January 2014


Launching of IMPALA project

The project IMPALA: impact analysis of external quality assurance of higher education institutions, in which AQU Catalunya participates, was launched in Mannheim on 5 and 6 November. The four groups of partners introduced themselves at the meeting and there were discussions on the approach to the project, the work plan, as well as the different documents, questionnaires and reports that will need to be produced. For each university, one academic coordinator, the head of the university's quality unit and one student took part. Representation in the project from the three key stakeholders in external quality assurance, namely, QA agencies, academics and students, has thus been ensured right from the very beginning.

The various stages of the project are as follows:

  1. Development and publication of the methodology to analyse the impact of external quality assurance on HEIs.
  2. Application of this methodology for carrying out four case studies in four European countries. Each agency participating in the project (AQU Catalunya, ARACIS, FINHEEC and EVALAG) will carry out the external quality assurance, together with a simultaneous impact analysis.
  3. The mining and analysis of the data collected, and their subsequent dissemination.

Particular mention is made of the active involvement of students in this project right from the start and throughout all of the project's stages as a stakeholder in the effectiveness of EQA. In this regard, the project will need to allow for greater integration and enhancement as regards the contributions made by students to quality assurance.

The anticipated duration of the project is three years (2013-2016) and it involves 11 participants from six European countries, organised as follows:

Quality agencies Universities
EVALAG (Mannheim, Alemanya) University of Stuttgart (Germany)
AQU Catalunya Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
ARACIS (Bucarest, Romania) Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest (Romania)
FINHEEC (Hèlsinki, Finlàndia) Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

In addition to these four teams, each consisting of one QA agency and one university, the project also includes the following partners:

  • Prof. Dr. Bjørn Stensaker (Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway) as an academic expert
  • ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, Brussels, Belgium)
  • European Students Union (Brussels, Belgium)

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