The Axencia para a Calidade do Sistema Universitario de Galicia (ACSUG) (Agency for Quality Assurance in the Galician University System) was legally established on 30 January 2001 as a consortium between the Regional Government of Galicia and the three Galician universities. ACSUG has full legal personality and the necessary independence to be able to achieve its objectives to rigorous standards fully respecting university autonomy. The ACSUG was founded in order for the university system in Galicia to attain high levels of prestige and recognition among Spanish, European and international universities. The Agency was established based on two points of view. The first is the principle that the new financing programme will take the quality of universities into account, allocating part of the resources to the improvement of teaching, management, etc., and the second arises from previous experiences in the field of assessment of new international trends and mainly from the recommendations by the Council of Europe on European co-operation in order to ensure quality in higher education. The aim is for Galician universities to be distinguished firstly by the development of their autonomy, responding to the specific socio-economic and cultural needs that arise in the immediate context of the Autonomous Region of Galicia and secondly, by their competitive integration in the Spanish and international university context. These two points can be summarised as autonomy in order to promote their distinguishing features, and integration in order to promote innovation and development. The ACSUG creates a framework for co-operation and co-ordination between the Government, the Galician universities and other higher education and quality assessment bodies, both in Spain and abroad, to exchange opinions, debate and join forces. This will undoubtedly lead to the improvement of quality and the prestige of our university system.