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Quality Assurance in Higher Education

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Quality Assurance in Higher Education

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  1. Quality Assurance in Higher Education Quality culture and adaptabilityan attempt to answer to the question of competitiveness in higher education Bruno CURVALE Responsible for the international activities Agence d’évaluation de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur, France ENQA Vice President (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) Bologna expert (French national team)

  2. Outlines of the presentation • The mains actors of the development of QA in the EHEA: ENQA, the E4 • Competitiveness, attractiveness and education: how do these words connect? • What do we mean by QA culture? • What are the criteria of effective QA in higher education? The points that will be addressed …

  3. ENQA • ENQA started in 1999-2000 as a network of Quality Assurance agencies from a recommendation of the European Council (98/561/EC) • It is since a 2005, an association open to the agencies of the countries that participate to the Bologna process • ENQA counts today more than 40 members (representing 20 countries) • ENQA is a consultative member of the BFUG

  4. The E4 • EUA - The European University Association • EURASHE - The European Association of Institutions in Higher Education • ESU (ex ESIB) - European Students’ Union • ENQA

  5. The Bologna process • 46 countries involved • Two central notions: attractiveness and competitiveness • transparency, compatibility, comparability, flexibility of the European Higher education systems; • Accent put more and more on quality assurance; • Accent also put on the necessary dialogue of the stakeholders: HEIs, students, academics, employers and society in the general sense of the word. (Paris 1998) - Bologna 1999 - Prague 2001- Berlin 2003 - Bergen 2005 - London 2007 - Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve 2009

  6. Competitiveness and attractiveness • Two words that may frightened; • Two challenges that have to be take up: massification and excellence; • Two keys for future: social cohesion and development. Let us be concrete and pragmatic • A conception of QA specific to education; • Quality as the distance between the intentions (the goals) and the fulfilments.

  7. The directions as regards QA • Responsibility of the HEIs • Shared values and commitments of all commuties involved (academics, administrative and support staff, students) • Internal quality assurance mechanisms • Protection and improvement of the quality of the educational offer • Fair information to publics -> Quality culture • Responsibility of the States • National quality framework • Responsibility of the external evaluators • Independence, transparency, relevance  Quality as a co-production … through the interactions of a plurality of legitimate actors (Cf. Quality Convergence Study, ENQA Occasional Papers, 2005)

  8. Since Bergen 2005 … • The internal evaluation is the corner stone of quality assurance in higher education. • The external evaluation is a condition of the credibility of the results of the internal evaluation. • External evaluators are accountable for the quality of their activities. • ENQA membership. A positive external evaluation is one of the condition for being recognised as a full member (cyclical evaluation). • A European register of the trustable QA agencies will be set up. • A tool for : facilitating recognition ; acting against bogus HEIs and QA agencies ; increasing trust, … (adopted in London 2007) • A European Consultative Forum for Quality Assurance in Higher Education is set up. • First meeting “Embedding quality culture in higher education”, 23-25 November 2006, Munich • Second meeting “Implementing and Using Quality Assurance: Strategy and Practice”, 15-17 November 2007, Roma Standards and guidelines for quality assurance underpin the development of QA in the EHEA (46 countries).

  9. Consequences for the HEIs • The European standards deal with the educational activities of the HEIs. They are demanding as regard the objectives to be reach. They are not normative as regard the tools, the procedures and the organisation. It is up to each institution to develop its own quality culture and to put in place the policies, the strategies and the systems adapted to its situation and ambition. • The HEIs’ quality assurance mechanisms have to satisfy their proper needs but also the expectations of their partners, communities and stakeholders. The first set of standards clarifies the goals. The guidelines clarify the philosophy of the standards, and where appropriate, suggest good practices.

  10. Consequences for the agencies • The agencies have to verify the HEIs’ achievements as regard the European standards and guidelines for internal quality assurance (first set of standards). • The agencies have to use procedures that comply with the European standards and guidelines for the external quality assurance of higher education (second set of standards). • The agencies in order to be recognised as trustworthy have to prove that they fulfil the requirements of the European standards for external quality assurance agencies (third set of standard).

