EQAR NEWSLETTER - NOVEMBER 2022
News: Register Committee decisions | Call for EQAR President 2023-2026 | Upcoming vacancy for Director | Project updates | Changes at the Secretariat | EQAF registration
Register Committee decisions
At the most recent Register Committee meeting, held in Brussels on 24-25 October, the Register Committee approved the applications of the following agencies:
ANQA - National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance (Armenia)
ANQA reports in DEQAR
AQU - Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (Spain)
AQU reports in DEQAR
IQAA - Independent Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (Kazakhstan)
IQAA reports in DEQAR
SKVC - Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (Lithuania)
SKVC reports in DEQAR
GAC - German Accreditation Council (initial application)
GAC has been uploading reports to DEQAR on behalf of the EQAR-registered agencies in Germany already and will continue to centrally feed DEQAR for all reports that are part of the official accreditation system in Germany.
The Committee also discussed various eligibility applications and substantive changes submitted by agencies. Another topic of discussion was the Committee's expectations with regard to the nature of external QA activities certified against the ESG and the separation from other external QA activities outside the scope of the ESG and how to better clarify this to applicant agencies.
Call for EQAR President 2023-2026
EQAR is looking for a suitable individual to fill the position of President for the term 1 July 2023 until 30 June 2026, and to thus succeed EQAR’s current President, Karl Dittrich, who will finish his (second and last possible) mandate next year.
The President of EQAR (among others) chairs the Executive Board, the Register Committee and the General Assembly and represents EQAR externally at high-level events and meetings with governments, QA agencies, higher education institutions and stakeholder organisations. In light of these responsibilities, candidates for the position of President are expected to fulfil the following criteria:
- independence of EQAR’s members and quality assurance agencies;
- senior leadership experience in higher education;
- good knowledge of quality assurance and policy developments in higher education at the European level;
- experience in chairing discussions in a complex environment;
- excellent diplomatic and social skills;
- excellent command of English and full confidence as public speaker.
The closing date for candidacies is 21 November 2022.
Download the full Call for Candidates on our website and find out more about the selection process, logistical and financial aspects and how to submit your candidacy.
Upcoming vacancy for Director
Due to the notified departure of its current Director, Colin Tück (see "Changes at the Secretariat"), EQAR is keen to get into contact with suitable candidates for the role of Director. The Director leads EQAR, prepares the policies and projects, and is the main advisor to the General Assembly, the Board and the Register Committee. This is a multi-faceted and demanding job, and is in high esteem within the Bologna Process. We are looking for a highly motivated and accomplished person with, among others, the following skills and experience:
- at least a number of years of experience – at European/international level with preference – in managing an organisation of a similar scale, in managing and coordinating projects (including financial management), or equivalent experience;
- thorough knowledge and experience in European policies and practices in quality assurance of higher education;
- excellent organisational and communication skills, including ability to draft and speak in English (full proficiency), with knowledge of French being an advantage;
- ability to work both independently and as part of a team, in a complex international environment: intercultural and political sensitivity, as well as strong negotiation skills are necessary.
Download the full job offer on our website and find out more about the responsibilities, tasks, what we offer and the application process. Convince us that it is “you we are looking for” before 15 December 2022.
EQAR is project partner in three very fitting projects, dealing with quality assurance, recognition and the ESG, which have all started their activities since the summer. Moreover EQAR is an expert in a fourth project, SEQA ESG, which is about to come to an end soon.
1) Implementation and Innovation in QA through Peer Learning (IMINQA)
This is an umbrella project, coordinated by the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training, to support the work of the Bologna Thematic Peer Group C on Quality Assurance, focusing on the implementation of the key commitment on quality assurance in all EHEA countries.
The first Peer Learning Activity on “Aligning the legal frameworks with the ESG” took place in September and gathered around 30 participants representing governmental members of the Bologna Thematic Peer Group on QA and stakeholders, looking into the key issues in internal and external QA, the barriers to ESG compliance and the status/role of external QA in different countries.
