A bimonthly publication of AQU Catalunya


January 2013

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2013, the start of degree programme accreditation

I'd like to start the editorial for the year by pointing out that in 2012 AQU Catalunya satisfactorily underwent the second international external review of its compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance In Higher Education, the outcome of which placed it as one of the two agencies, together with the UK agency, that best comply with the standards and guidelines.

As a consequence of the review, the Agency continues to be a full member of ENQA, of which AQU was a founder member, and it maintains its listing on the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education. ENQA has thirty-six (36) full members, and EQAR has twenty-eight (28). In Europe as a whole, there are around sixty (60) quality assurance (QA) agencies in the field of higher education.



  • Programme accreditation
    The Framework for the validation (ex-ante assessment), monitoring, modification and accreditation of recognised degrees (VSMA Framework), which links together the quality assurance processes that take place throughout the life-cycle of all degree courses, was defined and developed two years ago by AQU Catalunya. With validation, monitoring and modification all successfully introduced, the final process in the VSMA Framework, namely, programme accreditation, has now entered the design and implementation stage.
    Anna Prades Nebot and Carme Edo Ros - Project managers to Quality Assessment Department
  • Graduate satisfaction survey: opportunity for enhancement of programmes
    One of the core instruments for the strategy of continuous enhancement for the universities is programme monitoring. This process is currently partially reviewed by AQU Catalunya, although in the medium term it will need to be one of each institution's regular activities, irrespective of any external evaluation, within the framework of the processes defined and implemented according to its internal quality assurance system.
    Miquel Vidal Espinar - Institutional review issues to AQU


  • The importance of consulting

    Harriet Barnes and Janet Bohrer
    Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in the UK (QAA)

    QAA's mission is to safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education. To do this, we evaluate how well universities and colleges meet their responsibilities as self-regulating institutions by carrying out external reviews, and publishing reports on what we find. The basis for the judgements which are made in the course of these reviews is the reference point known (since December 2011) as the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (previously the Academic Infrastructure), which QAA maintains on behalf of the sector. Rather than being a rulebook, the Quality Code sets out high-level "Expectations" which universities and colleges are required to meet through their internal systems of quality assurance.




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