Royal Decree 640/2021, of 27 July, on the creation, recognition and authorisation of universities and university centres, and institutional accreditation of university centres (repealing RD 420/2015) establishes that in order to obtain institutional accreditation, centres must have renewed the accreditation of at least half of their official bachelor's degree, half of their official master's degree and half of their official doctoral degree programmes and have certified the implementation of their IQAS.
Institutional accreditation is intended to be a further step towards strengthening the autonomy of university institutions by confirming that the university centre fulfils the legal responsibility to ensure the quality of the courses it offers. In addition, it allows the dates of accreditation of the official degrees offered by the centre to be unified and reduces the evaluation pressure on universities and the Agency itself.
The institutional accreditation set up by AQU Catalunya is not only intended to certify the achievement of the training objectives of the centre's courses, but should also make it possible to recognise its strengths, good practices and areas that need to be improved. Institutional accreditation should therefore include both accountability and assessment for improvement.
In 2020, AQU Catalunya defined the
Standards and criteria for institutional accreditation of university centres (ECAI), which includes eight standards:
Standards defined in the document Standards and criteria for institutional accreditation of university centres
In July 2021 the Institutional and Programme Assessment Committee approved the
Guide to the Institutional Accreditation of University Centres, which makes the ECAI operative. It is intended to provide guidance for institutions on the aspects that AQU Catalunya will analyse in order to verify that the standards are being achieved, and is the first reference document for the institutional accreditation programme for institutions. It follows the same structure as the Standards and criteria for institutional accreditation of university centres and includes what AQU Catalunya will assess for each key issue and what evidence and indicators the institution could provide to demonstrate that it is achieving the corresponding standards.
There are currently 24 institutionally accredited centres that will have to renew their accreditation under the ECAI precepts. They constitute 13.5% of the 177 university centres (schools, faculties and integrated and affiliated institutes) and offer 292 degrees, 20% of the 1,440 official bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programmes in Catalonia.
These results show that the Catalan university system is making progress in institutional accreditation and the consolidation of the university centres' commitment to quality and continuous improvement. The challenge in the short term is to achieve institutional accreditation for the majority of Catalan centres and degrees, which will increase their autonomy and reduce the assessment load. In short, institutional accreditation must become the main process for guaranteeing the quality of university education in Catalonia.
List of institutionally accredited university centres in the Catalan university system
|UB||Faculty of Chemistry||22/06/2021|
|UB||Faculty of Economics and Business||22/06/2021|
|UAB||Faculty of Psychology ||01/07/2020|
|UAB||Faculty of Biosciences ||11/03/2021|
|UAB||Faculty of Political Science and Sociology ||11/03/2021|
|UAB||Faculty of Economics and Business ||24/05/2021|
|UAB||Faculty of Science||24/05/2021|
|UAB||Faculty of Philosophy and Arts||22/07/2021|
|UAB||Faculty of Education Sciences ||*pending decision|
|UPF ||Barcelona School of Management ||18/05/2020|
|UPF||Barcelona Graduate School of Economics||22/01/2021|
|UPF||Faculty/Department of Political and Social Sciences||22/07/2021|
|URL ||Pere Tarrés Faculty of Social Education and Social Work ||30/10/2018|
|URL|| Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology and Education and Sports Sciences||17/12/2019|
|URL||ESADE School of Business Administration and Management ||17/12/2019|
|URL||ESADE School of Law||17/12/2019|
|URL||IQS School of Engineering||18/05/2020|
|URL|| IQS Management School / Faculty of Economics IQS||18/05/2020|
|URL||La Salle International School of Digital Commerce and Economics||22/07/2021|
|URL||La Salle School of Engineering||22/07/2021|
|URV ||Faculty of Business and Economics ||10/03/2020|
|URV ||Faculty of Chemistry||01/07/2020|
|URV ||School of Engineering||17/09/2020|
|URV ||Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology||28/09/2021|