A quarterly publication of AQU Catalunya


April 2015

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On 15 May the European Ministers for Education meeting in Yerevan (Armenia) endorsed the new ESG (Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area). To put it more colloquially, the ESG are the new guidelines for internal quality assurance systems in universities, for QA agencies in their role of checking whether these systems are effective or not, and for the auditing of the effectiveness of the role of the agencies within the system. In other words, the guidelines for "watching the watcher".

These standards will be analysed in greater detail later on, but for now I think it is important to underline two concepts that stand out in the new ESG: the need for management systems aimed at continuous improvement and the importance of constantly taking into consideration the needs and expectations of all stakeholders in higher education, in particular the students.



  • Certification of IQAs implementation
    There has been a shift in the university system in Catalonia as far as the quality assurance of study programmes is concerned that has involved formal systems of internal quality assurance (IQAs) being implemented in faculties, schools and departments, in accordance with European standards (ESG/European Standards and Guidelines) and in line with the context of quality assurance at European level.
    Josep Manel Torres Solà, Coordinator of Quality Assessment department; Miquel Vidal Espinar,Institutional review issues - Caterina Cazalla Lorite, Project manager i Esther Huertas Hidalgo, Project manager
  • Accreditation: methodology and external site visits
    The procedure for the accreditation of undergraduate (Bachelor's) and Master's programmes is described in the Guide to the accreditation of recognised Bachelor and Master's degrees. The guide is organised into four sections: the first gives an introduction to the legal framework and the European standards; the second describes the administrative formalities and required documents for the assessment; the key sections are the third and fourth, which contain the standards for assessment and the rubric charts.
    Editorial Department - AQU Catalunya


  • The accreditation of university degree courses: the sense and awareness of the reviewer

    Eduardo García Jiménez
    Professor at the University of Seville, and chair of the External Review Panel

    The accreditation of recognised university degree programmes is an important process from an administrative, institutional and educational, as well as social and individual point of view. It brings to an end, at least temporarily, a cycle of renewal of university curricula that began in 2007 with legislation introduced that same year (Royal Decree 1393/2007). Given that it is an administrative measure, i.e. the outcome of accreditation means that a university degree will either be listed with or excluded from the Spanish register of higher education institutions and degrees (RUCT), it also has consequences for the universities and their faculties, departments and schools as regards what is taught in a curriculum and, ultimately, for the society promoting and supporting the whole process.

  • The accreditation of recognised university degree programmes: an assessment of the experience

    Jesús Tricás Preckler
    Dean, IQS School of Management, Ramon Llull University

    IQS School of Management, which comes under the Ramon Llull University, underwent the process of accreditation of three of its recognised degree programmes in the autumn of 2014, the outcome of which was favourable for all three programmes and for all aspects that were assessed.

    The three programmes, the Bachelor's programme in Business Administration and Management, the Master's programme in Industrial Business Management and the Master's programme in International Marketing and Sales Management, were validated in 2008, 2009 and 2012 respectively.




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