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20101108 stockholm final

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Presentation at Nordic Bologna Seminar on Quality Assurance of Learning Outcomes

Presentation at Nordic Bologna Seminar on Quality Assurance of Learning Outcomes

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  • 1. Joint degrees/Double degrees – how to assess? Presentation at Nordic Bologna Seminar on Quality Assurance of Learning Outcomes Stockholm, 8 November 2010 Simon Holmen Reventlow Clemmensen Danish Evaluation Institute
  • 2. Agenda
    • Terminology
    • NOQA project on joint evaluations of joint master’s programmes
    • TEAM II project on accreditation of joint programmes
    • Methodologies applied
    • Main conclusions
    • Challenges
    • Recommendations
    • Questions?
  • 3. What is EVA?
    • Established in 1999
    • Based on former experience with programme evaluation of HE
    • Covers the entire Danish educational system
    • Independent institution under the Danish Ministry of Education
      • Board with right of initiative
      • Own budget
    • Staff of 90+
  • 4. International cooperation
    • European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)
      • Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)
    • Nordic Quality Assurance Network in Higher Education (NOQA)
      • Yearly joint projects on quality assurance in the Nordic countries
    • European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA)
      • Promotes mutual recognition of accreditation and quality assurance decisions
  • 5. Terminology I – joint programme
    • The European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education:
      • “ A joint programme is a programme offered jointly by different higher education institutions irrespective of the degree (joint, multiple and double) awarded”
  • 6. Terminology II – joint degree
    • The Recommendation on the Recognition of Joint Degrees :
      • “ A joint degree should, for the purposes of this Recommendation, be understood as referring to a higher education qualification issued jointly by at least two or more higher education institutions or jointly by one or more higher education institutions and other awarding bodies, on the basis of a study programme developed and/or provided jointly by the higher education institutions, possibly also in cooperation with other institutions.
  • 7. NOQA project: Joint Master’s Programmes – Joint Evaluations
    • 2007 initiative from Nordic Council of Ministers
    • 6 joint programmes funded out of 41 applicants
    • 19 institutions involved in all Nordic countries
    • NOQA tasked to propose one or more joint methodologies for evaluation of the programmes
    • Project group with representatives from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark – Iceland represented in Steering Group
    • Project concluded autumn 2009.
  • 8. TEAM II: Accreditation of joint programmes
    • Organised by ECA, funded by European Commission
    • Project started in 2009 and has just been concluded
    • The main aims of TEAM II was to explore recognition of qualifications from joint programmes and facilitate accreditation of these programmes.
    • Ambition: It should only be necessary to apply for accreditation of joint programmes once
    • 5 pilot accreditations covering programmes leading to bachelor’s, master’s and research master’s degrees
  • 9. Methodologies I: NOQA
    • 2 pilot evaluations – NordMaG & Norpath
    • Self-evaluation, site visit with external experts and report
    • Common criteria and procedures for both pilots
    • Extensive list of criteria developed on the basis of criteria employed in all Nordic countries
    • Criteria for jointness developed by project group
    • Resulted in two programme-specific reports and one project report
    • Outlined three models for quality assurance of joint programmes
  • 10. Methodologies II: Criteria for jointness NOQA
    • Specific criteria for jointness developed for NOQA project
      • Formal agreement
      • Common funding strategy
      • Mobility
      • Practical preparation
      • Sharing of information between students
      • Employability
      • Quality assurance
  • 11. Methodologies III: TEAM II
    • 5 pilot accreditations of joint programmes
    • One accreditation agency in charge, at least one other invited as observer
    • All pilots followed ESG standards with self-evaluation, site visit, external experts and final report
      • In general, self-evaluation reports showed insufficient self-evaluation – mostly descriptive documents
      • Found very different emphasis on learning outcomes in general and specifically whether emphasis is on ’intended’ or ’achieved’ learning outcomes
      • Resulted in a methodological report, a conference report and the extension of Qrossroads to 13 countries
  • 12. Methodologies IV: TEAM II
    • Common principles – different methodologies were employed for each pilot
      • procedure, criteria and experts mainly from one country
      • procedure and criteria from one country, but applied by experts from elsewhere
      • procedure and criteria based on (shared) European professional practice requirements
      • new procedure developed with (‘traditional’) criteria based on a minimum set + the extras required for another country
      • based on one country’s procedure but with experts nominated by all and with a new set of criteria specifically developed for joint programmes
    • Conclusion: All were in principle feasible
  • 13. Main conclusions I
    • Common for both projects:
      • Joint programmes ought to be quality assured jointly
      • Joint quality assurance is, in principle, feasible
      • Still a long way to go before it is practically doable
      • Significant legal challenges to joint quality assurance
        • Require legislative changes in most countries
        • Require far-reaching agreements and strong mutual trust
      • Strong national traditions and approaches to education and quality assurance
      • Necessary to distinguish between criteria that could, should and must be applied
  • 14. Main conclusions II
    • Specific to NOQA:
      • Nordic systems of quality assurance divergent, not convergent
      • No systematic quality assurance of Nordic programmes so far
      • Little knowledge of the extent of joint Nordic programmes
      • Criteria for jointness strengthen joint quality assurance
    • Specific to TEAM II:
      • Modular approach may be the best way forward
      • Many ways to meet accreditation requirements
      • ECA principles entirely workable for most
  • 15. Challenges
    • Legal issues – divergence of national regulations
    • Regulated professions
    • National educational traditions and systems
    • National principles and models for quality assurance
    • Recognition of degrees and evaluation outcomes
    • International experts using their own context rather than the relevant framework as point of departure
    • Differences in style, content and legal status of accreditation reports
    • How many site visits?
  • 16. Recommendations
    • Common for both projects:
      • Any joint quality assurance system must build on the ESG
      • Further develop mutual trust between quality assurance agencies
      • Promote recognition of joint programmes as equal to national programmes
        • Important to use diverse and multinational expert panels
    • Specific to TEAM II:
      • Further develop mutual recognition agreements
      • Increase access to information about programmes in other countries – e.g. Qrossroads
      • Consider establishing a coordinating agency for accreditation of joint programmes
  • 17. Models for joint quality assurance of joint programmes
    • NOQA:
      • Evaluation and accreditation
      • Nordic Quality Label
      • Audit of the programme’s quality assurance procedures
    • TEAM II:
      • Modular approach with compulsory core elements