Update on the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR)

Update on the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) by Bryan MacMahon, Version 2008, Plenary_IV_-_MacMahon.pdf (92 KB)

Bergthora Snaebjornsdottir’s (ESU) response to Lee Harvey’s key note speech – “Democratising quality” at the 3rd EQAF in Budapest, 20th – 22nd November 2008

Bergthora Snaebjornsdottir’s (ESU) response to Lee Harvey’s key note speech - "Democratising quality" at the 3rd EQAF in Budapest, 20th – 22nd November 2008 by Bergthora Snaebjornsdottir, Version 2008, Plenary_III_-_Snaebjornsdottir.pdf (32 KB)

International Trends in Quality Assurance

International Trends in Quality Assurance by Dorte Kristofferson, Version 2008, Plenary_I_-_Kristofferson.pdf (1.7 MB)

An audit model in Croatia – A study based on a pilot project of three HEIs

An audit model in Croatia - A study based on a pilot project of three HEIs by Vesna Dodiković-Jurković, Višnja Petrović, Version 2008, III.17 - Dodikovic_Petrovic.pdf (0.3 MB) - By signing the Bologna Declaration in 2001 Croatia has started a process of serious transformation of its higher education system. Today, quality, quality assessment and enhancement of a quality culture are a major focus for the Croatian academic society, government and national economy. In the strategic document Education Sector Development Plan 2005-20101 set out by the
Ministry of Science, Education and Sport (MSES), it was stated that:
- Quality assurance units in higher education system of the Republic of Croatia should be established by 2006.
- A binary system should be introduced by the beginning of the academic year 2010/2011.
The Agency for Science, Education and Sport (ASHE) developed a model of external audit of Quality Assurance Units in 2006/07 and tested it through a pilot project at the beginning of 2008. The pilot project was a part of the CARDS 2003 project " Furtherance of the Agency for Science and Higher Education in its Quality Assurance Role and Development of a Supporting Information System" . The present study is based on the analysis of an audit model and outcomes of this Pilot project.

Graz Quality Management Model for Universities

Graz Quality Management Model for Universities by Gerald Gaberscik, Andreas Raggautz, Version 2008, III.16 - Raggautz_Gaberscik.pdf (0.6 MB) - Both previous experience in this field and the legal constraints placed on universities’ work have made it clear that there is a need for a suitable quality management model for higher education institutions. The Graz Quality Management Model is one such way of using modern quality management expertise to meet the requirements of university life. Our experiences of implementing the system and also of its day-to-day functioning uncovered new aspects to this topic and led to the development of advanced tools for quality-related
university management. Problems and challenges we encountered are also discussed, and there is a suggestion of which steps will best take the project forward. Our main goal here was to move from a “twentieth century” model of quality assurance towards state-of-the-art quality management which includes quality planning, quality control and quality improvement.

Perpetual Improvement of Quality in Higher Education Institutes

Perpetual Improvement of Quality in Higher Education Institutes by Avner Halevy, Michal Daloya, Version 2008, III.15 - Halevy.pdf (69 KB) - Quality activities have become a normative practice in institutes of higher education (HEI's). However, these activities are motivated by different, sometimes contradictory, forces which might, if we are not vigilant and careful, tear the systems apart. We propose an outline for what we consider a competent and vigorous HEI quality system that may well serve as a role model for general quality management systems in industry. The male gender will be used throughout when referring to persons but it applies to male and female alike.

A case study between Hungarian and British institutions which highlights quality issues related to Recognition of Qualifications

A case study between Hungarian and British institutions which highlights quality issues related to Recognition of Qualifications by Andy Gibbs, László Vízvári, Version 2008, III.14 - Gibbs_Vizvari.pdf (0.2 MB) - This paper considers a co-operation between a UK University and a Hungarian national public institution. The partnership developed a study programme for nurses to study for a first cycle qualification and receive a UK degree. For many Hungarian qualified nurses it was not possible to study in this way in Hungary, or when possible it was for a greater length of time at higher cost than it would be in
the UK. The paper considers European tools, directives and frameworks for mutual recognition of qualifications. It concludes that the separation of professional and academic qualifications create political divisions at national and EU level which undermine attempts to drive up quality in Higher Education and have other adverse effects on students and other EU citizens.

