QA Lead

EURASHE is a partner in the QA Lead (Equipping Institutional Leaders to Maximise Gains from Quality Assurance) project.

Underneath are further information on:

The past 20 years have seen significant investments in Quality Assurance infrastructure across Europe, thanks largely to the focus on quality assurance provided by the Bologna Process. Starting with the ESGs and EQAVET, a multitude of standards provide guidance as to what constitutes quality. Quality approaches in institutions vary widely, and despite efforts to the contrary, often quality assurance is reduced to a “commitment to quality culture” supported by a bureaucratic and time-consuming set of checks, often in the form of evaluation questionnaire of various kinds.

In fact, according to analysis from the European Commission contained in the Modernisation Agenda for Education, educational institutions are not:

  • Equipping enough people with the right skills for modern society;
  • Doing enough to tackle social divisions, in particular with regards to people from low socioeconomic
    and migrant backgrounds;
  • Contributing enough to innovation in the places they are located, and
  • Organized and funded in a way that allows them to work well.

Quality assurance policy in Europe has either been unable to detect or unable to resolve these issues. It the project’s hypothesis that this is due to quality assurance which is applied nearly exclusively a course/programme level rather than at institutional-strategy level, where it can be a lever for organizational transformation.

In analysing this phenomenon, the project partners have identified a lack of formalised expertise in quality management amongst institutional top management as a key barrier limiting uptake. Often institutional leaders will have never received any formal training in QA-management, and thus, while having significant expertise as to what constitutes quality education, will have limited expertise in how to translate that mission and vision into a management system based on clear quality objectives, backed up by steady processes that will assure the adequate planning and realization of activities leading to the achievement of those objectives, as well as monitoring and analysing processes that will enable continual improvement.

A properly implemented quality management system allows an institution to understand the requirements of all its stakeholders, including students, industry and society, and then to design a
mission, vision and strategy that addresses those requirements. Thus, the main intended impact from QALead is to change attitudes towards quality assurance from a compliance-focused mindset that focus on the needs of learners, enterprise and society.

Following are the partners of the project:

  • Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC) - Skupnost višjih strokovnih šol Republike Slovenije (SKUPNOST VSŠ) The Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC) was founded as a public institution in 2005, when its Establishing Act was... Read more
  • Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) - Sdružení profesního terciárního vzdělávání (SSVS) The Czech Association of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) is an independent organisation of colleges and institutes of professional higher education in the Czech Republic. It... Read more
  • Institute of Tourism Studies - The Institute of Tourism Studies is a vocational and higher education institution aimed at meeting the changing needs of the Hospitality and Tourism Industry. It currently employs 195 members of... Read more
  • Jozef Stefan Institute (JSI) - Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) is the main research institution for natural sciences in Slovenia having over 900 researchers within 25 departments working in the areas of computer science, physics, and... Read more
  • Knowledge Innovation Centre (Malta) (KIC-Malta) - The Knowledge Innovation Centre is a dynamic consultancy focusing on knowledge brokerage and innovation of knowledge transfer processes. The Centre brings together a variety of local and European experts from... Read more
  • Portuguese Polytechnics Coordinating Council (CCISP) - Conselho Coordenador dos Institutos Superiores Politécnicos (CCISP) Created in 1979, the Conselho Coordenador dos Institutos Superiores Politécnicos (CCISP – Portuguese Polytechnics Coordinating Council) is the body of joint coordination and... Read more