A bimonthly publication of AQU Catalunya


November 2011

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AQU Catalunya: fifteen years of continuous enhancement

Fifteen years have passed since AQU Catalunya was established. Over this period of time the Agency's remit has evolved and it will continue to do so as it adapts to the changing times, but not its intention: a constant of both past and present activities developed by the Agency is the continuous enhancement of Catalan universities.

During these fifteen years, the system of higher education has undergone an enormous transformation. The big change as far as degree programmes is concerned has been their adaptation in line with EHEA regulations, and with academic staff it has been the defining of contract teaching as an alternative to public service recruitment.

This transformation, which I hereby note has taken place in a very short period of time and on occasions lacking a clear vision of the future, has seen certain initiatives set in motion by university-related bodies – policy makers, authorities, universities and agencies – without due care and attention and without account being taken of the consequences, which has meant that considerable effort has been required by the universities to carry them out.



  • The review of doctoral programmes
    Royal Decree 99/2011, 28 January, concerning the regulation of recognised doctorate degrees, established a new regulatory framework that sets in place a new structure for doctoral programmes based on the guidelines of the European Higher Education Area and the recommendations of different European and international forums.
    Josep Manel Torres Solà - Coordinator of Quality Assessment department
  • Levels of satisfaction among university academic staff as assessed by AQU Catalunya
    AQU Catalunya's Teaching Staff and Research section has been using a procedure since 2008 to analyse the level of satisfaction of applicants using satisfaction surveys. A questionnaire is sent once a year to everyone who has applied for a junior lecturer assessment report or the accreditation of research (for senior lecturers).
    Esteve Arboix Codina - Head of Teaching Staff Assessment department


  • The time has come for the doctorate degree

    Gemma Rauret Dalmau
    Professor of Analytical Chemistry, ex-Director of AQU Catalunya

    In order to produce good doctorate students, a two-fold approach to PhDs is necessary: as training in research as a professional activity, and as a form of personal development. Addressing these two training objectives is fundamental, although it is not easy. Up until now, a lot of effort has been put into training in research and adequate tools have been provided for personal development, but no mechanisms have been set in place to detect whether they are successfully assimilated by PhD holders or to apply appropriate corrective measures.

    Policy makers in Europe, and more recently in Spain, have adapted the regulatory frameworks and developed specific policies to promote doctoral studies according to this approach. The universities have developed or are developing a new internal organisation aimed at managing doctoral programmes and doctoral schools (graduate schools).




Generalitat de Catalunya

Via Laietana, 28, 5a planta 08003 Barcelona. Spain. Tel.: +34 93 268 89 50

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