Intentional and Unintentional Consequences of Evaluation

Intentional and Unintentional Consequences of Evaluation by Henrik Toft Jensen, Version 2008, III.13 - Jensen.pdf (49 KB) - This paper analyses unintended consequences of evaluations, which must be avoided as much as possible. We argue that the Institutional Evaluation Programme was created as a programme sensitive in relation to the university traditions and the national
conditions of the universities in a country, therefore reducing the negative aspects of unintended consequences.

A Proposal for a Performance Indicator Model for the Spanish Higher Education System

A Proposal for a Performance Indicator Model for the Spanish Higher Education System by Anna Prades, Sebastián Rodríguez, Version 2008, III.12 - Prades_Rodriguez.pdf (5.0 MB) - This paper is the product of a study on drawing up a proposal for an indicator model of higher education for the Spanish university system. An analysis of existing indicator models was carried out for this, and a comparison made with the indicator system for the seven public universities in Catalonia that has been available since 2000. A second stage involved the study of the available performance indicators for Catalonia and how they have been affected by variables that are exogenous to the universities, the aim
being to establish how to draw up the performance indicator reports. The first section of the paper gives a summary of the main conclusions of the documentary analysis; three indicators are used as examples in section two to show the interactions between
performance indicators; and lastly, a proposal is made for an indicator model for the HE system in Catalonia that is both feasible and more complete than the one currently used.

Flexibility through Learning Outcomes: Implications for Quality

Flexibility through Learning Outcomes: Implications for Quality , Version 2008, III.11 - Keravnou.pdf (93 KB) - Flexibility in learning is an acknowledged necessity for a knowledge society. This flexibility has been developing in an incremental fashion (discrete cycles, credits, distance learning, learning outcomes). Full flexibility in learning means that horizontal and vertical traversals between different learning pathways (formal, non-formal, informal) are supported and recognized, and higher level qualifications can be obtained this way. It is widely believed that such a state of affairs can be clenched through the notion of learning outcomes. From this perspective, the viability of the proposition of full flexibility in learning depends critically on whether the same or at least comparable learning outcomes could be potentially achievable through vastly different learning pathways and whether the potential means for assessing such learning outcomes could credibly assure quality. This paper examines the viability of the proposition of full flexibility in learning with respect to quality, suggesting that there is an urgent need to agree on European standards and guidelines for quality assurance concerning the non-formal and informal learning pathways.

How to implement a Quality Assurance model? – a concrete example of a policy for the quality work in the educational area at the University of Aarhus

How to implement a Quality Assurance model? – a concrete example of a policy for the quality work in the educational area at the University of Aarhus by Steffen Skovfoged, Version 2008, III.10 - Skovfoged.pdf (94 KB) - This paper presents a new and reinforced policy in the making for the quality work (quality assurance and quality enhancement) in the educational area at the University of Aarhus, and touches briefly on the national, international and legislative context in which QA takes place. The main objective of the paper is to share and illustrate how a large and diversified university can actually implement and work with a quality assurance model in practise. A model that tries to take into accounts the many external demands and recommendations and at the same time pay attention to the internal voices of employees, students and other stakeholders.

Where have all the students gone? Measuring the Output of Higher Education and relating it to Student Feedback Measures

Where have all the students gone? Measuring the Output of Higher Education and relating it to Student Feedback Measures by Dennis Mocigemba, Johann Pixner, Version 2008, III.9 - Mocigemba_Pixner.pdf (91 KB) - The University of Freiburg, Germany, has implemented a longitudinal data analysis procedure with the purpose of monitoring the retention and success rate of its students. The procedure is called the Studienverlaufsanalyse (SVA) and can be applied at different levels: university as a whole, schools, faculties, study fields, courses and majors. The SVA provides exact ratios of graduates, dropouts and still enrolled students. These rates can be regarded as basic output measures for higher education institutions and meet one of ENQA’s standards for institutional information systems (ENQA, 2007). The SVA is based upon regular student administration data and constitutes an integral part of the University’s data warehouse. This paper presents the concept and implementation as well as some applications of the SVA and discusses future advancements. An empirical example shows how the SVA can be integrated into the
University’s system of Quality Assurance by relating dropout rates to student evaluations of academic satisfaction and teaching quality.

