A quarterly publication of AQU Catalunya


January 2017

  • Youtube


2017: Ever more challenges!

Each year, we start out with renewed energy and new ideas and projects that we want to accomplish. These are all set out in the Action Plan endorsed previously by AQU Catalunya's Governing Board and carried out practically in their entirety (our level of implementation of the Action Plan is normally above 90%).

2017 looks set to be a challenging year, with some challenges that we are already aware of and others that are new.

One that stands out because of its importance and transcendence, and that we have been very aware of, is the third external review of the Agency's compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area, or ESG, which follows on from two previous reviews in 2007 and 2012. This review, which all European agencies must successfully undergo once every five years in order to continue being a full member of ENQA and registered with EQAR, is key to guaranteeing fulfilment of the desired objectives of the ESG in Europe, which are fully aligned with strengthening the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and promoting mobility within and beyond national borders.

Another challenge that we aware of is completion of the first cycle of programme accreditation across the university system in Catalonia. Since 2014 AQU Catalunya has undertaken external site visits to institutions running approximately 500 study programmes: 10% were given conditional accreditation (with prescriptions), 71% were accredited and 18% were accredited with excellence. The results of the reviews are available on the EUC and EUC Informes websites.



  • Primary challenges in the quality assurance of iqas implementation

    Esther Huertas - Project manager
  • Graduate employment outcomes: an overview
    AQU Catalunya has been coordinating the survey of employment/labour market outcomes of graduates of the university system in Catalonia for the last seventeen years. As can be seen from the following figure, this project has undergone a constant increase over the years.

    And it has grown precisely because of the valuable information provided by the university system in Catalonia. The survey provides data on employment (employment rate, unemployment rate, inactivity rate), the quality of employment (the production sectors that graduates work in, salaries, job responsibilities, type of contract (permanent or temporary, full-time or part-time, etc.), and graduate satisfaction with the degree course taken, all of which is key information that can be used for introducing improvements into the university system. This includes the assessment of skills acquired by graduates during their university studies; the usefulness in the workplace of skills acquired by graduates during their degree studies; and graduate satisfaction with both the degree course taken and their university. Data of this kind have so far been gathered over five separate surveys, one every three years, and provide information that is valuable for establishing indicator trends.

    Editorial Department - AQU Catalunya


  • Continuous improvement in the IQAs certification pilot project

    Juan José Tarí
    Chairman of the external review panel for the IQAs certification pilot project and University of Alicante

    Certification of a faculty's internal quality assurance system (IQAs) goes one step further than the accreditation of study programmes and the AUDIT programme. Faculties have worked hard on designing their QA systems and are currently putting great effort into the accreditation of their study programmes. Those that wish to go one step further can take the pathway of continuous improvement through certification of their IQAs implementation (ex-post IQAs certification).

    This programme is currently a pilot project run by AQU that enables faculties to undergo IQAs certification. Certification is at faculty level and not programme level, as is the case with programme accreditation. The certification procedure is based on AQU Catalunya's Guide to the Certification of IQAs Implementation, which identifies six dimensions:

    Dimension 1. IQAs review and enhancement
    Dimension 2. Programme design, review and enhancement
    Dimension 3. Learning support and student guidance systems
    Dimension 4. Academic staff
    Dimension 5. Physical resources and services
    Dimension 6. Public information

    Each dimension includes a series of standards, with the emphasis in each dimension on the final standards based on the information gathered on the IQAs, study programmes, learning support systems, teaching resources, physical resources and services, and public information.




Generalitat de Catalunya

c/. dels Vergós, 36-42. 08017 Barcelona. Tel.: +34 93 268 89 50

© 2017 AQU Catalunya - Legal number B-21.910-2008