SPECIAL NEWSLETTER - 23 MAY 2018
Public preview: Database of External Quality Assurance Results (DEQAR)
EQAR is pleased to announce the launch of DEQAR, the Database of External Quality Assurance Results, which aims to support transparency of quality of European higher education and how it is managed.
DEQAR allows a broad range of users to easily access quality assurance results based on the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), and to download the corresponding reports. A survey conducted in 2016 found that these were sometimes difficult to find, especially when looking for reports in other countries.
“We are glad about the keen interest and commitment by the participating quality assurance agencies” says Karl Dittrich, President of EQAR, adding that “the database is an important milestone towards enhanced transparency and recognition solutions in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The development and launch of DEQAR is a noteworthy step marking EQAR’s 10th anniversary, which we celebrate this year.”
DEQAR was selected for EU co-funding by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. Seventeen of EQAR’s registered agencies actively participate as project partners for the technical implementation, while other partners include the key European stakeholder organisations (ENQA, ESU, EUA, EURASHE, Education International), CIMEA (Italian ENIC-NARIC) and Ghent University.
The current preview of the database includes around 400 higher education institutions, including most institutions from Belgium (Flemish Community), Croatia, Finland, Romania and Spain (Catalonia).
Since DEQAR is a work in progress, more and more agencies are expected to upload their results and reports of external QA activities. All registered agencies are invited and encouraged to participate in DEQAR. During the coming months EQAR will also be gathering feedback from users and implement improvements where necessary. The final release of the database will take place in October 2018.
Colin Tück, Director of EQAR, concludes: “On the occasion of the EHEA Ministerial Conference in Paris, we are confident that DEQAR will help consolidate the EHEA, especially its goal of automatic recognition of qualifications, based on robust and transparent quality assurance.”
Message to the EHEA Ministerial Conference
European ministers of higher education are convening in Paris today to discuss the progress made in establishing the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the vision for the EHEA beyond 2020. EQAR addressed ministers in a special message, identifying three key priorities within the frame of the EHEA‘s fundamental values and key commitments, which are reflected in EQAR‘s Strategy 2018 – 2022:
all quality assurance agencies operating in Europe align their work to the ESG;
based on trustworthy external quality assurance performed by EQAR-registered agencies, comparable higher educationqualifications are automatically recognised across the EHEA;
EQAR serves as a comprehensive information tool for students and staff in higher education, providing useful and reliable information on registered agencies, legal frameworks and external quality assurance results.
In the message, EQAR calls for ministers to support and encourage:
all EHEA countries to become governmental members of EQAR and to, actively engage in and use EQAR as a platform for policy dialogue on quality assurance;
all quality assurance agencies operating in the EHEA to apply for registration on EQAR;
national quality assurance agencies to participate in the Database of External Quality Assurance Results (DEQAR) so as to maximise its usefulness and facilitate transparency and recognition;
the development of a genuine quality culture that promotes the autonomy of the higher education institutions and academic freedom.