Towards Institutional Accreditation: The Swiss Experience in external QA

NameIa.6 - Heusser_Beccari.pdf
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Year2008
Author(s)Rolf Heusser, Laura Beccari
Abstract
The Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities (OAQ) was set up in 2001 with the task to ensure and promote the quality of teaching and research at Swiss universities. On behalf of the federal and cantonal authorities and in accordance with best international practices the OAQ carries out various quality assessments with autonomous responsibility for its operations.
The focus of the external quality assurance system in Switzerland is on institutional assessments. Periodic assessments of the internal quality assurance systems of the Swiss universities are mandatory and linked to the financing of the institutions. The OAQ has successfully carried out a first cycle of such audits in 2003-4 and has repeated it in 2007-8 on the basis of new national Directives for internal quality assurance (compatible with the European Standards and Guidelines in that domain). The institutional assessments are
supplemented by selective and voluntary programme accreditations. A new Federal law regulating the whole Swiss higher education sector is under discussion and will enter into force in 2012. According to the new law – and based on the positive experience made with
the two past audit-cycles, a new institutional accreditation model will be mandatory for all public higher education institutions in Switzerland.
CategoriesQuality of HE » 2008 3rd EQAF