Quality Assurance on the Road: Finland and Austria in Comparison

Quality Assurance on the Road: Finland and Austria in Comparison by Andrea Bernhard, Version 2008, III.8 - Bernhard.pdf (84 KB) - The ongoing necessity of quality and quality assurance in the whole Bologna Process remains one of the main issues for European policy makers. The aim to create comparable systems to guarantee quality within higher education systems are the reasons for national developments and their eagerness to reform. The situation in two relatively small European countries, Austria and Finland, are in the centre of discussion and shall exemplify different ways to cope with international developments and the need to establish a comprehensive quality assurance system. How do these countries cope with the pressure to compete with the global higher education
market? Is their system of quality assurance in line with the European mainstream to create a European Higher Education Area? The purpose of this paper is to give a broad view on the quality assurance systems of Finland and Austria and to deal with current issues in national policies.

Selecting and training students for the external review panels: the Romanian Experience

Selecting and training students for the external review panels: the Romanian Experience by Traian Brumă, Violeta Caragea, Version 2008, III.7 - Bruma_Caragea.pdf (0.2 MB) - The aim of this paper is to share the first 2 years of the Romanian experience in selecting and training students for participating in external quality assurance review teams, lessons learned and questions left unanswered.
The first design of the selection and training process is presented including selection criteria and tools, training objectives and activities. The student participation in the external review panels in the pilot phase is described together with the evaluation of its impact that leads to the rethinking of the training and selection process. The 2008 improved training is also presented. The paper wishes to continue the European conversation started at the First Quality Assurance Forum in 2006 on the practical aspects of involving students in external QA.

Future directions for the Scottish enhancement-led approach to quality

Future directions for the Scottish enhancement-led approach to quality by Alan Davidson, Version 2008, III.6 - Davidson.pdf (0.1 MB) - This paper considers the case of the national approach to quality in higher education (HE) in Scotland, at a time of transition between implementation cycles. The approach combines quality assurance and quality enhancement and is termed the ‘Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework’. The first cycle extended from 2003 to 2007; there has been a year of review, reflection and development during 2007-2008, and the second cycle commences from the start of academic year 2008-09. The paper focuses on:
- evaluation and review of the first cycle, describing the approaches to review and the broad findings; and
- future directions and changes proposed for the second cycle; and
- key issues of work-in-progress, which will inform discussion at the conference workshop.

Developing the institutional quality management system The case of the Corvinus University of Budapest

Developing the institutional quality management system The case of the Corvinus University of Budapest by Ildikó Hrubos, Version 2008, III.5 - Hrubos.pdf (39 KB) - From 2004 to 2007 period the Corvinus University of Budapest has developed and introduced a modern and consistent quality assurance system. The new model takes the concepts of the TQM and EFQM as its foundation. An essential part of the system is inquiry of the opinions of staff members, students, institutions and individuals with external relations, and regular feedback based on these results. In the 2007/2008 academic year the CUB participated in two external accreditation/evaluation programmes. The institutional accreditation by the Hungarian Accreditation Committee took place (conducted every 8 years), and in 2007 the CUB applied for an institutional evaluation by the European University Association. The aims, legal status and central points of the two evaluations are different from each other. The statements prepared through the two types of processes arrived to similar conclusions on several issues. The proposals compliment each other and emphasise various viewpoints.

An audit process as a tool for quality assurance and enhancement at the University of Helsinki

An audit process as a tool for quality assurance and enhancement at the University of Helsinki by Aimo Virtanen, Helena Immonen, Version 2008, III.4 - Virtanen_Immonen.pdf (0.2 MB) - The University of Helsinki reorganised its quality assurance system between 2004 and 2007. The build-up process and some of the challenges are described in this paper. The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC) will audit the quality assurance systems of all Finnish higher education institutions (HEIs) by the end of 2011. The quality assurance system of the University of Helsinki was audited in autumn 2007. The objective of FINHEEC audits is to ensure that HEIs have a quality assurance system that supports continuous improvement. Careful preparation for the audit process produced a positive result and the audit was certificated in February 2008.

