The EQUIP project, led by EURASHE, has held a series of focus group events over the last three months for a variety of higher education stakeholders in order to explore their different perceptions on quality assurance (QA) and on how to approach some of the current challenges.
Within the project partnership, each of the European stakeholder organisations (ESU, EUA, EURASHE, EI and ENQA) organised different focus groups for their respective members; students, quality assurance practitioners in universities and institutions for professional higher education, academics and representatives from quality assurance agencies. Each group had wide-ranging discussions on the purpose of higher education and approaches to defining quality. In addition the discussions addressed some more concrete issues related to QA, many of which are linked to the expectations set out by the Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the EHEA (ESG 2015).
Independently of the particular stakeholder groups, a number of common themes have emerged across the different focus groups. These include e.g. the impact of context on perceptions of higher education and QA, the gap between policy and practice, the need to manage information and communicate more effectively, and challenges around the implementation of student-centred approaches to learning and teaching.
An additional focus group will be organised by EQAR for governmental representatives, later this autumn. The findings from the focus groups and other activities within the EQUIP project framework will be presented in a joint study published at the end of the project. The study will also include recommendations to specific stakeholders on how to take QA forward in the coming years.
More details about EQUIP and the resources from project activities (including publications, presentations and webinar recordings) can be found on the project website. For further updates and news about other issues related to QA in European higher education, please join EQUIP LinkedIn Group.
EQUIP project (Enhancing quality through innovative policy and practice) aims to support higher education stakeholders in meeting the challenges arising from the introduction of the ESG 2015. The project is coordinated by EURASHE and also includes as partners EUA, ENQA, ESU, EQAR, EI, UiO and CCISP. The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.