AQU Catalunya closed 2022 with 37 institutionally accredited centres and 430 degree programmes assessed
The Agency has published its Activities and Corporate Social Responsibility Report for 2022, which includes initiatives such as the launch of the Focus collection or joining CoARA and passing the international external ESG compliance review.
AQU Catalunya has published its Annual Activity Report for 2022, which summarises the wide variety of tasks carried out and the objectives achieved by the Agency last year. The different initiatives carried out, collected in a 170-page document, correspond to the Agency's various commitments to improving higher education, society, good governance, alliances and the workplace. “In 2022 we were able to achieve a state of post-pandemic normality, especially from July onwards. This is reflected implicitly in many of the activities described in this report, but was particularly relevant for our degree programme and institution assessment activities, which we were once again able to carry out in person", said AQU Catalunya director, Jaume Valls Pasola, at the presentation of the document.
As the Agency is committed to improving higher education and the level of institutional quality, 2022 was noteworthy for the start of external visits in in-person and hybrid format, which combines on-site and online meetings. In the case of institutional assessment, in 2022 AQU Catalunya organised 13 prior external visits and 13 visits for the certification of internal quality assurance systems. Thirty-seven centres were institutionally accredited. A total of 430 degree programmes were assessed, 17% fewer than the previous year. This decrease is explained as a result of the impact of Royal Decrees 822/2021 and 640/2021 passed in 2021. As for degree programme internationalisation, the accreditation processes of four degrees from universities seeking to obtain labels were integrated. In terms of methodology, we revised ten methodological documents and created the Focus collection of tools to support degree programme quality assurance.
In regard to teaching staff quality, in 2022 AQU Catalunya joined the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) to contribute to the discussion on moving towards a new research assessment model. With regard to the issuing of accreditations prior to university teaching staff selection processes, we received 2,103 applications in 2022, 2.6% more than in 2021. As for assessing merits, 594 applications were submitted in 2022 in the call for civil servant teaching and research staff, 29.1% more than the year before.
In knowledge generation and transfer, last year AQU Catalunya started the eighth edition of the employment outcomes survey for university and higher arts education graduates, with a methodological innovation: conducting the survey using a mixed-methods model, online and by telephone.
To satisfy its commitment to society, throughout 2022 AQU Catalunya gave the EUC Studies portal a new look, with the aim of simplifying it and improving its usability to bring information closer to students and their families. In terms of communication, the Agency continued to publish the four annual newsletters, a publication that has increased the number of subscribers by 14. Twitter followers increased by 10%.
With regard to the Agency's commitment to good governance, passing the international external review of compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance has allowed AQU Catalunya to remain on the European Register of Quality Agencies (EQAR). In terms of partnerships, AQU Catalunya helped to finalise the process of making Barcelona the permanent location of the Secretariat of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). Finally, AQU has contributed to its commitment to the workplace by approving the AQU Catalunya Public Employment Offer, allowing for 59 structural jobs, which were stabilised.