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New Trends in Higher Education Quality Assurance in Europe

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Conference at Aydin University, 12/4/2016, Istanbul

Published in: Education
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New Trends in Higher Education Quality Assurance in Europe

  1. 1. European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education New Trends in Higher Education Quality Assurance in Europe New Trends in Higher Education: Keeping Up With the Change Istanbul, 12 April 2016 Colin Tück
  2. 2. Vision The European Higher Education Area's (EHEA) vision to respond to the current societal challenges:  Higher education contributing to inclusive societies  Providing opportunities and perspectives to students  Promoting democracy and human rights  Safeguarding academic freedom  Mobility and cooperation as key to understanding
  3. 3. EHEA Priorities  Enhancing the quality and relevance of learning and teaching  Fostering the employability of graduates  Making our systems more inclusive  Implementing agreed structural reforms (see Yerevan Ministerial Communiqué 2015)
  4. 4. EHEA framework for quality assurance  European Standards and Guidelines (ESG)  Modernised and improved 2015 version  Common ground for QA in Europe  European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR)  Agencies that comply substantially with the ESG – at home and abroad  Processes for substantive changes and complaints  42 registered QAAs  Governmental members without registered agency
  5. 5. Standards and Guidelines for QA in the EHEA (ESG)  Common standards for internal and external QA  Developed jointly by the main stakeholders  Agreed by ministers in 2005, revised in 2015  Purposes:  Set a common framework for quality assurance systems at European, national and institutional level;  Enable the assurance and improvement of quality;  Support mutual trust, thus facilitating recognition and mobility within and across national borders;  Provide information on quality assurance in the EHEA.
  6. 6. ESG – principles for QA  Higher education institutions have primary responsibility for quality  Responds to the diversity of systems, institutions, programmes and students  Support the development of a quality culture;  Take into account the needs and expectations of students, all other stakeholders and society  Transparency and publication of results  Independence of external QA agencies
  7. 7. European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR)  Established by E4 at Ministers' request, jointly governed by stakeholders and governments  Non-profit and independent, acting in the public interest  Mission: enhancing trust and confidence in EHEA  Main role: to manage a register of QAAs that comply substantially with the ESG Stakeholder organisations Governments Observers Register Committee Independent QA experts, nominated by stakeholders approves
  8. 8. Challenges in Quality Assurance  Diversity of higher education institutions  New modes of educational provision and cooperation  Growth of internationalisation, TNE  More student-centred approach to learning and teaching  Flexible learning paths  Recognising prior learning  Demonstrate quality, increase transparency and build mutual trust
  9. 9. New in QA after Yerevan 1. ESG 2015 adopted 2. Cross-border external quality assurance “enable our higher education institutions to use a suitable EQAR registered agency for their external quality assurance process [...]” 3. European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes 4. Automatic recognition “By 2020 we are determined to achieve an EHEA […] where automatic recognition of qualifications has become a reality so that students and graduates can move easily throughout it”
  10. 10. 1. ESG 2015 – what's new?  Clarified that ESG are applicable to non- traditional HE, new modes of delivery, transnational provision, etc.  Better integrated in overall EHEA framework  References to qualifications frameworks, other tools  Underline institutional responsibility for quality  Stronger focus on whole student experience  E.g. admission, progression, student-centred learning
  11. 11. 1. ESG 2015 – what's new?  Take account of changed context  Cross-border QA  HEIs work with changing QAAs  Stakeholder model consolidated  Many principles more clear now, e.g.  Publication of full reports  Students on review panels  Appeals  Professional conduct of QAAs ➔ Reflecting EHEA's progress over last 10 years
  12. 12. 2. Quality assurance crossing borders 9 4 1 1 2 4 3 6 1 2 1 1 6 1 1 1 1 4 63 36 26 15 16 8 2 6 3 17 3 7 2 26 1 5 110 81 11 119 6 136 67 71 112 97 702 271 55 278 739 1097 Total Home Inst CBEQA Prog CBEQA
  13. 13. 2. Cross-border QA Opportunities Challenges Higher Education Institutions ● International visibility ● Valuable feedback ● Increased commitment ● Different approaches ● Suit their own mission ● Identify suitable agency ● Workload and costs ● Unknown expectations ● Language Quality Assurance Agencies ● International profile ● Experience relevant for work at home ● Diversification ● Unfamiliar context ● Adapting standards ● Language
  14. 14. 2. But: national legal frameworks lag behind  Despite the robust European framework in place …  Cross-border accreditation/ evaluation not fully recognised  In addition/parallel to obligatory national external QA  Duplication of efforts for institutions  Recognising EQAR-registered agencies as part of the national requirements for external QA  Recognising foreign agencies with own/specific framework  Discussions ongoing  Countries not recognising external QA by foreign agency
  15. 15. 3. European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes Before After Multiple, fragmented reviews Single review Combining various national rules and criteria Agreed Standards, based on ESG & QF-EHEA Complex procedures, ad hoc design Agreed Procedure  Adopted by ministers in Yerevan to lift obstacles to the QA of joint programmes
  16. 16. 4. Automatic recognition  Part of the ministers' vision for the EHEA 2020  Important topic for quality assurance:  Need for QA and qualifications framework to work hand-in-hand to make AR work  See also ESG standard 1.2  Need to analyse recognition practices in QA  See ESG standard 1.4  Brings new expectations for Bologna tools
  17. 17. Conclusions  Important decisions for European QA at Yerevan  Expectations – not only – from QA are rising  ESG 2015: more coherent, robust framework  EQAR working with stakeholders and governments  Cross-border QA: practical guidance for QAAs/HEIs, national legal frameworks  European Approach for QA of JP: national implementation  Automatic recognition: support from side of QA
  18. 18. Thank you for your attention! Contact: colin.tueck@eqar.eu +32 2 234 39 11 @ColinTueck / @EQAR_he

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