A bimonthly publication of AQU Catalunya


May 2012

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Yes to validation, no to the current procedure

The AQU Catalunya Board of Management (hereafter, the Board) hereby sets out its position regarding the validation process (ex-ante assessment) that university degree programmes must currently undergo before they can be introduced or modified and realigned to better meet society's needs and fulfil its expectations.

The Board recognises the willingness of the university authorities in Catalonia and their efforts to offer top quality degree programmes. Over the last eighteen months, programme validation involving new degrees has successfully been carried out in Catalonia, together with revalidation in the case of several of the first courses that were adapted in compliance with EHEA guidelines.

It also stresses the importance of validation as an essential step prior to the introduction of any course of study, the purpose being to guarantee the existence and coherence of the initial course plan (programme content). If validation did not exist, it would need to be created to assure programme quality right from the very beginning.

Validation is important. Nevertheless, it merely represents the first stage in the continuous improvement of degree courses, which is followed by monitoring, external review and accreditation.



  • Status of the 2012 international external review of AQU Catalunya
    It is a condition of membership of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and registration with the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) that all Full Members of ENQA successfully undergo an external review at least once every five years. In accordance with Spanish regulations, only QA agencies that are full members of ENQA and registered with the EQAR can carry out the validation (ex-ante accreditation) of recognised university degree programmes.
    Editorial board - AQU Catalunya
  • Meta-evaluation of the first year of programme validation, monitoring and modification
    Approximately two hundred people from Catalan universities participated in the session on the Meta-evaluation of the processes of validation, monitoring and modification of recognised degree programmes organised by AQU Catalunya, in conjunction with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), on 6 March 2012.
    Editorial board - AQU Catalunya


  • Observations on validation, monitoring and modification

    José Vicente Peña Calvo
    Professor, University of Ovideo

    The first meta-evaluation workshop-seminar on validation (ex-ante assessment), modification and monitoring of recognised programmes was held in Barcelona in March. Organised by AQU Catalunya, the workshop brought together representatives with responsibilities in academic management and quality from all the Catalan universities, together with reviewers with a professional background, academics, recipients of the services (students), and experts from the Agency. I had the opportunity to take part and learn about the contributions that, from markedly different points of view, the various representatives have been putting into practice over the last eighteen months in relation to what has come to be the process of validation and monitoring. With the information that I gathered and from my personal point of view, I've attempted below to set out my impressions, make an assessment and express one or two doubts for the sole purpose of promoting discussion on the processes of validation, modification and monitoring that are currently under way.

    Since the beginning of the long process of aligning university studies in Spain with the EHEA overarching framework for qualifications, there has been a gradual consolidation of a practice of critical review of the approaches used and the achievements made that has helped to standardise processes that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. The process of validation, monitoring, modification and ultimately accreditation, considered as a whole, is without any doubt an appropriate instrument for improvement. Nevertheless, I believe certain mechanisms need to be adjusted and improvements made in communication between the different authorities and institutions involved. The Meta-evaluation Workshop-seminar was, from my point of view, a good experience.




Generalitat de Catalunya

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

© 2012 AQU Catalunya - Legal number B-21.910-2008