The Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency, AQU Catalunya, is the main instrument for the promotion and assurance of quality in the Catalan higher education system. AQU Catalunya is entrusted with the assessment, accreditation and certification of quality in the universities and higher education institutions in Catalonia.
AQU Catalunya is full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), and has been one of the first three agencies to be included in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR). AQU is also member of the Spanish Network of Spanish Quality Assurance Agencies (REACU) and of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), of which the Agency hosts the Secretariat since 2013. AQU Catalunya was the first European quality agency to be ISO certified.
The origins of AQU Catalunya lie in the consortium, Agency for the Quality of the University System in Catalonia, which was constituted on 29 October 1996. It was the first agency for quality in higher education to be set up in Spain. After the passing of the LUC (Catalan Universities Act, 2003) the consortium became the present-day Agency.
The Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency, AQU Catalunya is regulated by the Act 15/2015 on the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (Published in the Official Journal of the Government of Catalonia, DOGC, dated 23 July 2015). The Act strengthens and reinforces AQU Catalunya as the main instrument for the promotion and assurance of quality in the Catalan higher education system with functions that are upgraded and up-to-date, a more flexible structure and better compliance with European standards as regards its independent nature as an agency. It also places the international sphere of its activities on a firmer footing and establishes a system for the appointment of the Agency’s director by way of an open and competitive process, amongst other things.
|1996||Creation of the Consortium Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari a Catalunya (Decree 355/1996, 29 October [es])|
|1998||Registered with the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE)|
|2000||Member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)|
|2000||ISO 9001 certification of the internal quality assurance system|
|2003||Transformation into a government-run enterprise governed by private law, and linked to the corresponding government department with jurisdiction over the universities by Law 1/2003 of 19 February on the Universities in Catalonia|
|2006||Member of the Spanish Network of Higher Education Quality Agencies (REACU)|
|2007||Full member of ENQA, following the international external review|
|2008||Entered in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR)|
|2009||Member of the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA)|
|2010||Approval of the Framework for the ex-ante assessment, monitoring, modification and accreditation of recognised degrees|
|2012||Creation of the WINDDAT, teaching indicators website for the development and analysis of degree programmes|
|2013||AQU took over the INQAAHE Secretariat|
|2014||Fifth study on the labour market outcomes of graduates|
Act 15/2015, 21 July, on the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency/AQU Catalunya
Approval of the Bylaws of AQU Catalunya (Decree 315/2016, of 8th November [ca])