  11. Consequences for the States The consequences follow from: “ We adopt the standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area as proposed by ENQA. We commit ourselves to introducing the proposed model for peer review of quality assurance agencies on a national basis, while respecting the commonly accepted guidelines and criteria.” “The European Higher Education Area - Achieving the Goals” Communiqué of the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education, Bergen, 19-20 May 2005

  12. As a conclusion • …

  13. AÉRES 20 rue Vivienne, F-75002 Paris Tel : +33 (0) 1 55 55 62 58 Fax : +33 (0) 1 55 55 63 94 bruno.curvale@orange.fr http://www.enqa.net

  14. The members of ENQA (1/3) Appendix 1 Austria Austrian Accreditation Council, Vienna FHR - Fachhochschulrat, Vienna Belgium Council of Flemish Institutions of Higher Education, Brussels EUA - European University Association - Institutional Evaluation Programme VLIR - Flemish Interuniversity Council, Brussels Cyprus CEEA - Council of Educational Evaluation-Accreditation, Nikosia Czech Republic Accreditation Commission of the Government of the Czech Republic, Prague Denmark EVA - Danish Evaluation Institute, Copenhagen Estonia Estonian Higher Education Quality Assessment Council, Tallinn Finland FINHEEC - Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council , Helsinki France AÉRES - Agence d’évaluation de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur (ex CNÉ), Paris CTI - Commission des Titres d'Ingénieur, Paris

  15. The members of ENQA (2/3) Appendix 1 Germany Accreditation Council, Bonn ACQUIN - Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute, Bayreuth FIBAA - Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation, Bonn HRK - Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - Projekt Qualitatssicherung, Bonn ZEvA - Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency Hannover, Hannover EVALAG - Stiftung Evaluationsagentur Baden-Wuerttemberg, Mannheim Hungary HAC - Hungarian Accreditation Committee, Budapest Ireland HEA - Higher Education Authority, Dublin HETAC - Higher Education and Training Awards Council, Dublin Italy CNVSU - Comitato Nazionale per la Valutazione del Sistema Universitario, Rome Latvia HEQEC - Higher Education Quality Evaluation Centre, Riga The Netherlands NQA - Netherlands Quality Agency, Utrecht NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders, The Hague QANU - Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities, Utrecht

  16. The members of ENQA (3/3) Appendix 1 Norway NOKUT - Norwegian Agency of Quality Assurance in Education, Oslo Portugal CNAVES - Conselho Nacional de Avaliação do Ensino Superior, Lisbon Slovak Republic Accreditation Commission, Bratislava Spain ANECA - National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain, Madrid Agencia Andaluza de Evaluación, Córdoba AQU - Agency for Quality Assurance in the Catalan University System, Barcelona Sweden NAHE - National Agency for Higher Education, Stockholm UK QAA - Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Gloucester 3

  17. Appendix 2 The countries that participate to the Bologna process 1999 Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Danemark, Espagne, Estonie, Finlande, France, Grèce, Hongrie, Islande, Irlande, Italie, Lettonie, Lituanie, Luxembourg, Malte, Norvège, Pays-Bas, Pologne, Portugal, République Slovaque, République tchèque, Roumanie, Royaume-Uni, Slovénie, Suède, Suisse. 2001 Croatie, Liechtenstein, Turquie. 2003 Albanie, Principauté d’Andorre, Bosnie-Herzégovine, « ex-République yougoslave de Macédoine », Russie, Saint Siège, Serbie-Monténegro. 2005 Arménie, Azerbaïdjan, Géorgie, Moldavie, Ukraine. 2007 Monténégro. 5

  18. Appendix 3 The corner stone of quality assurance in HE … “They [the Ministers] also stress that consistent with the principle of institutional autonomy, the primary responsibility for quality assurance in higher education lies with each institution itself and this provides the basis for real accountability of the academic system within the national quality framework.“ … “Realising the European Higher Education Area” Communiqué of the Conference of Ministers responsible for Higher Education, Berlin, on 19 September 2003 8

  19. Appendix 4 The European register The European register The purposes • To promote student mobility by providing a basis for the increase of trust among the higher education institutions; • To provide a basis for governments to authorise higher education institutions to choose any agency from the Register, if that is compatible with national arrangements; • To provide a means for the higher education institutions to choose between different agencies, if that is compatible with national arrangements; • To serve as an instrument to improve the quality of the quality assurance agencies and to promote mutual trust between them; • To reduce opportunities for “accreditation mills” to gain credibility. 8

