EQAR NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 2021
News: Register Committee results | DEQAR CONNECT Conference | Staff Mobility report | The European QA Framework for European Universities (EUniQ project) | Season's greetings
Register Committee results
The Register Committee convened online on 13 December, for the third and last time of 2021 and approved the following applications for inclusion/renewal of registration on the Register:
- AKKAST - Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Canonical Programmes of Studies in Germany (initial application)
- ACQUIN - Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (renewal application) ACQUIN reports in DEQAR
The Register Committee (RC) took note of the Change Reports of ARACIS, AEQES and EKKA and discussed the current developments related to quality assurance of micro-credentials and alternative providers and the consequences for DEQAR.
DEQAR CONNECT Conference
The virtual project conference “From Data to Policy – Linking Quality Assurance and Recognition”, a conference for the Bologna working structures on quality assurance and recognition was held on 6-7 December and gathered 182 representatives of ministries of education, quality assurance agencies, ENIC-NARICs and experts on higher educational policies from across the European Higher Education Area.
The event featured presentations, panel discussions and poster presentations by and with experts and stakeholders on the state of play of DEQAR, the integration of DEQAR in recognition workflows, the possibilities of using and merging DEQAR data for policy making at national and European level and the potential of connecting DEQAR to the European ecosystems for digital credentials.
The main conclusion of the conference was that DEQAR is seen as a great success. Speakers praised the initiative and both stakeholders and experts are convinced of DEQAR’s usefulness and value. It was also pointed out that DEQAR is crucial in the (real) system level automatic recognition.
It was furthermore alluded to that DEQAR’s full potential could be more extensive than originally foreseen, when looking at the possibilities of interoperability and DEQAR API integration in general and integration with digital credential ecosystems specifically. Reaching this full potential will not happen overnight and will require persistence and diligence. In short; to be continued!
Staff Mobility report
The Final Report of the Staff Mobility Project has just been published. The project was developed to offer peer support in the implementation of one of the three key commitments of the Bologna Process i.e. having a fully functioning quality assurance system in operation nationwide, in which all or most higher education institutions are subject to regular external quality assurance by an agency that has successfully demonstrated compliance with the ESG through registration on the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR).
Over the past two years, the staff mobility project enabled 25 mobilities (22 physical and 3 virtual mobilities) between QA agencies and ministries of education across Europe. The project was heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing only one third of the 81 foreseen mobilities to effectively take place. Nevertheless, even at a smaller scale, the project has proven to be a success.
The European QA Framework for European Universities (EUniQ project)
The EUniQ project has worked over the past two years on the development of a European approach for comprehensive Quality Assurance of European Universities in order to assure quality education across European borders, while complying with the plethora of national regulations. The European Framework for Quality Assurance of European Universities was developed for and in co-creation with European Universities.
Although the EUniQ project has ended, discussions will now have to start both at national and at European level on how to facilitate the QA of European Universities and the implementation of the Framework. To this end, a Roadmap has been developed, outlining the pertinent issues for implementation, made all the more complex by the multiplicity of stakeholders. We sincerely hope that all parties involved will take up the challenges for the final mile!
We wish you, your family and other loved ones, a holiday season filled with laughter and joy and a healthy, happy 2022.
Another fruitful and busy year has gone by with, once again, many online meetings. Hope springs eternal, so we count on seeing you next year in person!
Karl Dittrich (EQAR President)
Colin Tück, Melinda Szabo, Annelies Traas, Pooja Venkatesh & Sandra Zhivkovikj (EQAR Secretariat)
(PS: Please note that the EQAR office will be closed from 25 December 2021 until 3 January 2022.)