The application of external quality assurance mechanisms specifically designed for internationalisation activities are meant to facilitate the strategies laid down by Catalan universities in this sphere.
Cooperation agreement with ASIIN
In order to explore the possibility of combining programme review with the award of other forms of recognition, AQU Catalunya has entered into an agreement with ASIIN, the German QA agency.
Under this agreement, an experimental joint external review procedure between the two agencies has been implemented in Catalonia.
Participating university: Polytechnic University of Catalonia (BarcelonaTech/UPC) and University of Lleida.
The availability of the latest quality promotion and assurance methodologies is essential for maintaining and enhancing quality in higher education and the university system as a whole in Catalonia. The development of new QA mechanisms at international level and together with other agencies contributes to the constant updating of the Agency’s QA tools and their alignment with present-day requirements.
TESLA An Adaptive Trust-based e-assessment System for Learning (2016-2018)
As part of the European framework programme Horizon 2020, the European Commission has endorsed the TeSLA innovation and research project (Adaptive Trust-based e-assessment System for Learning), the objective of which is to define and develop a system that facilitates online examination in such a way that guarantees authentication and authorship at different points in the learning process. In addition to educational aspects (teaching and learning), the project addresses related ethical, technological and legal aspects, such as data protection. It will also be adapted for students with special education needs.
The TeSLA consortium partnership consists of eighteen organisations that are experts in different fields of knowledge and research with recognised experience across Europe and is coordinated by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).
AQU Catalunya leads the package dealing with the quality assurance of online study programmes in which ENQA and EQANIE also participate. The main objective of the package is the quality assurance of e-assessment processes.
More information on the TeSLA project is available from the TESLA blog.
IMPALA (Lifelong Learning Programme) (started in 2013)
Impact Analysis of External Quality Assurance Processes in Higher Education Institutions. Pluralistic Methodology and Application of a Formative Transdisciplinary Impact Evaluation.
AQU Catalunya participates as a consortium partner in this project, the aim of which is to analyse the impact of external quality assurance on higher education institutions. To apply the methodology, each IMPALA partner agency carries out an external quality assurance procedure with a higher education institution partner, with different approaches to both institutional and programme external review being used in four countries (Germany, Finland, Romania and Spain/Catalonia).
Participating university: Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), as a project partner.
In the field of quality assurance, cooperation with university stakeholders outside of the European Union, in both developing countries and countries experiencing rapid expansion, offers possibilities for the exchange of knowledge and opportunities for identifying new interpretations of the concept of quality within the context of higher education and the universities.
EQTel (iniciat el 2015)
EQTeL (Enhancing Quality of Technology-Enhanced Learning at Jordanian Universities) is a project that comes under the European Union's TEMPUS 2013 programme, the aim of which is to reform and promote the modernisation of higher education in countries associated with the European Union.
The aim of the project is to develop key performance indicators for technology enhanced learning models (TeL) in Jordan that are applicable at international level and, in accordance with the Bologna Process, in the European Union.
The project is coordinated by the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), Jordan.
AQU Catalunya and ENQA participate in the project as partners and are responsible for designing and running staff trainings for the development of quality assurance systems in universities in Jordan. The Open University of Catalonia (UOC) also participates in the project.
PACAgro (started in 2014)
Development of Public Accreditation of Agricultural programs in Russia, coordinated by the University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia).
The main objective of this TEMPUS project is to set up a review agency specialising in quality assurance for programmes offered by higher education agricultural faculties and colleges in the Russian Federation.
One interesting aspect of this project is the highly active participation of the professional and business sector, which is willing to be formally involved in the running of such an agency. The project is being promoted by the universities and professional sectors, with support from the federal government as a result of the strategic nature of the agricultural sector in Russia.
The specific objectives are:
AQU Catalunya participates as a partner and expert in the management of external quality assurance processes.
Participating university: University of Lleída, as a partner in the project.
The scope of this area of the Agency’s work is aimed at making international QA benchmarks of a quantitative and qualitative nature more widely accessible. It also provides for forward planning as regards trends in quality indicators in both European and non-European geographical contexts.
ENQA QUALITY PROCEDURES PROJECT (4th edition)
Quality procedures in European higher education: Internationalisation of QA. AQU Catalunya coordinates the fourth QPP survey, which focuses on the internationalisation of QA processes in the EHEA. The purpose of this survey, which includes all of the member agencies of ENQA, is to identify the degree to which QA agencies are “internationalised”, in terms of the procedures carried out within their natural geographical frame of reference and those developed in other geographical areas. The survey includes aspects that refer to the opinions of agencies concerning the possible development of a European quality assurance market, the risks associated with internationalisation, and the resources invested by agencies to raise their level of internationalisation.
AQU Catalunya already participated in the second survey (2007) and coordinated the third survey of the programme (2012).
AQU Catalunya forms part of the KP3 group, which analyses how quality assurance agencies in higher education are organised and aligned with part 3 of the European standards and guidelines. The work of this group will also be used to design a new international review model for agencies that are full members of ENQA.