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Quality Assurance in Higher Education


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Title: Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Quality Assurance in Higher Education
Quality culture and adaptabilityan attempt to
answer to the question of competitiveness in
higher education
  • Bruno CURVALE
  • Responsible for the international activities
  • Agence dévaluation de la recherche et de
    lenseignement supérieur, France
  • ENQA Vice President
  • (European Association for Quality Assurance in
    Higher Education)
  • Bologna expert
  • (French national team)

Outlines of the presentation
The points that will be addressed
  • The mains actors of the development of QA in the
    EHEA ENQA, the E4
  • Competitiveness, attractiveness and education
    how do these words connect?
  • What do we mean by QA culture?
  • What are the criteria of effective QA in higher

  • ENQA started in 1999-2000 as a network of Quality
    Assurance agencies from a recommendation of the
    European Council (98/561/EC)
  • It is since a 2005, an association open to the
    agencies of the countries that participate to the
    Bologna process
  • ENQA counts today more than 40 members
    (representing 20 countries)
  • ENQA is a consultative member of the BFUG

The E4
  • EUA - The European University Association
  • EURASHE - The European Association of
    Institutions in Higher Education
  • ESU (ex ESIB) - European Students Union
  • ENQA

The Bologna process
(Paris 1998) - Bologna 1999 - Prague 2001- Berlin
2003 - Bergen 2005 - London 2007 -
Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve 2009
  • 46 countries involved
  • Two central notions attractiveness and
  • transparency, compatibility, comparability,
    flexibility of the European Higher education
  • Accent put more and more on quality assurance
  • Accent also put on the necessary dialogue of the
    stakeholders HEIs, students, academics,
    employers and society in the general sense of the

Competitiveness and attractiveness
  • Two words that may frightened
  • Two challenges that have to be take up
    massification and excellence
  • Two keys for future social cohesion and
  • Let us be concrete and pragmatic
  • A conception of QA specific to education
  • Quality as the distance between the intentions
    (the goals) and the fulfilments.

The directions as regards QA
  • Responsibility of the HEIs
  • Shared values and commitments of all commuties
    involved (academics, administrative and support
    staff, students)
  • Internal quality assurance mechanisms
  • Protection and improvement of the quality of the
    educational offer
  • Fair information to publics
  • -gt Quality culture
  • Responsibility of the States
  • National quality framework
  • Responsibility of the external evaluators
  • Independence, transparency, relevance

? Quality as a co-production through the
interactions of a plurality of legitimate actors
(Cf. Quality Convergence Study, ENQA Occasional
Papers, 2005)
Since Bergen 2005
Standards and guidelines for quality assurance
underpin the development of QA in the EHEA (46
  • The internal evaluation is the corner stone of
    quality assurance in higher education.
  • The external evaluation is a condition of the
    credibility of the results of the internal
  • External evaluators are accountable for the
    quality of their activities.
  • ENQA membership. A positive external evaluation
    is one of the condition for being recognised as a
    full member (cyclical evaluation).
  • A European register of the trustable QA agencies
    will be set up.
  • A tool for facilitating recognition acting
    against bogus HEIs and QA agencies increasing
    trust, (adopted in London 2007)
  • A European Consultative Forum for Quality
    Assurance in Higher Education is set up.
  • First meeting Embedding quality culture in
    higher education,
  • 23-25 November 2006, Munich
  • Second meeting Implementing and Using Quality
    Assurance Strategy and Practice,
  • 15-17 November 2007, Roma

Consequences for the HEIs
  • The European standards deal with the educational
    activities of the HEIs. They are demanding as
    regard the objectives to be reach. They are not
    normative as regard the tools, the procedures and
    the organisation. It is up to each institution to
    develop its own quality culture and to put in
    place the policies, the strategies and the
    systems adapted to its situation and ambition.
  • The HEIs quality assurance mechanisms have to
    satisfy their proper needs but also the
    expectations of their partners, communities and
    stakeholders. The first set of standards
    clarifies the goals. The guidelines clarify the
    philosophy of the standards, and where
    appropriate, suggest good practices.

Consequences for the agencies
  • The agencies have to verify the HEIs
    achievements as regard the European standards and
    guidelines for internal quality assurance (first
    set of standards).
  • The agencies have to use procedures that comply
    with the European standards and guidelines for
    the external quality assurance of higher
    education (second set of standards).
  • The agencies in order to be recognised as
    trustworthy have to prove that they fulfil the
    requirements of the European standards for
    external quality assurance agencies (third set of

Consequences for the States
The consequences follow from
We adopt the standards and guidelines for
quality assurance in the European Higher
Education Area as proposed by ENQA. We commit
ourselves to introducing the proposed model for
peer review of quality assurance agencies on a
national basis, while respecting the commonly
accepted guidelines and criteria. The European
Higher Education Area - Achieving the Goals
Communique of the Conference of European
Ministers Responsible for Higher Education,
Bergen, 19-20 May 2005
As a conclusion

