Newsletter – June 2015
Four agencies newly admitted to the Register
The Register Committee met in Dublin on 4/5 June to discuss a number of (renewal) applications and the transition to the revised ESG.
The following agencies have demonstrated their substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) and were admitted to the Register:
- BAC - British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education
- fmid - Fundación para el Conocimiento Madridmasd
- KAA - Kosovo Accreditation Agency
- QQI - Quality and Qualifications Ireland
The Register Committee further decided to renew the registration of another three agencies:
- ACSUCYL – Agency for the University System in Castilla y Léon
- AHPGS - Accreditation Agency in Health and Social Science
- evalag – Evaluation Agency Baden-Würrtemberg
The Register now includes 40 agencies from 20 different European higher education systems.
Ministers adopt revised ESG and European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes
At the ninth EHEA Ministerial Conference, Ministers adopted the Yerevan Communiqué including the Revised Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) and the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes.
The revision process started in 2012, when Ministers mandated the E4 group in cooperation with Education International, BUSINESSEUROPE and EQAR to revise the ESG in order “to improve their clarity, applicability and usefulness, including their scope” and submit their proposal to the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG).
The EQAR Register Committee has been preparing for the adoption of the Revised ESG at various stages of the process and on different levels. In early June, a policy document on the Use and Interpretation of the ESG as well as information on the future application process will be published.
» Revised European Standards and Guidelines (ESG)
» Background information on the ESG revision
» European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes
» Background information on the European Approach
Transition to the revised ESG
The revised version of the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) brings along a number of changes for agencies seeking registration on EQAR. The Register Committee adopted a policy on the Use and Interpretation of the ESG to provide an official EQAR interpretation of the ESG ex ante.
The policy aims to further increase transparency, understanding and consistency within the decision-making process of the Register Committee. The main target groups of the policy on the Use and Interpretation of the ESG are the quality assurance agencies, the external review coordinators and the external review panels.
Moldova's new legal provisions for QA
The Moldavian Ministry of Education has put forward a proposal for a new Code of Education in 2014 that sets out new provisions for the legal framework on quality assurance.
Following the entry into force of the law, higher education institutions in Moldova may request for their external review their national quality assurance agency or any other suitable foreign EQAR-registered QA agency. The quality assurance agency has to follow the national standards to carry out the review. In the last year, two EQAR-registered agencies (AQAS and ARACIS) have successfully carried out reviews of programmes and institutions.
The Code of Education also stipulates that higher education institutions from other countries may establish branches within the Republic of Moldova and their status of higher education provider is granted if they have been accredited by a quality assurance agency listed in EQAR. Moldova further expects to have its national quality assurance agency listed in the Register within 3 years of its establishment.
Call for re-accreditation of HEIs in Montenegro
The Montenegrin Ministry of Science, Research and Economy launched a call to all EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies (EQAR) earlier last month. QA agencies were invited to submit their proposal for the re-accreditation procedures of four higher education institutions in Montenegro. The costs of the review will be borne by the institution.The decision on the selected QA agency will be published on the Ministry's website later this month.
For our upcoming newsletters we plan to introduce a bulletin board with brief news and updates related to EQAR and the European quality assurance framework, for example:
- Proposals concerning the use of EQAR in the national quality assurance frameworks of your country;
- Use of the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes;
- Use of the ESG and EQAR for cross-border recognition of quality assurance outcomes;
- Media coverage on EQAR in your country or institution.
Please submit any suggestions for news and updates to email@example.com.