A quarterly publication of AQU Catalunya


October 2016

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Celebrating 20 years of AQU Catalunya

I’d firstly like to thank you all for coming. Today is a day of celebration as we commemorate twenty years of the Agency’s existence, of AQU Catalunya. An important initiative by those who at the time were responsible for the universities in Catalonia, minister Trias and commissioner Albaigés, and who convinced President Pujol to encourage the Government of Catalonia’s Executive Council (Govern de Catalunya) to set up this institution to improve and enhance the university system in Catalonia.

I'll start with an anecdote. A few years ago, when I was still rector of the Pompeu Fabra University, I was visiting Italy and had a connection at Rome's Fiumicino airport. At the airport I encountered the Abbot of Montserrat, Josep M. Soler and his secretary, who were also waiting for a connection to Sardinia. I knew the abbot because two years previously we had signed an agreement for one of our researchers, a specialist in papyrology, to catalogue and digitalise the valuable papyrus documents in the abbey’s important collection that had been inaugurated by father Bonaventura Ubach, the mastermind behind the translation of the Bible into modern Catalan. The abbot had invited us to have lunch in the Abbey Refectory, and we ate in silence, listening to the diaphanous voice and recitation of the novice who was now his secretary and who, as chance would have it, had been a student of mine in the Faculty of Law at the University of Girona, while various monks – which that day included Father Hilari Raguer, who has made such a great contribution to our understanding of the contemporary history of Catalonia – served the meal and removed our plates.



  • The results of the Impala project (Impact Analysis of External Quality Assurance)
    The IMPALA project, which was launched in 2013, came to an end in September 2016 with the organisation of different activities aimed at dissemination of the project in the participating countries. The context for dissemination by AQU Catalunya was the Workshop titled External quality assurance: what is its purpose? It is now time to take stock of the project and what has been achieved.

    What is the purpose of analysing the impact of external quality assurance? External quality assurance in the European Union has been developed as a mechanism to promote trust in the quality of higher education institutions and thereby improve the mobility of students, teaching staff and professionals (AQU, 2003). The Berlin Communiqué underpinned the fact that quality assurance (QA) agencies are at the heart of the European Higher Education Area.

    Anna Prades - Project manager
  • The opinions of medical employers on the Bachelor's degree programme in Medicine
    The views of employers on the quality of higher education is a key factor in assessing the fitness-for-purpose of provision, but even more so in the case of the Bachelor’s degree programme in Medicine given that, pursuant to prevailing regulations, holders of the degree have the right to freely practice as non-specialist medical practitioners.

    The survey and study of the opinions of medical employers forms part of the Employers project 2013-2015 undertaken in cooperation with Obra Social "la Caixa", the purpose of which is to gather the opinions of employers on the skills and training of recent graduates from higher education institutions in Catalonia.

    A quantitative and qualitative methodology was used to gather the opinions of employers in the medical and health care sector. The following figure shows the three ways that information was gathered to assess the fitness-for-purpose of study programmes in Medicine and their match with the requirements of the labour market.

    Editorial Department - AQU Catalunya


  • The views of employers on the quality of higher education. The opinion of the Ministry of Health

    Josep Roma
    Head of Accreditation and Professional Development Ministry of Health

    During 2015 AQU Catalunya carried out a survey of the "employability and skills of internal resident doctors (interns)" and another of the "employability and skills of recent graduates in Nursing". The two surveys were the result of fieldwork in which the Department of Health collaborated in designing the sample participants. In the case of intern doctors, the survey targeted heads of hospital services and directors of primary health care teams, whereas the target group in the case of nursing was directors and supervisors of hospital and primary health care nursing.

    One characteristic of the medical sector is that graduates who have just started working are often professionals training to become specialists who follow a system of learning that in practical terms is regulated. This is particularly the case with interns and increasingly so in nursing. This results in the opinions of heads of staff being influenced, in the case of intern doctors, by the fact that interns are not selected by the institutions themselves, plus they have a pace of work that includes the complement of training. In the case of nurses, their opinions are more clearly related to the assessment of professionals who have just joined the staff.




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