  20. Appendix 5 Part 1. ESG for internal quality assurance within HEIs • 1.1 Policy and procedures for quality assurance: Institutions should have a policy and associated procedures for the assurance of the quality and standards of their programmes and awards. They should also commit themselves explicitly to the development of a culture which recognises the importance of quality, and quality assurance, in their work. To achieve this, institutions should develop and implement a strategy for the continuous enhancement of quality. The strategy, policy and procedures should have a formal status and be publicly available. They should also include a role for students and other stakeholders. • 1.2 Approval, monitoring and periodic review of programmes and awards: Institutions should have formal mechanisms for the approval, periodic review and monitoring of their programmes and awards. • 1.3 Assessment of students: Students should be assessed using published criteria, regulations and procedures which are applied consistently. • 1.4 Quality assurance of teaching staff: Institutions should have ways of satisfying themselves that staff involved with the teaching of students are qualified and competent to do so. They should be available to those undertaking external reviews, and commented upon in reports. • 1.5 Learning resources and student support: Institutions should ensure that the resources available for the support of student learning are adequate and appropriate for each programme offered. • 1.6 Information systems: Institutions should ensure that they collect, analyse and use relevant information for the effective management of their programmes of study and other activities. • 1.7 Public information: Institutions should regularly publish up to date, impartial and objective information, both quantitative and qualitative, about the programmes and awards they are offering. 9

  21. Appendix 5 Part 2. ESG for the external quality assurance of higher education • 2.1 Use of internal quality assurance procedures: External quality assurance procedures should take into account the effectiveness of the internal quality assurance processes described in Part 1 of the European Standards and Guidelines. • 2.2 Development of external quality assurance processes: The aims and objectives of quality assurance processes should be determined before the processes themselves are developed, by all those responsible (including higher education institutions) and should be published with a description of the procedures to be used. • 2.3 Criteria for decisions: Any formal decisions made as a result of an external quality assurance activity should be based on explicit published criteria that are applied consistently. • 2.4 Processes fit for purpose: All external quality assurance processes should be designed specifically to ensure their fitness to achieve the aims and objectives set for them. • 2.5 Reporting: Reports should be published and should be written in a style, which is clear and readily accessible to its intended readership. Any decisions, commendations or recommendations contained in reports should be easy for a reader to find. • 2.6 Follow-up procedures: Quality assurance processes which contain recommendations for action or which require a subsequent action plan, should have a predetermined follow-up procedure which is implemented consistently. • 2.7 Periodic reviews: External quality assurance of institutions and/or programmes should be under taken on a cyclical basis. The length of the cycle and the review procedures to be used should be clearly defined and published in advance. • 2.8 System-wide analyses: Quality assurance agencies should produce from time to time summary reports describing and analysing the general findings of their reviews, evaluations, assessments etc. 10

  22. Appendix 5 Part 3. ESG for external quality assurance agencies • 3.1 Use of external quality assurance procedures for higher education: The external quality assurance of agencies should take into account the presence and effectiveness of the external quality assurance processes described in Part 2 of the European Standards and Guidelines. • 3.2 Official status: Agencies should be formally recognised by competent public authorities in the European Higher Education Area as agencies with responsibilities for external quality assurance and should have an established legal basis. They should comply with any requirements of the legislative jurisdictions within which they operate. • 3.3 Activities: Agencies should undertake external quality assurance activities (at institutional or programme level) on a regular basis. • 3.4 Resources: Agencies should have adequate and proportional resources, both human and financial, to enable them to organise and run their external quality assurance process(es) in an effective and efficient manner, with appropriate provision for the development of their processes and procedures. • 3.5 Mission statement: Agencies should have clear and explicit goals and objectives for their work, contained in a publicly available statement. • 3.6 Independence: Agencies should be independent to the extent both that they have autonomous responsibility for their operations and that the conclusions and recommendations made in their reports cannot be influenced by third parties such as higher education institutions, ministries or other stakeholders. • 3.7 External quality assurance criteria and processes used by the agencies: The processes, criteria and procedures used by agencies should be pre-defined and publicly available. These processes will normally be expected to include: • • a self-assessment or equivalent procedure by the subject of the quality assurance process; • • an external assessment by a group of experts, including, as appropriate, (a) student member(s), and site visits as decided by the agency; • • publication of a report, including any decisions, recommendations or other formal outcomes; • • a follow-up procedure to review actions taken by the subject of the quality assurance process in the light of any recommendations contained in the report. • 3.8 Accountability procedures: Agencies should have in place procedures for their own accountability. 10