Staff mobilities have also started and EQAR was happy to receive, together with VLUHR QA and ENQA, a representative of the Polish Accreditation Committee (PKA) for a short introduction meeting. The first staff mobility round included applications mostly by QA agencies (34), followed by ministries (4) and stakeholder organisations (3). There is still time to be mobile and jump on the bandwagon, since a second Call for Applications will be launched in February 2023. Stay tuned!
2) Quality Assurance Fit for the Future (QA FIT)
QA-FIT, coordinated by ENQA, will address whether the ESG are "fit" for the future, and if not, how to make sure they are. Some stakeholders have found that further revisions to the ESG are indispensable in order to reflect recent developments, allow more room for innovation and facilitate a more flexible application of common standards.
A mapping exercise to collect evidence on the scope and implementation of quality assurance policies and practices, started recently by drawing up surveys for all stakeholder groups. The surveys have one common, almost identical part for all stakeholders, followed by specialised questions for each group, with EQAR mainly focusing on the questions for ministries.
The surveys will be sent today and we would like to stress the importance of participating in the survey. Without stakeholder input, we cannot go forward and if we don't go forward we stagnate and if we stagnate we risk going backwards.
3) The TPG-LRC Constructing Recognition in the EHEA (TPG-LRC CoRE)
The TPG (Thematic Peer Group) - LRC (Lisbon Recognition Convention) Constructing Recognition in the EHEA is an umbrella project, coordinated by CIMEA (the Italian ENIC-NARIC) and aims at supporting the implementation of the Bologna Process, focusing on key commitment 2: national legislation and procedures compliant with the Lisbon Recognition Convention.
EQAR is coordinating the work on digitalisation of recognition processes, which will aim to connect the TPG members with the developments of the European Learning Model (ELM), with a focus on the diploma supplement. The activities will also include peer-learning opportunities for TPG members on adopting digital tools, and will be wrapped up with a mapping of digital tools for recognition.
4) Supporting European QA Agencies in meeting the ESG (SEQA-ESG)
The main objective of the SEQA-ESG project is to support a number of quality assurance agencies and national authorities to create an ESG-compliant QA system, which is one of the Bologna Process key commitments. EQAR is an expert in this ENQA coordinated project.
In this capacity, EQAR contributed to a number of progress visits with the QA agencies and ministries of Montenegro, Albania, Slovakia, Czechia and Moldova. These peer counselling sessions would normally gather (apart from ENQA and EQAR representatives) national authorities, the agency and key stakeholders to discuss what steps were taken since the initial policy dialogues (late 2020), the resulting action plans as well as encountered challenges.
In view of the upcoming conclusion of the SEQA-ESG project, a closing webinar is organised ‘Overcoming obstacles in reaching compliance with the ESG: lessons learnt from the SEQA-ESG project’. The webinar will take place on Wednesday 23 November 2022 at 10.00 -12.30 CET and is open to everyone interested in ESG-compliance for QA agencies.
The webinar aims to share experiences and showcase developments from QA agencies and national authorities on how to address system/legal, organisational and practice-related challenges in complying with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA. Click here to fill in the registration form
Changes at the Secretariat
After 15 years of working for EQAR, Director Colin Tück has recently announced that he will step down from his function next March. While we will all be very sorry to see Colin leave, we understand and respect his decision to go out and look for pastures new!
On a happier note, we are pleased to introduce our new colleague Blazhe Todorovski who joined the Secretariat as Policy and Project Officer in October. He supports the Register (analyse applications and change reports, review & update information, guide agencies) and does project related work, and desk research.
Blazhe holds a master degree in corporate law (LLM) from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. Before joining EQAR he worked as a Review Officer at MusiQuE – Music Quality Enhancement. Blazhe also served as Vice President of the European Students’ Union and was an EQAR board member for one year.
It’s that time of the year again: time to register for the European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF). This year’s forum “Shaping or sharing? QA in a value-driven EHEA”, takes place on 17-19 November, hosted by West University of Timișoara, Romania.
Check out the programme and register before 8 November.