Students participation in AQU Catalunya
The EHEA recognises students as full members of the university community and provides for their participation in the organisation and educational content of universities and the activities of other higher education institutions. The Berlin Communiqué, the Bergen Communiqué and the Louvain-Leuven Communiqué all make explicit mention of the need to promote the total participation of students; both Catalan and Spanish legislation (the Catalan Universities Act/LUC and the Spanish Universities Act/LOU) include clauses to this effect; and the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area call for the involvement of students in universities and QA agencies, as well as their participation in quality assurance processes in these institutions.
Involvement and participation in the activities of AQU Catalunya
At the present time, students actively participate in the Agency’s activities as members of:
The Governing Board of AQU Catalunya
Pursuant to the passing of recent legislation (the AQU Catalunya Act) in July 2015, two students now figure as members on the Agency’s Governing Board.
AQU Catalunya’s Student Advisory Committee
AQU’s Student Advisory Committee, which was established in 2010, works to widen and systematise student participation in the QA activities of AQU Catalunya; advise the Agency on projects that have a direct impact on the student body; and participate in producing studies that are of use and interest to students as a whole.
In effect a standing committee made up solely of students from Catalan universities, the Student Advisory Committee participates in projects involving training and information for the student body on quality and quality assurance in higher education and the university system in Catalonia and promotes cooperation and collaboration with European student associations and bodies within the framework of the EHEA.
External review panels in the various programme accreditation processes
The standard composition of an external assessment committee (CAE) is as follows: the chairperson, one academic member for each field of knowledge in the faculty, one professional member from the area of knowledge of the faculty, one student from the same field of knowledge as that of the faculty and one secretary who is a methodology specialist.
Participation in quality assurance procedures: training programme
From the outset of its QA activities, AQU Catalunya has taken into account the presence of students in internal quality assurance and, since 2005, in external quality assurance procedures. In this regard, students participate in all institutional and programme reviews undertaken by the Agency.
As a way of encouraging student participation, AQU Catalunya, together with the universities and the Consell de l'Estudiantat de les Universitats Catalanes (CEUCAT), promotes the training of students in university quality assurance by way of the Quality assurance training programme. The programme of courses provides students with the necessary understanding and skills to fully participate in QA systems and university review and quality enhancement procedures.
Students who pass the course are entered in the AQU database of experts and may be appointed to participate in QA review panels.
Students enrolled in any Catalan university who are interested in taking the course and becoming possible reviewers should contact the Vice-rector’s Office for Student Affairs at their university.