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ENQA standards and guidelines

ENQA

The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) was established in 2000 to promote European co-operation in the field of quality assurance. AQU Catalunya has been a full member of ENQA since 2007.

ENQA disseminates information on experience, good practice and new developments in the field of quality assurance in higher education to European quality assurance agencies, public authorities and higher education institutions.

The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)

The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG) were adopted by the Ministers responsible for higher education in 2005 following a proposal prepared by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) in co-operation with the European Students’ Union (ESU), the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) and European University Association (EUA).

In 2012, a Ministerial Communiqué invited the E4 Group (ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE), in cooperation with Education International (EI), BUSINESSEUROPE and the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR), to prepare an initial proposal for a revised ESG "to improve their clarity, applicability and usefulness, including their scope".

Why was it considered necessary to revise the ESG? On the one hand, there was the need for the ESG to be adapted and updated, taking account of developments since their approval. From 2005 onwards, considerable progress was made in quality assurance as well as in other Bologna action lines such as qualification frameworks, recognition and the promotion of the use of learning outcomes, all of which has contributed to a paradigm shift towards student-centred learning and teaching. On the other hand, there was also the need for clarification of the ESG in order to avoid potential confusion with their interpretation.

The new version of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area was approved at the Ministerial Conference in Yerevan, held on 14 and 15 May 2015.

The purposes of the ESG are as follows:

  • They set a common framework for quality assurance systems for learning and teaching at European, national and institutional level.
  • They enable the assurance and improvement of quality of higher education in the European Higher Education Area.
  • They support mutual trust, thus facilitating recognition and mobility within and across national borders.
  • They provide information on quality assurance in the EHEA.

For use by higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies, the ESG are divided into three parts that together form the basis for a European quality assurance framework:

  • Standards and guidelines for internal quality assurance
  • Standards and guidelines for external quality assurance
  • Standards and guidelines for quality assurance agencies

ENQA reviews AQU Catalunya

For the purposes of recognition, QA agencies in Europe are required to demonstrate compliance with the ESG and must pass an ESG-based review in order to become members of ENQA and for inclusion in the EQAR register.

AQU Catalunya underwent ENQA-coordinated international external reviews in 2007 and 2012. The internal assessment process involved the Agency producing a self-evaluation report, the purpose of which was to show that the agency, both as an institution and in its current activities as a QA body, complies with the ESG.

During its external reviews, ENQA appoints a review panel consisting of independent experts with no conflict of interest with the agency to be reviewed, and who have knowledge and understanding of the activities undertaken by QA agencies and relevant experience in external review. The external review panel goes over the report, visits the agency that is being reviewed and draws up an external review report in which the panel establishes the level of compliance with each standard, based on the evidence obtained in the form of the self-evaluation report, the site visit and any additional documentation consulted.

During the five years subsequent to an ENQA-coordinated international review, each QA agency has to implement any enhancement recommendations stipulated in ENQA’s concluding external review report.

The ENQA review 2017 of AQU Catalunya

Informe d'autoavaluació per ENQAThe ENQA-appointed external review panel will visit AQU Catalunya between 5-8 February 2017 with the objective of analysing the Agency's compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) adopted by the Ministers responsible for higher education.

The self-assessment report for the review of compliance with the ESG was endorsed by the Standing Committee of AQU Catalunya's Governing Board in the session held on 21 November 2016.

PDF AQU CATALUNYA SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT 2017. External review of compliance with the ESG (2015) for confirmation of full membership of ENQA and renewal of registration with the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR)

The external review panel nominated by ENQA consists of:

  • Pedro Teixeira, Universidade do Porto, Portugal - chairman
  • Pieter-Jan Van de Velde, independent quality consultant, Belgium - secretary
  • Karena Maguire, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), Ireland
  • Adrian Tudor Stan, University of Medicina and Pharmacy "Victor Babes" in Timisoara, Romania - student

The ENQA review 2012 of AQU Catalunya

Following its analysis of the evidence detailed in the self-evaluation document and verification in the different focus groups and interviews, the ENQA external review panel concluded that AQU Catalunya was in compliance with the European standards and with the ENQA Membership Provisions to continue as a full member of the association for a further period of five years covering 2012-2017. The outcome of the review represents the international recognition of the work and endeavours being carried out in and by Catalan universities and the Agency in quality assurance and enhancement.

The documents produced during the review process were as follows:
 

PDF PDF Report of the panel of the ENQA coordinated review of the Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya (AQU Catalunya) (July 2012)

PDF PDF SELF-EVALUATION REPORT 2012. External review for the reconfirmation of AQU Catalunya as a full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (April 2012)

PDF PDF AQU Catalunya international external review 2012 [ca]

2007 review

An external review of AQU Catalunya was carried out by ENQA in 2007. Institutional and programme review, together with teaching and research, were all covered by this review.

Document PDF PDF ENQA review. Progress report of AQU Catalunya (September 2009)

Document PDF PDF Comments by AQU Catalunya regarding the Report of the panel reviewing the Agency for Quality Assurance in the Catalan University System (September 2007)

Document PDF PDF Report of the panel of ENQA coordinated review of the Agency for Quality Assurance in the Catalan University System (August 2007)

Document PDF PDF AQU Catalunya self-evaluation report (March 2007)

19.1.2017