De la garantía de calidad a la cultura de la calidad. (Una perspectiva europea) Carles Solà Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Foro Educativo Nacional Bogotá, Noviembre 2011
Bologna process and quality assurance developments 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 European Register EQAR Cooperation of QA agencies and HE institutions E4 Group 1998 Reco. 98-561-CE 2006 Reco. 2006-143-CE Source : Colin T ü ck, E4, B. Curvale 04/2008 2009 Leuven Louvain-la-Neuve Evaluation of EQAR
Standards and guidelines for quality assurance
Summary list of European standards for quality assurance Part 1: European standards and guidelines for internal quality assurance within higher education institutions 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 Part 2: European standards for the external quality assurance of higher education 2.1 Use of internal quality assurance procedures 2.2 Development of external quality assurance processes 2.3 Criteria for decisions 2.4 Processes fi t for purpose 2.5 Reporting 2.6 Follow-up procedures 2.7 Periodic reviews 2.8 System-wide analyses
Part 3: European standards for 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
1.1. Política y procedimientos para la garantía de calidad: Las instituciones deben tener una política y unos procedimientos asociados para la garantía de calidad y criterios para sus programas y títulos. Asimismo, deben comprometerse de manera explícita en el desarrollo de una cultura que reconozca la importancia de la calidad y de la garantía de calidad en su trabajo. Para lograr todo esto, las instituciones deben desarrollar e implantar una estrategia para la mejora continua de la calidad. La estrategia, la política y los procedimientos deben tener un rango formal y estar públicamente disponibles. Deben contemplar también el papel de los estudiantes y de otros agentes implicados.
Basic principles • providers of higher education have the primary responsibility for the quality of their provision and its assurance; • the interests of society in the quality and standards of higher education need to be safeguarded; • the quality of academic programmes need to be developed and improved for students and other beneficiaries of higher education across the EHEA; • there need to be efficient and effective organisational structures within which those academic programmes can be provided and supported; • transparency and the use of external expertise in quality assurance processes are important; • there should be encouragement of a culture of quality within higher education institutions; • processes should be developed through which higher education institutions can demonstrate their accountability , including accountability for the investment of public and private money; • quality assurance for accountability purposes is fully compatible with quality assurance for enhancement purposes; • institutions should be able to demonstrate their quality at home and internationally; • processes used should not stifle diversity and innovation .
Colin Tück: EQAR’s structures and operation.(2008)
All agencies which comply substantially with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) can be admitted to the Register. Substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines is to be evidenced through an external review by independent experts. Such a review is coordinated either by a national authority or another organisation that is independent from the quality assurance agency under review. Full ENQA membership, being also based on substantial compliance with the ESG, will normally constitute satisfactory evidence for inclusion in the Register. EQAR Criteria Extract from the EQAR website http://www.eqar.eu
Therefore, the term “culture” was chosen to convey a connotation of quality as a shared value and a collective responsibility for all members of an institution, including students and administrative staff. Quality culture signals the need to ensure a grass-roots acceptance, to develop a compact within the academic community through effective community building, as well as a change in values, attitude and behaviour within an institution. - Quality as fitness for purpose - Quality as compliance (zero errors) - Quality as customer satisfaction - Quality as excellence - Quality as value for money - Quality as transformation (process of changing the customer) - Quality as enhancement (process of changing the institution) - Quality as control (punitive/rewarding process of quality assurance) Defining quality:
Defining quality culture Quality culture refers to an organisational culture that intends to enhance quality permanently and is characterised by two distinct elements: on the one hand, a cultural/psychological element of shared values, beliefs, expectations and commitment towards quality and, on the other hand, a structural/managerial element with defined processes that enhance quality and aim at coordinating individual efforts. Thus, the cultural/psychological element refers back to individual staff members while the structural/managerial refers back to the institution. These two aspects, however, are not to be considered separately: both elements must be linked through good communication, discussion and participatory processes at institutional level. The networks agreed that: - Institutions characterised by a mature and successful quality culture are usually those that enjoy a high degree of autonomy. - Where external accountability procedures stress institutional responsibility and de-emphasise compliance with standards, institutional quality cultures are more mature and effective. Why is quality culture important? Simply stated, it is because it is the most effective and meaningful way that quality assurance mechanisms can ensure and improve quality levels and support a dynamic of change in universities
It is important to stress that the introduction of quality culture requires an appropriate balance of top-down and bottom-up aspects. In order to embed a quality culture in an organisation and make it operational several factors have been identified and discussed in the networks. These factors include the structures of the organisation as well as processes and procedures related to quality culture. In any case, a crucial factor and indeed the starting point of the development of a quality culture is the mission of the institution. The networks insisted time and again on the importance of basing and grounding a quality culture in the mission of the institution While it is important to introduce quality culture sensitively, it is also important to monitor and evaluate it continually. Quality culture is fragile and very sensitive to over-bureaucratisation To use a metaphor favoured by the chair of the Steering Committee, Henrik Toft Jensen, all cathedrals have the same architectural components (e.g., spires, columns, etc) but each is decorated in a different way
S. Mishra: Quality Assurance in Higher Education: An Introduction (2007)
5. The report highlights five conditions that lead to an effective quality culture: 5.1 It is important not to rely on a single quality assurance instrument, such as the student questionnaires, particularly if they shape staffing decisions (e.g., promotions). There must be a mix of several instruments to ensure good intelligence. These instruments must be related to institutional strategies and – ultimately – to academic values. 5.2 The most effective internal QA arrangements are those that derive from effective internal decisionmaking processes and structures. Having clear accountability lines and clarifying responsibilities at all levels ensure that the quality assurance system is kept as simple as possible while closing the feedback loops and this should, if anything, reduce bureaucracy by limiting data collection, reports and committees to what is absolutely necessary. It is crucial to identify who needs to know what and, furthermore, to distinguish between what is necessary vs. what would be nice to know. This argues in favour of an optimal balance between the need for a strong institutional core and a degree of faculty responsibilities, between the need for an institution-wide QA approach and some local variations in faculties.
5.3 Like external quality assurance, internal quality assurance processes are also about power. Internal quality assurance can be contested if it does not successfully engage the university community. Leadership is essential to give the initial steer and the broad frameworks of quality assurance mechanisms. Leadership should facilitate internal debate – and even tolerate dissent – in order to make sure that quality assurance processes do not end up being imposed and simply bolted on. Linked to this, the type of language used by the leadership and the QA officers in describing the QA arrangements cannot be dismissed as trivial. The more academic and the less managerial it is, the more likely it will make inroads in the institution. 5.5 Both institutional autonomy and self-confidence are key factors in the capacity of institutions to define quality and the purposes of their internal quality assurance processes and to ensure that these are in line with their specific profiles, strategies and organisational cultures. In doing so, these institutions are sometimes confronted with their external quality assurance agencies’ processes, which might be at cross-purposes. It is essential that the internal and external processes are viewed together and that the higher education community – the institutions and the agencies – negotiate the articulation between the two sets of processes in order to ensure true accountability, avoid duplication of evaluations and QA fatigue
6. The report concludes that the factors that promote effective quality cultures are that: the university is located in an “open” environment that is not overly regulated and enjoys a high level of public trust; the university is self-confident and does not limit itself to definitions of quality processes set by its national QA agency; the institutional culture stresses democracy and debate and values the voice of students and staff equally; the definition of academic professional roles stresses good teaching rather than only academic expertise and research strength; quality assurance processes are grounded in academic values while giving due attention to the necessary administrative processes.