A bimonthly publication of AQU Catalunya


March 2011

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Towards benchmarking

During the last few months of 2010, the Agency presented the Framework for the ex-ante assessment, monitoring, modification and accreditation of recognised degrees (known by its Catalan acronym as the VSMA Framework) to all of the universities, both public and private, in Catalonia, the aim being to explain the characteristics of the framework and receive feedback from those involved in its implementation. All together, around nine hundred (900) people took part, the majority of which were vice-principals, deans, heads of department, academic coordinators of recognised degree programmes, and university quality assurance and academic management staff.



  • The Quality Assessment Commission within the new framework for the quality assurance of university degree programmes
    On the 2 July 2010, the VSMA Framework for the ex-ante assessment, monitoring, modification and accreditation of recognised degree programmes was approved by the AQU Catalunya Board of Management. The Framework links together the four review processes that, from the legal standpoint, are compulsory for recognised degree courses and does so in a logical and conceptually coherent way in order to establish higher levels of efficiency in the management of the different internal and external review and evaluation processes that will need to be implemented.
    Josep Manel Torres Solà - Coordinator of Quality Assessment department
  • Exploring the future of quality assurance and enhancement strategies in higher education
    ENQA periodically carries out analytical surveys aimed at providing an up-to-date overview of the mechanisms of external quality assurance used in higher education in Europe. The first analysis carried out in 2002 served to identify the actors (agencies) and the methodologies used at the European level. The second analysis in 2007 updated the figures from the previous study and gauged the position of the agencies in relation to the European standards for quality assurance (ESG). ENQA is carrying out a third analysis in 2011, the objective of which is to promote talks on the impact of quality assurance methods and their potential development in the future.
    Josep Grifoll Saurí - Head of Quality Assessment department


  • External review and cultural differences

    Matti Kajaste
    Senior advisor, Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC)

    There is such an abundance of international co-operation, benchmarking and experience-sharing going on between European quality assurance agencies that it is sometimes easy to forget the differences that persist. A quality assurance agency and the type of evaluation method it utilises are, in my opinion, very much a product of the respective country's system of higher education. The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC), for example, has chosen a very enhancement-led quality audit model because of the need to respect university autonomy, a deeply rooted characteristic of the culture of higher education in Finland. Not every type of evaluation method is compatible with every culture of higher education however.




Generalitat de Catalunya

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© 2011 AQU Catalunya - Legal number B-21.910-2008