EQAR NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2019
News: DEQAR update | Register Committee results | EHEA Key Commitment on Quality Assurance | QA Staff Mobility Project within the EHEA
DEQAR growing and growing up
A record number of reports were uploaded to DEQAR within the last months. Both France and Germany contributed to this “deluge” of reports, thereby adding up the total number of external QA reports in the system to over 35000. DEQAR currently has reports from 32 agencies, covering over 2000 institutions in 39 European Higher Education Area (EHEA) countries. At the moment, DEQAR covers more than 50% of the institutions in 15 EHEA countries.
Unveiling DEQAR's new and improved user interface
DEQAR present and presented at the European Association for International Education (EAIE) conference this week: In for a meet, greet & treat? Visit our stand H18 or come to our poster session on 25 September between 14:30-16:00 (level -1 Hall 3).
A new-and-improved DEQAR public user interface is unveiled this week at EAIE 2019 in Helsinki. DEQAR now offers a range of drill-down filter options to help you find just what you’re looking for. And advanced users can now search by Report as well as by Institution. We think it’s not bad looking either! See for yourself: www.deqar.eu
Things of the past: DEQAR Webinar in June
The European University Association (EUA) and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), project partners in the DEQAR project, co-hosted a webinar on DEQAR "Plugging the information gap – facilitating recognition through access to external quality assurance results". Participants of the webinar gained an insight into the rationale and uses of DEQAR, and heard from representatives of a national recognition information centre (ENIC-NARIC) and a higher education institution about how the availability and transparency of information about external quality assurance could facilitate their daily work with regards to recognition processes. Participants also had the possibility to join the discussion and ask questions.
The webinar was targeted to a range of stakeholders, including institutional staff involved in quality assurance, recognition and mobility; staff of quality assurance agencies and ENIC-NARICS; and students.
Coming up soon
The DEQAR explainer video will soon be published. Stay tuned online to watch it!
Register Committee results
We are pleased to announce that the Register Committee, at their most recent meeting on 17-18 June, in Brussels found that the following agencies demonstrated their substantial compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG):
- NCEQE – National Center for Education Quality Enhancement (initial application) – Georgia
- PKA – Polish Accreditation Committee (renewal of registration)
- QANU – Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities (re-inclusion)
The President, Karl Dittrich, thanked three outgoing Register Committee members for their dedication, hard work and collegiality:
- Mindaugas Misiūnas - RC member since 2010
- Freddy Coignoul - RC member since 2014
- Ann Verreth – RC member since 2017
The third and last Register Committee of 2019 will take place on 4-5 November. This will be the first official meeting of incoming RC members, Eltjo Bazen, Patricia Georgieva and Jacques Lanarès.
Meeting the EHEA Key Commitment on QA
"All higher education institutions are subject to regular external quality assurance in line with the ESG", a line that rings familiar to the members of the Bologna family since the cited text is part of the three EHEA key commitments, along with compliance with the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC) and a Three-Cycle System compatible with the QF-EHEA.
The implementation of the key commitments is monitored ahead of each ministerial meeting in the Bologna Process Implementation Report, through a traffic light coloured scorecard indicator. The map on the Key Commitment on QA reveals the stage of development of external quality assurance systems. Full implementation of the Key Commitment, shown by dark green, is achieved when a fully functioning quality assurance system is in operation nationwide, in which all higher education institutions are subject to regular external QA by an agency demonstrating compliance with the ESG through registration on EQAR.
EQAR registration is a constitutive part of the EHEA Key Commitment and Bologna scorecard indicator. On its side, EQAR keeps an eye on the implementation of the ESG, by registering QA agencies but also by monitoring their evaluations, accreditations and audits within one or multiple higher education systems. This allows EQAR to provide up-to-date information on the implementation of the Key Commitment on QA (see map) and to encourage countries in strenghtening their internal and external QA in line with the ESG.
A new page on EQAR's website now offers a continuously updated view of the key commitment implementation map. While a number of higher education systems are still facing challenges in fully implementing the key commitment, the current applications for registration from QA agencies operating in some of these countries sends a positive signal that the EHEA is well on track to meet the Key Commitment on QA.
The QA Staff Mobility Project within the EHEA
The Staff Mobility project is a most interesting project facilitating and financing peer support to the countries in the Bologna Thematic Peer Group C on Quality Assurance (TPG C on QA). This 2-year project, co-funded by Erasmus+ KA3 Support to Policy reform "Support to the implementation of EHEA reforms - 2018-2020" is led by the Ministry of Education and Training of Belgium/Flemish Community in collaboration with The National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement in Georgia and the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus.
Through a system of mobility of staff members working in the field of quality assurance within national authorities (ministries), quality assurance agencies and/or stakeholder organisations, peer support can be facilitated. All flows and directions of staff mobility between ministries, QA-agencies and stakeholder organisations are possible. As such, the system supports the professional development of staff by offering a work placement in another country. Each mobile peer will further develop its QA competencies through job shadowing, observation periods and/or training at a partner QA agency/ministry/organization abroad.
The matchmaking committee is composed of the co-chairs of the Bologna peer group on QA and two external experts of related stakeholder organizations ENQA and EQAR. The committee has met in Georgia earlier this September and reviewed a total of 47 applications from 26 countries based on the quality of their application i.e. justification of needs, link to action plan, improvement of their knowledge of the chosen topic, dissemination etc. Each participant will receive a feedback report, considering the review of their application, so as to ensure that adequate advantage is taken of the opportunities provided through the staff mobility project.
A second round of the call for QA staff mobility will likely open soon, allowing more interesting parties i.e. members of the TPG on QA to submit an application. Stay tuned for more information!