Quality Tools for Professional Higher Education Review and Improvement

PHExcel_Quality Tools for PHE Review and Improvement_2014The PHExcel report on Quality Tools for Professional Higher Education Review and Improvement is now available for download in our online library here.

The report is the first outcome of the project, and provides an overview of quality tools, quality models and quality labels, currently in use in (professional) higher education. It is followed by a gap analysis as regards the Standards and Guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), and the identified characteristics of PHE.

More specifically, after identifying 46 quality tools, 7 models and 12 labels were selected for further investigation based on their full coverage or not of the preliminary HAPHE definition and key characteristics of PHE. A typology of quality tools was conducted with the aim to provide an overview of basic information needed for each model and label, and to clarify common features and dissimilarities of the tools. The extent of coverage and the gaps in each model and label were then identified with reference to the ESG, and to the preliminary HAPHE key characteristics of PHE.

The underlying data of the report is progressively being made available on the PHExcel website here, through an interactive comparison tool for browsing and comparing data between all or selected quality models and/or labels.

Part of the report is based on the outcomes of the HAPHE project, providing a preliminary definition of PHE in Europe and set of key characteristics as to what is PHE. The finalised definition and characteristics will be presented in the autumn, during the Seminar on Professional Higher Education: Building bridges for a more professional higher education held in Otočec (Slovenia) on 16-17 October 2014. Further, the ESG gap analysis performed within the report is based on the proposal for revised ESG, which are to be accepted in their final form at the 2015 Ministerial Conference in Yerevan (Armenia). The PHExcel partners therefore agreed to come back to the report once the final definition and characteristics as well as the final revised ESG are available, by the end of 2015.

The next stage in the PHExcel initiative is the development of a Quality Framework for Professional Higher Education Excellence responding to what constitutes PHE in Europe and complying with the overarching basis for quality assurance in European higher education: the ESG. The PHExcel expert group is developing the draft quality framework, which will then go onto an evaluation and validation phase.