EQAR NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 2022
News: Members' Dialogue on Future Perspectives of QA in Europe | Project news | Towards an inclusive EHEA by 2030 - call for applications | Season's greetings
Members' Dialogue on Future Perspectives of QA in Europe
EQAR members were very pleased to participate in our first in-person Members' Dialogue since 2019. Our host, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, accommodated us in the impressive Technology Centre of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design.
Prague around Christmas-time, an event in a brand-new building among art students, it seemed like the perfect cocktail for vivid debates and inspiring exchanges of ideas!
After a welcome from Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, Radka Wildová and EQAR President Karl Dittrich, the event kicked off with a plenary session on various measures and actions envisaged under the umbrella of the European Strategy for Universities and the Council Recommendation on building bridges for effective cooperation
Many other topics passed the revue, ranging from the QA of micro-credentials to the QA of the European Universities and the European Degree, the value of Cross-border QA, Transnational Education and the European Approach, as well as data-driven QA and staff mobility.
Participants also enjoyed the lively debate on the role of the ESG and EQAR registration (accountability tool or driver for change?) and the first public showcase of the visual solution for inclusion of alternative (non-higher education institution) providers in DEQAR.
More about our Members’ Dialogue here
EQAR is project partner in three projects that cover the topics of quality assurance (implementation of the key commitment), recognition (constructing recognition in the EHEA) and the future of the ESG.
1) Implementation and Innovation in QA through Peer Learning (IMINQA)
This umbrella project, coordinated by the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training, supports the work of the Bologna Thematic Peer Group C (TPG C) on Quality Assurance, focusing on the implementation of the key commitment on quality assurance in all EHEA countries.
EQAR is currently working on the presentation of alternative providers and micro-credentials evaluated in procedures following the ESG in DEQAR. The first version will be presented to the working group for micro-credentials at the end of February.
EQAR is carrying out a desk research analysis of legal and regulatory obstacles for QA procedures of the European Universities Alliances, under the coordination and support of Flemish Department of Education and Training (MINEDU-FC) and the IMINQA Working Group on the QA of European Universities. The analysis will feed into the group discussion on the QA framework of European Universities (based on the EUniQ framework).
With the support of the Romanian partners in the IMINQA project (ARACIS), EQAR will organise a Peer-Learning Activitiy (PLA) on Cross-border quality assurance (CBQA) and quality assurance of transnational education (TNE) in March 2023. This is the second topic of the three PLAs dedicated to facilitating good practice exchange between national authorities and stakeholders within the TPG C working group.
2) Quality Assurance Fit for the Future (QA FIT)
QA-FIT, coordinated by ENQA, addresses whether the ESG are "fit" for the future, and if not, how to make sure they are.
As part of a mapping exercise to collect evidence on the scope and implementation of quality assurance policies and practices, surveys for all stakeholder groups were sent out in November. The surveys have one common, almost identical part for all stakeholders, followed by specialised questions for each group.
Stakeholders' input is critical to the success of the mapping exercise, and thus the project. We would therefore like to encourage the invited stakeholders to fill in the survey by 9 January.
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 EHEA key commitment 2: national legislation and procedures compliant with the Lisbon Recognition Convention.
EQAR forms part of two project working groups; one on the quality of recognition and the second one on digitalisation of recognition tools.
In 2023/2024, the working group on digitalisation of recognition tools will organise three PLAs - each dedicated to sharing experiences about digitalisation of the three stages of the recognition process (input, throughput and output). In January 2023, the working group will open a call for the TPG B members to join a task force that will offer feedback on the content of the digital Diploma Supplement within the European Learning Model (ELM).
The working group on the quality of recognition (consisting of CIMEA, EUA, Nuffic, HARNO, ESU and EQAR) is currently preparing a questionnaire for higher education institutions, aiming to explore, among other aspects, how they assure the quality of their recognition processes. The questionnaire will be disseminated early 2023.
Find out more about the projects
Towards an inclusive EHEA by 2030 - call for applications
The consortium of the Erasmus+ co-funded BWSE FOR2030 project (Bologna with Stakeholders Eyes for an Innovative, Inclusive and Interconnected EHEA by 2030), of which EQAR is associate partner, has opened a call for applications to join the first of a series of three peer-learning activities (PLAs).
During the 2020 Rome Ministerial Conference, ministers for higher education expressed their commitment to building an inclusive, innovative and interconnected European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that underpins a sustainable, cohesive and peaceful Europe, by 2030. As such, the first peer-learning activity of this Erasmus+ co-funded project, on “Towards an inclusive EHEA by 2030”, aims to support the implementation of this vision by inviting participants to:
- engage in mutual learning and practice exchange;
- identify potential solutions to existing challenges;
- contribute to the formulation of tangible recommendations to support the effectiveness of the Bologna Process in the long term.
This on-site activity will be hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Dutch Center for Diversity Policy (ECHO) in The Hague, Netherlands, on 16-17 February 2023. The event is open to representatives of relevant ministries (i.e. covering higher education), higher education institutions, non-governmental organisations, students and other higher education stakeholders such as policy-makers and higher education experts from EHEA countries. A maximum of 18 participants will be selected through a call for applications, which is open until 15 January.
More about the PLA and how to apply here
Another busy year comes to a close. In 2022, we wrapped up the successful DEQAR CONNECT project, which consolidated DEQAR further and created new links with ENIC-NARICs as well as digital credential ecosystems (EDC and EBSI). We saw the first targeted reviews of registered agencies, bringing to life a new methodology co-created by ENQA and EQAR in 2021 to make reviews less repetitive and more enhancement-oriented. And last but not least, we saw three new projects (IMINQA, TPG-LRC CoRE and QA-FIT) kick off, each with a substantial contribution by EQAR. Especially the QA-FIT project will play a decisive role in shaping the future of the European quality assurance framework.
We gladly saw our opportunities to meet and discuss in person fully resuming in 2022. But we also had to witness the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine - a blatant violation of the EHEA's values and principles, which ultimately led to Russia's and Belarus' representation in the EHEA being suspended. While the Europe-wide solidarity with our Ukrainian friends was reassuring, this was a stark reminder that we cannot always take our shared fundamental values for granted.
Nevertheless, after such an eventful year we wish you and your loved ones a restorative holiday season and a New Year filled with hope and joy! Personally I look forward immensely to 2023 and my last three months as EQAR Director, and I hope to meet many of you once again in my current role before stepping down in March 2023.
Colin Tück (EQAR Director), on behalf of the whole EQAR team
Please note that the EQAR office will be closed from 24 December 2022 until 2 January 2023.