September 2010

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The AQU Board of Management endorses the Framework for the ex ante accreditation, monitoring, modification and accreditation of recognised degrees

The AQU Catalunya Board of Management has endorsed the instrument whereby the quality of recognised degree qualifications in Catalonia will be based on established processes of ex ante accreditation, monitoring, modification and accreditation. The aim is for consistent links to be established in quality assurance processes and greater efficiency promoted in the running of the different review processes that need to be introduced in both the universities and the Agency. The approved framework consists of:

  • The Agency is to carry out the ex ante accreditation of new degree proposals approved by a university by way of accreditation committees. The objective is to ensure that the formulation of new degrees is in accordance with the requirements of the European Higher Education Area, the qualifications framework, and that there is consistency between the content and objectives, in accordance with the approach within the different disciplines.
  • According to the established plan, primary responsibility for the monitoring of degree programmes and qualifications rests with the university, with AQU Catalunya acting as an external quality assurance agency. Degree programme coordinators will need to produce a progress report every year, a copy of which will need to be sent to AQU Catalunya. The Agency, through follow-up committees, will individually evaluate the programme progress reports that: contain substantial modification proposals, contain indicators that call for special attention, will need to be externally reviewed, or have been chosen at random.
  • Proposals to modify degrees can only be made as a consequence of the monitoring process and must be considered as a natural result of this process. Substantial modifications, or those that have a bearing on the administrative definition of a degree or its essential academic features, shall lead to the start of an ex ante accreditation process of the degree.
  • The Agency is to organise a number of external reviews of institutions each year through external review panels, whose work will be to simultaneously evaluate recognised degree programmes being offered through them, the objective being to ensure the external review of all university degrees at least once within the period stipulated by the legal regulations.
  • Accreditation of recognised degrees is to be issued by the corresponding Accreditation Committee and will be based on the degree programme progress reports, the evaluation reports drawn up by AQU Catalunya during the monitoring process and the external review reports. A programme’s accreditation report may: be positive; be positive with enhancement proposals; contain non-substantial modification proposals; contain substantial binding modifications and therefore call for a new ex ante accreditation of the degree; or propose the termination of authorisation to continue the curriculum.

The Board of Management gave its approval of the Framework on the basis that its implementation will undergo an annual review. It was also agreed that different sessions are to be held between the Agency and the universities to widely publicise the Framework.

The Board of Management is the Agency’s main governing body and is composed of the vice-chancellors (rectors) and social council chairpersons of the public universities in Catalonia, the majority of the vice-chancellors of the private universities, representatives of the Catalan government and academics of renowned prestige.

PDF Framework for the ex ante accreditation, monitoring, modification and accreditation of recognised degrees [ca]


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© 2010 AQU Catalunya - Legal number B-21.910-2008