The voice of students at AQU Catalunya, on the occasion of the International Students' Day
On the occasion of the International Students' Day, which is held annually on November 17, at AQU Catalunya we would like to highlight the involvement of students in the Agency's various governing and quality assurance bodies.
As a result of the development of the European Higher Education Area On the occasion of the International Students' Day, which is held annually on November 17, at AQU Catalunya we would like to highlight the involvement of students in the Agency's various governing and quality assurance bodies.
As a result of the development of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), students are recognised as full members of the university community together with their envisaged participation in the organisation and educational contents of universities and in the activities of other higher education institutions, as laid down in the ESG, (standard 1.3: student-centred learning, teaching and assessment) and also AQU Catalunya's recently revised assessment guides (2019).
In particular, AQU Catalunya listens to the opinions of students in its governing and quality assurance bodies:
1. In the Agency's Governing Board and its Standing Committee, which are the main governing bodies that oversee the running of AQU Catalunya.
2. In the Institutional and Programme Review Committee, which deals with all programme and institutional review in higher education in Catalonia.
3.In the Advisory Committee, which advises on the development of quality assurance methodologies.
4. In AQU Catalunya's Student Advisory Committee d'AQU Catalunya, que és un comitè assessor en el desenvolupament de metodologies d'avaluació, entre altres.
5. In the external review panels that are set up to evaluate programmes and institutions.
One of the latest innovations in student involvement is the activation of a procedure which follows the example of experiences at international level that are considered to be best practices in the field of quality assurance. The aim is to facilitate, for each accreditation procedure led by AQU Catalunya, the writing up of a report by the students who are taking programmes that are undergoing accreditation, which is enclosed as complementary evidence with the self-assessment report that is drawn up by senior faculty members. The general characteristics of a report of this type should be that:
- It has been drawn up, endorsed and issued by the students and is totally independent of the institution's institutional authorities.
- It contains feedback, i.e. opinions and satisfaction, provided by the students on areas covered by the accreditation procedure.
- It is based on data and information obtained via the application of appropriate and relevant qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
An initial pilot test of the project has already been carried out in the evaluation of the Master's programme in Atomistic and Multi-scale Computational Modelling in Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry coordinated by the University of Barcelona, and it is envisaged that the voice of the student body in quality assurance procedures will become ever louder over the next few years.