20 rue Vivienne, F-75002 Paris Tel 33 (0) 1 55
55 62 58 Fax 33 (0) 1 55 55 63
94 bruno.curvale_at_orange.fr http//www.enqa.net
The members of ENQA (1/3)
Appendix 1
Austria Austrian Accreditation Council,
Vienna FHR - Fachhochschulrat,
Vienna Belgium Council of Flemish Institutions
of Higher Education, Brussels EUA - European
University Association - Institutional Evaluation
Programme VLIR - Flemish Interuniversity
Council, Brussels Cyprus CEEA - Council of
Educational Evaluation-Accreditation,
Nikosia Czech Republic Accreditation Commission
of the Government of the Czech Republic,
Prague Denmark EVA - Danish Evaluation
Institute, Copenhagen Estonia Estonian Higher
Education Quality Assessment Council,
Tallinn Finland FINHEEC - Finnish Higher
Education Evaluation Council , Helsinki France AÉ
RES - Agence dévaluation de la recherche et de
lenseignement supérieur (ex CNÉ), Paris CTI -
Commission des Titres d'Ingénieur, Paris
The members of ENQA (2/3)
Appendix 1
Germany Accreditation Council, Bonn ACQUIN -
Accreditation, Certification and Quality
Assurance Institute, Bayreuth FIBAA - Foundation
for International Business Administration
Accreditation, Bonn HRK - Hochschulrektorenkonfer
enz - Projekt Qualitatssicherung, Bonn ZEvA -
Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency
Hannover, Hannover EVALAG - Stiftung
Evaluationsagentur Baden-Wuerttemberg,
Mannheim Hungary HAC - Hungarian Accreditation
Committee, Budapest Ireland HEA - Higher
Education Authority, Dublin HETAC - Higher
Education and Training Awards Council,
Dublin Italy CNVSU - Comitato Nazionale per la
Valutazione del Sistema Universitario,
Rome Latvia HEQEC - Higher Education Quality
Evaluation Centre, Riga The Netherlands NQA -
Netherlands Quality Agency, Utrecht NVAO -
Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and
Flanders, The Hague QANU - Quality Assurance
Netherlands Universities, Utrecht
The members of ENQA (3/3)
Appendix 1
Norway NOKUT - Norwegian Agency of Quality
Assurance in Education, Oslo Portugal CNAVES -
Conselho Nacional de Avaliação do Ensino
Superior, Lisbon Slovak Republic Accreditation
Commission, Bratislava Spain ANECA - National
Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation
of Spain, Madrid Agencia Andaluza de Evaluación,
Córdoba AQU - Agency for Quality Assurance in
the Catalan University System, Barcelona Sweden N
AHE - National Agency for Higher Education,
Stockholm UK QAA - Quality Assurance Agency for
Higher Education, Gloucester
The countries that participate to the Bologna
Appendix 2
1999 Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie,
Danemark, Espagne, Estonie, Finlande, France,
Grèce, Hongrie, Islande, Irlande, Italie,
Lettonie, Lituanie, Luxembourg, Malte, Norvège,
Pays-Bas, Pologne, Portugal, République Slovaque,
République tchèque, Roumanie, Royaume-Uni,
Slovénie, Suède, Suisse. 2001 Croatie,
Liechtenstein, Turquie. 2003 Albanie,
Principauté dAndorre, Bosnie-Herzégovine,
 ex-République yougoslave de Macédoine ,
Russie, Saint Siège, Serbie-Monténegro. 2005 Armé
nie, Azerbaïdjan, Géorgie, Moldavie,
Ukraine. 2007 Monténégro.
The corner stone of quality assurance in HE
Appendix 3
They the Ministers also stress that
consistent with the principle of institutional
autonomy, the primary responsibility for quality
assurance in higher education lies with each
institution itself and this provides the basis
for real accountability of the academic system
within the national quality framework. Reali
sing the European Higher Education Area
Communique of the Conference of Ministers
responsible for Higher Education, Berlin, on 19
September 2003
The European register
The European register
Appendix 4
  • The purposes
  • To promote student mobility by providing a basis
    for the increase of trust among the higher
    education institutions
  • To provide a basis for governments to authorise
    higher education institutions to choose any
    agency from the Register, if that is compatible
    with national arrangements
  • To provide a means for the higher education
    institutions to choose between different
    agencies, if that is compatible with national
  • To serve as an instrument to improve the quality
    of the quality assurance agencies and to promote
    mutual trust between them
  • To reduce opportunities for accreditation mills
    to gain credibility.

