A quarterly publication of AQU Catalunya


July 2016

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The EUC web portal (Degree courses at Universities in Catalonia)

The EUC web portal with the search engine that can be used to obtain information on the quality of any recognised Bachelor or Master's degree course at a university in Catalonia, was publicly launched this year on 1 June.

The idea to develop the EUC search engine came about because of the need, in line with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education (ESG), for the quality of degree programmes to be presented in a way that is easy to understand for all stakeholders, including school counsellors in secondary education, prospective university students and their families.

The response has been quite surprising, with more than 43,000 visits prior to my writing this editorial, which clearly shows how much interest there is in the quality of recognised higher education study programmes among the different stakeholder groups.

The EUC web portal, which can be accessed through mobile devices and in three languages, is structured according to various sections, the main ones being the home page; the search engine that offers an open search capability if one enters just the name of a given degree course as well as a closed search according to the type of programme (Bachelor or Master's), field of study or university. The tab on each course provides a description of the degree, the most recent quality assurance reports published with the corresponding certificates, quality labels and results for each item reviewed, in addition to the main indicators for each programme (admissions and enrolment, teaching staff, credit pass rate and drop-out rate, and graduate employment outcomes/placement).



  • The opinions of directors and supervisors of nursing on the Bachelor's degree in Nursing
    The objective of the study on the opinions of employers in the nursing sector forms part of the Employers project 2013-2015, which is funded by support from Obra Social/la Caixa, is to gather the opinions of employers as to the skills and training of recent graduates in Catalonia.

    The information made available through this project on the skills and competences of graduates in the system of universities and higher education in Catalonia, from the point of view of both graduates and employers, is the first of its type in Spain.

    The opinions of employers in the nursing sector were compiled using a methodology that was both quantitative and qualitative. The diagram below represents the three information gathering mechanisms used for assessing the education-skills match and suitability of courses being offered in nursing as regards the requirements of the labour market.

    Anna Prades - Project manager of Quality Assurance Department
  • Revision of the accreditation guide
    The original Guide to the Accreditation of Recognised Bachelor and Master's Degrees took a year to produce and was finally endorsed by AQU Catalunya's Quality Assurance Commission on 15 November 2013 following a process which took into account a series of criteria agreed with all other QA agencies in Spain and the opinions of the universities. The opinions of other important stakeholders in the system of universities and higher education in Catalonia were also incorporated following an unprecedented process of public consultation for AQU.

    At the same time that AQU was drawing up the guide, it also planned, together with the universities, the first faculty-level site visits of the teams of experts (review panels). These site visits commenced in May 2014. Since then, and up until June 2016, 141 site visits have been made to university faculties, schools and institutes and 521 undergraduate/Bachelor and Master's degree courses reviewed.

    Josep Manel Torres - Coordinator of Quality Assessment department


  • The EUC web portal: a guide to navigating the sea of data on the university system?

    Albert Gili and Aitor Palomares
    Members of Student Advisory Committee

    There has been much talk of late of information overload, or the inability to assimilate too much information. The concept arose with the progressive universalisation of access to information on the Internet and is here to stay. In view of this phenomenon, tools for filtering, aggregating and collating data are vital as a guide to navigating the existing sea of data, with travel browsers being but one of many examples. In the wide ocean of what is the system of higher education and universities in Catalonia, a new resource of this kind has recently become available with the EUC web portal (Degree Courses at Universities in Catalonia) developed by AQU Catalunya. The web portal, which functions basically as a search engine, provides access to information on any Bachelor or Master's degree offered by higher education institutions in Catalonia, including a description of the degree programme, the programme's latest quality assurance reports and various basic indicators. The EUC has been set up with a view to make all of this data available to a wide range of stakeholders and to present it in a way that is easy to access and understand. Will it be able to accomplish this goal?

    Compared to other applications that offer information on degree courses in Catalan universities, the main advantage of the EUC is, on the one hand, an emphasis on the clarity of the indicators for the purposes of comparison between different degree courses and, on the other, inclusion of the results of quality assurance review procedures, which is the most unique aspect of the web portal and makes the findings of quality assurance more accessible to society as a whole. This is important bearing in mind that, up until now, these results have mainly been handled within the institutional context of the universities.




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