reviews of ENQA member agencies by 2010
    to confirm Full membership
  • external reviews conducted by national
    authorities or by ENQA
  • review reports scrutinised by ENQA Board
  • 36 Full members, 11 Candidate members
  • associates and affiliates 192
  • ENQA Full membership is de facto accreditation of
    European QA agencies

6
Latest developments in quality assurance in
Europe
7
Current QA activities in Europe
  • Most countries now have quality assurance or
    accreditation agencies
  • Mixture of programme accreditation, institutional
    accreditation, and non-accrediting quality
    assurance reviews
  • Some countries are moving/have moved from
    programme focus to institutional focus
  • Some moving the other way
  • Current ENQA project will show the dynamic
    landscape
  • Increasing use of European Standards and
    Guidelines (ESG)

8
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)

9
What are standards? What are guidelines?
  • Standards in this context are not meant to
    imply standardisation or requirements
  • standards are statements of basic good
    practice they are short and general
  • Guidelines are meant as illustrations of the
    standards in action they provide additional
    information and explain why the standards are
    important

10
ESG Part 1 HEIs internal quality assurance
  • 1.1 Policy and procedures for quality assurance
  • 1.2 Approval, monitoring and periodic review of
    programmes and awards
  • 1.3 Assessment of students
  • 1.4 Quality assurance of teaching staff
  • 1.5 Learning resources and student support
  • 1.6 Information systems
  • 1.7 Public information

11
ESG Part 2 external quality assurance
  • 2.1 Use of internal quality assurance procedures
  • 2.2 Development of external quality assurance
    processes
  • 2.3 Criteria for decisions
  • 2.4 Processes fit for purpose
  • 2.5 Reporting
  • 2.6 Follow-up procedures
  • 2.7 Periodic reviews
  • 2.8 System-wide analyses

12
ESG Part 3 external quality assurance agencies
  • 3.1 Use of external quality assurance procedures
    for higher education
  • 3.2 Official status
  • 3.3 Activities
  • 3.4 Resources
  • 3.5 Mission statement
  • 3.6 Independence
  • 3.7 External quality assurance criteria and
    processes used by the agencies
  • 3.8 Accountability procedures

13
What the ESG ARE
  • Generic, not specific, standards and guidelines
  • A view of what should be done, not how it should
    be done
  • A source of assistance and guidance

14
What the ESG are NOT
  • Prescriptive
  • A checklist
  • A compendium of detailed procedures
  • A European quality assurance system

15
London Communiqué extracts on QA
  • …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.

16
The European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR)
  • a publicly available, web-based, information tool
    consisting of a list of QA agencies operating in
    Europe
  • voluntary, entry through compliance with ESG,
    evidenced by an external review
  • information available at www.eqar.eu (first
    applications in June 2008)
  • contains basic information, such as
  • agencys name and contact information
  • QA services provided by the agency
  • Whether member of ENQA
  • country where the agency is established
  • countries in which the agency operates

17
EQARs purposes
  • 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.

18
Current QA needs in Europe
  • A need for information about quality
  • A need for public confidence in providers
  • A need for reassurance about the value of
    qualifications
  • A need for providers confidence in what theyre
    doing
  • A need to encourage academic ownership of quality
    and standards
  • A need for a means to judge international
    comparability

19
All of which suggest a requirement for
  • Strong internal quality cultures and associated
    actions
  • External verification of quality
  • Up to date information about quality
  • Clearly understandable standards for QA
  • A common language and vocabulary

20
Personal concerns
  • ESG are being given more weight than they were
    originally intended to bear
  • Too many QA agencies are fixated on processes and
    not on purposes
  • Fitness for purpose is not the predominant driver
    of external QA processes at present
  • There is a lot of information but limited
    communication in QA systems
  • Compliance approaches work against improvement
  • Ready opportunities for self delusion

21
European quality assurance the longer term needs
  • Common concepts
  • Common language
  • Shared understandings and values
  • A European HE quality culture?
  • Qualifications recognition
  • Comparable academic standards
  • Useful information for stakeholders
  • Improved academic professionalism
  • Better higher education
  • Cost-effective quality assurance

22
European quality assurance a possible trajectory
for 2020 and beyond?
  • institutions take more responsibility for their
    own quality and quality assurance
  • External national programme quality assurance/
    accreditation ultimately replaced by selective
    international accreditation and by
  • External national institutional quality assurance
    /accreditation
  • Shared values and understandings (European
    standards and guidelines)
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