A quarterly publication of AQU Catalunya


July 2018

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Reaccrediting degree programmes that have already been accredited

In accordance with Royal Decree 1393/2007, first (bachelor's) degrees must undergo accreditation once every six years and master's degrees once every four years. Although this differentiation is debatable, i.e. one based on the number of years according to the type of degree and not the outcome of the previous accreditation procedure, it would appear that this model, in which all degree programmes in Spain are cyclically reviewed in a procedure that involves a site visit by a panel of experts, is a good one. I won't dwell on the importance of proper institutional accreditation here, which is something I've already commented on in previous articles and forums I've been fortunate to participate in, and that provides for the regular review and quality assurance of learning providers (faculties and schools), not the degree programmes they deliver, and which allows efforts to be focused on the approximately 150 faculties and schools in Catalonia, instead of the 1,500 degree programmes that they deliver, if one takes into account all of the first degree, master's and doctoral programmes. The difference, albeit one zero, is immense, as is the cost in terms of economic and human resources for those most affected, namely, the universities and the Agency. So I will focus on the matter at hand. There are currently very few faculties and schools applying for institutional accreditation, and many degree programmes are reaching the stage where they will have to undergo a second accreditation procedure. This is, in particular, the case of master's programmes that were accredited by AQU Catalunya four years ago and which now have to apply again for accreditation.



  • Cross-sectional reports: analysis and enhancement proposals for first-degree programmes in Engineering in industrial sectors and logistics and first-degree programmes in Nursing
    AQU Catalunya has begun a series of cross-sectional studies to analyse the status of recognised degree programmes and provide valuable information on higher education and the university system in Catalonia. This is in addition to the findings of the quality assurance procedures that all recognised programmes undergo. These comparative reports group programmes on an ad hoc basis. First-degree programmes in Engineering in industrial sectors and logistics and first-degree programmes in Nursing have so far been analysed. Although the purpose of these two studies has been to establish a series of conclusions regarding the main strengths and weaknesses of the programmes reviewed and propose enhancement actions aimed mainly at the education and university authorities in Catalonia, the criteria were slightly different for each one. For the report on Engineering Sciences, information for the analysis was used from different sources, including the outcomes of review for programme accreditation, indicators of the system and the findings of the surveys of graduate employment outcomes and the Employers project (perspectives of employers regarding the skills and education level of recent graduates) carried out by AQU Catalunya.
    Eva Benito and Carme Edo - Senior advisors of Quality Assessment Department
  • In the direction of the institutional accreditation of learning providers
    Implementation of the system of institutional accreditation of learning providers (higher education institutions) means that we are now faced with a change of paradigm in that, from now onwards, recognised degree programmes will not necessarily need to undergo a process of individual review and evaluation in order to renew their accreditation. Receiving institution accreditation means that all recognised programmes delivered by a learning provider (faculty, school) become accredited for a renewable period of five years.
    Editorial Department - AQU Catalunya


  • Institutional accreditation: an important step in the right direction

    Jordi Riera i Romaní
    Vice-rector for Academic Policy, Deputy Rector, Ramon Llull University

    Royal Decree 420/2015, 29 May, on the establishment, recognition, authorization and accreditation of universities and faculties introduced the institutional accreditation of faculties at both public and private higher education institutions as an alternative model for the accreditation of recognised programmes governed by Royal Decree 1393/2007. Pursuant to this new legislation, on 13 March 2018, the Secretary General for Universities Resolution of 7 March was finally published, which sets out the instructions for the applications procedure of the new “institutional accreditation” of public and private HE institutions, together with all of the benefits of institutional accreditation. I do not wish to go into the benefits here, which are a matter of public knowledge, but would rather share a general thought related to the subject at hand. After eleven years of formalising and building an authentic new European higher education area, which places the focus on the transparency and accountability to society of the European university system, the transferability and recognition between countries of skills-based higher education learning outcomes, and the firm and determined general implementation of policies for the quality assurance ex-ante, during and ex-post of academic and teaching standards, I believe that we have reached an important, if not transcendent, point in this process.




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