A bimonthly publication of AQU Catalunya


January 2012

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More autonomy to quality assurance agencies in 2012 in order to simplify QA processes

The difficulties in resolving the public finance crisis that frequently made headline news at the end of 2011 are also difficulties that the universities and the Agency are facing. It is not a matter for the on-line newsletter to make an analysis of the causes and/or possible solutions to the economic crisis or the consequences of the reduction in spending by public authorities and agencies. I would however like to mention a few of the considerations that have remained hidden beneath the cloak of continuous growth in the higher education system, which in 2011 recalled the establishment twenty years ago of four universities, three public ones, the Universities of Girona and Lleida and the Roviri I Virgili University, and one private university, the Ramon Llull University. Best wishes to these four universities, and some food for thought regarding two important aspects that need to be addressed in 2012.

The first concerns the resources available to higher education. Resources that make the higher education system more dynamic are not just economic, but also legislative, and these range from regulations that affect the governance of institutions to others that govern many of their daily activities. Given the current scenario where efforts are needed to do more with less, it has to be acknowledged that certain rules of the game, which were drawn up by policy makers with the Official Spanish State Gazette in their hands and who provide no funding (the universities are a devolved competence), are the antithesis of efficiency.



  • The publicising of reports by AQU Catalunya
    Standard 2.5 on reports in the Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area states that "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".
    Editorial board - AQU Catalunya
  • AUDIT, three years on
    At an event held on 15 December at the Technical University of Catalonia/UPC, ANECA, ACSUG and AQU Catalunya presented the AUDIT certificates to the 109 faculties and schools at 24 universities whose designs for the internal quality assurance system (IQAS) of their study programmes was positively evaluated in what was the third occasion that the AUDIT programme has been run.
    Editorial board - AQU Catalunya


  • The importance of public information on recognised programmes offered at Catalan universities

    Gemma Espigares and Rosa del Hoyo
    AQU Catalunya Student Commission

    The fact that compulsory secondary education and even upper secondary education (batxillerat) are multidisciplinary and rigid can lead to uncertainty in students regarding the subject area they want to specialise in: the presence of an extensive and inelastic curriculum in secondary education leads to prospective students being unaware of what it means to study something they enjoy (or rather something they think they enjoy: the level at which an individual studies a particular subject can vastly change a student's perception of this, and some university disciplines are also not studied at all at the secondary education level). For this reason it is very important for universities to provide public information on the contents of their degree programmes.

    Royal Decree 1393/2007 established that quality assurance agencies must undertake the "monitoring of registered degrees, on the basis of the available public information". Following our experience in the monitoring programme, we are of the opinion that the analysis of degree programmes using this programme's guidebook is a good instrument for detecting shortcomings and implementing relevant enhancement proposals and to contribute to the quality of university studies.




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