The 2015 European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) was held in London, UK on 19-21 November, hosted by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and UCL Institute of Education. Over 500 participants attended, making it the largest EQAF to date and a fitting way to mark the 10th anniversary of the Forum.
This year, under the title of ‘Taking stock and looking forward’, EQAF reflected on the developments in quality assurance (QA) and higher education over the past decade, from the introduction of the first edition of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) in 2005, the formal launch of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in 2010, right up to the revision of the ESG earlier in this year. In doing this, participants examined the added value that QA brings to the higher education landscape and how best to demonstrate that.
Looking to the future, much of the discussion focused on the consequences of the ESG 2015 for all higher education stakeholders and challenges that might be faced in meeting the new expectations laid out in the document, which aims to further strengthening the European QA framework, while continuing to respect diversity in national and institutional approaches. In many places, changes are already being made, and some of these were discussed in greater detail in the EQAF paper and workshop sessions, with a range of concrete practices and case studies being presented.
For those who missed EQAF 2015, or who want to relive some of it, recordings of the three plenary sessions are available here, together with the presentations and papers from the Forum.
EQAF is organised by the E4 Group consisting of the European University Association (EUA), the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Students’ Union (ESU) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE). The 11th EQAF will take place from 17-19 November 2016 in Ljubljana. It will be hosted by the Slovenian Student Union and the University of Ljubljana.