Part 1. ESG for internal quality assurance
within HEIs
Appendix 5
  • 1.1 Policy and procedures for quality assurance
    Institutions should have a policy and associated
    procedures for the assurance of the quality and
    standards of their programmes and awards. They
    should also commit themselves explicitly to the
    development of a culture which recognises the
    importance of quality, and quality assurance, in
    their work. To achieve this, institutions should
    develop and implement a strategy for the
    continuous enhancement of quality. The strategy,
    policy and procedures should have a formal
    status and be publicly available. They should
    also include a role for students and other
  • 1.2 Approval, monitoring and periodic review of
    programmes and awards Institutions should have
    formal mechanisms for the approval, periodic
    review and monitoring of their programmes and
  • 1.3 Assessment of students Students should be
    assessed using published criteria, regulations
    and procedures which are applied consistently.
  • 1.4 Quality assurance of teaching staff
    Institutions should have ways of satisfying
    themselves that staff involved with the teaching
    of students are qualified and competent to do so.
    They should be available to those undertaking
    external reviews, and commented upon in reports.
  • 1.5 Learning resources and student support
    Institutions should ensure that the resources
    available for the support of student learning
    are adequate and appropriate for each programme
  • 1.6 Information systems Institutions should
    ensure that they collect, analyse and use
    relevant information for the effective management
    of their programmes of study and other
  • 1.7 Public information Institutions should
    regularly publish up to date, impartial and
    objective information, both quantitative and
    qualitative, about the programmes and awards they
    are offering.

Part 2. ESG for the external quality assurance
of higher education
Appendix 5
  • 2.1 Use of internal quality assurance procedures
    External quality assurance procedures should take
    into account the effectiveness of the internal
    quality assurance processes described in Part 1
    of the European Standards and Guidelines.
  • 2.2 Development of external quality assurance
    processes The aims and objectives of quality
    assurance processes should be determined before
    the processes themselves are developed, by all
    those responsible (including higher education
    institutions) and should be published with a
    description of the procedures to be used.
  • 2.3 Criteria for decisions Any formal decisions
    made as a result of an external quality assurance
    activity should be based on explicit published
    criteria that are applied consistently.
  • 2.4 Processes fit for purpose All external
    quality assurance processes should be designed
    specifically to ensure their fitness to achieve
    the aims and objectives set for them.
  • 2.5 Reporting Reports should be published and
    should be written in a style, which is clear and
    readily accessible to its intended readership.
    Any decisions, commendations or recommendations
    contained in reports should be easy for a reader
    to find.
  • 2.6 Follow-up procedures Quality assurance
    processes which contain recommendations for
    action or which require a subsequent action
    plan, should have a predetermined follow-up
    procedure which is implemented consistently.
  • 2.7 Periodic reviews External quality assurance
    of institutions and/or programmes should be under
    taken on a cyclical basis. The length of the
    cycle and the review procedures to be used should
    be clearly defined and published in advance.
  • 2.8 System-wide analyses Quality assurance
    agencies should produce from time to time summary
    reports describing and analysing the general
    findings of their reviews, evaluations,
    assessments etc.

Part 3. ESG for external quality assurance
Appendix 5
  • 3.1 Use of external quality assurance procedures
    for higher education The external quality
    assurance of agencies should take into account
    the presence and effectiveness of the external
    quality assurance processes described in Part 2
    of the European Standards and Guidelines.
  • 3.2 Official status Agencies should be formally
    recognised by competent public authorities in the
    European Higher Education Area as agencies with
    responsibilities for external quality assurance
    and should have an established legal basis. They
    should comply with any requirements of the
    legislative jurisdictions within which they
  • 3.3 Activities Agencies should undertake
    external quality assurance activities (at
    institutional or programme level) on a regular
  • 3.4 Resources Agencies should have adequate and
    proportional resources, both human and financial,
    to enable them to organise and run their
    external quality assurance process(es) in an
    effective and efficient manner, with appropriate
    provision for the development of their processes
    and procedures.
  • 3.5 Mission statement Agencies should have clear
    and explicit goals and objectives for their work,
    contained in a publicly available statement.
  • 3.6 Independence Agencies should be independent
    to the extent both that they have autonomous
    responsibility for their operations and that the
    conclusions and recommendations made in their
    reports cannot be influenced by third parties
    such as higher education institutions, ministries
    or other stakeholders.
  • 3.7 External quality assurance criteria and
    processes used by the agencies The processes,
    criteria and procedures used by agencies should
    be pre-defined and publicly available. These
    processes will normally be expected to include
  • a self-assessment or equivalent procedure by
    the subject of the quality assurance process
  • an external assessment by a group of experts,
    including, as appropriate, (a) student member(s),
    and site visits as decided by the agency
  • publication of a report, including any
    decisions, recommendations or other formal
  • a follow-up procedure to review actions taken
    by the subject of the quality assurance process
    in the light of any recommendations contained in
    the report.
  • 3.8 Accountability procedures Agencies should
    have in place procedures for their own

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