EQAR NEWSLETTER - JULY 2020
News: Karl Dittrich re-elected as EQAR President | Outcomes of the June Register Committee | General Assembly | DEQAR: over 50 000 QA reports in our database | Annual Report 2019 | Policy brief | Staff changes
Karl Dittrich re-elected as EQAR President
We are pleased to anounce that Karl Dittrich was re-elected as EQAR President at the General Assembly of 26 June, for a second three-year term. Following his re-election, Karl expressed his gratitude, adding that he immensly enjoyed his first term and looked forward to the coming years.
Karl was first elected, as the first ever EQAR President, at the General Assembly in Gozo in 2017. During Karl's first term several memorable happenings took place, such as EQAR’s 10th anniversary and the launch of the DEQAR database. As President, Karl presided over the Register Committee, the General Assembly and the Executive Board. He spoke at many international conferences and events and additionally had numerous bilateral meetings with stakeholders and members.
Outcomes of the June Register Committee
The second Register Committee meeting of this year took place on 22 June, once again online. The Committee concluded that the following agencies work according to the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG), all three renewals of registration:
- AAC-DEVA - Andalusian Agency of Knowledge, Directorate for Evaluation and Accreditation AAC-DEVA reports in DEQAR
- ACSUCYL - The Quality Assurance Agency for the University System in Castilla y León ACSUCYL reports in DEQAR
- madri+d - Fundación para el Conocimiento Madrimasd madri+d Foundation for Knowledge madri+d reports in DEQAR
EQAR members convened online on 26 June, for their 16th General Assembly (GA), opened by the Croatian Minister of Science and Education, Blaženka Divjak. This was followed by a short presentation on how the European Quality Assurance Agencies adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic by Maria Kelo (ENQA, Director and EQAR EB).
Apart from the customary agenda items such as the annual accounts, the budget, the work plan and the annual report, there was the re-election of the EQAR President (see above), the election of the Executive Board and the approach and roadmap for the Self-Evaluation and External Evaluation of EQAR, the first starting this summer and the latter after the GA of 2021.
DEQAR: over 50 000 QA reports in our database
A veritable milestone was reached last month when DEQAR contained more than 50 000 quality assurance reports, uploaded by 34 EQAR-registered agencies. “Don’t know where, don’t know when”, but socially distanced celebrations will be in order as soon as EQAR members, committee members and other HE colleagues can meet again!
Setting up DEQAR was a considerable job, but the database would still be empty if it wasn't for the quality assurance agencies. We are grateful for their uploading efforts and enduring commitment.
Meanwhile, the DEQAR CONNECT project (Enhancing the Coverage and Connectivity of QA in the EHEA through DEQAR) further advanced by means of a second event: an ENIC-NARIC webinar. This time our ENIC NARIC project partners CIMEA, Nuffic, France Éducation Internationale (formerly CIEP) and CNRED discussed and exchanged information on how to use DEQAR data directly in the recognition workflow and digital credentialing.
We hope to have a proper workshop later this year, depending on the COVID-19 developments, where the ENIC NARICs can showcase good practices and further exchange experiences.
Annual Report 2019
The annual report is out and ready for your perusal on our website.
Last year was an eventful year, both literally and figuratively (and above all with real live events) in which EQAR accomplished a lot, all of which is recounted in the annual report. The number of registered agencies grew, Slovakia was welcomed as new governmental member and many DEQAR related activities took place, such as the further development and refinement of the database and the DEQAR Conference with more than 100 participants, marking the end of the first DEQAR project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme. Through these and various other activities, EQAR continued to focus and contribute to realising two of the three key commitments that underpin the EHEA, i.e. recognition and quality assurance.
Policy Brief & Interactive Online Tool
EQAR has recently prepared a Policy Brief on the topic of external QA activities in line with the ESG along with an accompanying interactive tool allowing a personalised search i.e. by country, QA agency and type of review. The Brief reflects on the latest trends and changes in the external quality assurance of higher education systems across and beyond the EHEA, including on the implementation of key commitments within the EHEA, cross-border quality assurance and European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes.
Some key takeaways from the Policy Brief:
- The year 2019 saw the highest number of external QA activities carried out by registered agencies.
- In 2019, registered agencies carried out more cross-border external QA activities outside the territories and countries of the EHEA than within, signalling an increasing demand for ESG type of external QA activities to be carried out for higher institutions beyond the EHEA.
- A small number of QA agencies have recorded either a continuous decrease in their activities for the past four years (A3ES, ACSUG, AKKORK and QAA) or a continuous increase (AQ Austria, NVAO, and QQI) signaling a change in their procedures but also a possible change within the higher education system(s) where they carry out external QA activities.
- The portfolio of EQAR-registered agencies includes over 300 types of external QA activities comprising of all forms of accreditations, evaluations, certification, assessments, audits or reviews within the scope of the ESG, signaling a diversified picture of external QA activities within the scope of the ESG.
We are pleased to introduce our new colleague Aleksandra Zhivkovikj who joined the Secretariat as Policy and Project Officer in July. She will support the Register, do general DEQAR maintenance work and will take on DEQAR CONNECT project related activities.
Aleksandra has a master’s degree in educational policies and development and until recently worked as a consultant at the OECD’s Directorate for Education and Skills. She takes over some of the tasks of Kathryn Mathe and Jelena Šantić Stefanoska, who left the EQAR Secretariat earlier this year.
More about Aleksandra’s background and tasks here