Integrated Quality Management System at Tomsk Polytechnic University

Integrated Quality Management System at Tomsk Polytechnic University by Alexander Chuchalin, Alexander Zamyatin, Version 2008, III.3 - Zamyatin_Chuchalin.pdf (0.4 MB) - For the time being, institutional quality management systems and systems for academic programme quality assurance are not appropriately integrated at the majority of Russian and European universities. As a result, the efficiency and effectiveness of institutional quality management systems are very much limited. The solution to the problem could be putting together all quality assurance tools applied by a university to a complex system aimed at achievement of a principal target – high quality of education and graduates’ competitiveness on national and international labour markets by means of necessary competencies acquisition.
The suggested approach is being adapted at Tomsk Polytechnic University by means of the development of an integrated quality management system (QMS). The subsystems of the presented integrated QMS are a competency-based standard for academic programmes, evaluation and accreditation criteria and procedures, HEI’s processes management and strategic management of a university.

Governance and evaluation in the Italian University system: an analysis of the Italian experience

Governance and evaluation in the Italian University system: an analysis of the Italian experience by Eliana Minelli, Gianfranco Rebora, Matteo Turri, Version 2008, III.1 - Minelli_Reborra_Turri.pdf (61 KB) - Evaluation and quality assurance in higher education are closely linked to system governance. The paper proposes four possible patterns of university system governance, according to locus and focus of governance. This frame of reference takes into consideration the Italian university system over the past twenty years where great changes have taken place and evaluation has been introduced.
The paper pinpoints those characteristics that Italian university system governance has taken on over time which are in line with the external (locus), negotiation-based (focus) pattern. This model requires strong support by suitable evaluation systems geared to fully implement the ENQA guidelines.

QA Conclusions from Electronic Database and Parallel Evaluation of Doctoral Schools in Hungary

QA Conclusions from Electronic Database and Parallel Evaluation of Doctoral Schools in Hungary by György Bazsa, Version 2008, Ib.9 - Bazsa.pdf (70 KB)

AUDIT Programme: an Initiative to Promote Internal Quality Assurance Systems in Higher Education Institutions

AUDIT Programme: an Initiative to Promote Internal Quality Assurance Systems in Higher Education Institutions by Eduardo García, José Antonio Pérez, Sebastián Rodríguez, Caterina Cazalla, Miquel Vidal, Julio Abalde, Paula Ríos, Dolores Castro., Version 2008, Ib.8 - Garcia_Perez_e.a..pdf (84 KB) - In accordance with the trust placed by society in the autonomous administration of the universities and the transparency called for within the framework of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), a number of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Spain are participating in the AUDIT programme, which involves the design, evaluation and future certification of their internal quality assurance
systems (IQAS) to ensure the correct alignment of their activities and for goals associated with degree programmes to be achieved. To this end, there is a need for policies and processes that are formally laid down and publicly available. The aim of the AUDIT programme, which is jointly promoted by the ANECA, AQU Catalunya, and ACSUG quality assurance agencies, is to guide and facilitate
universities, in particular their institutes, faculties and colleges, in the process of defining these systems, and furthermore, to establish responsibility for external review processes and ensure that the goals of university quality are achieved.

Developments to encourage Quality Enhancement : a case study

Developments to encourage Quality Enhancement : a case study by Kath Hodgson, Version 2008, Ib.7 - Hodgson.pdf (0.1 MB) - How can an institution ensure that effective quality enhancement takes place in an environment where the rules and regulation of quality assurance are seen by many academic staff as discouraging such activity? The following provides a case study of the actions taken by one institution when trying to ensure that it provides an exceptional student experience whilst at the same time meeting appropriate quality requirements. It is argued that whilst the restructuring of the central support teams to ensure co-ordinated support for academic staff and effective links between the outcomes of the quality assurance processes and developmental activity plays a part what really allows a significant step change to be taken is cultural change within an institution based on a clear shared vision.

E-xcellence+: European wide introduction of QA in e-learning; a benchmarking approach

E-xcellence+: European wide introduction of QA in e-learning; a benchmarking approach by George Ubachs, Version 2008, Ib.5 - Ubachs.pdf (34 KB)

Training of students as experts for external quality assurance – the Swiss experience

Training of students as experts for external quality assurance – the Swiss experience by Christian Schneijderberg, Monika Risse, Version 2008, Ib.4 - Schneijderberg_Risse.pdf (79 KB) - VSS-UNES-USU the National Union of Students of Switzerland and the Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities (OAQ) started with conceptualising, implementing and training of a pool of student experts for external quality assurance assessments in 2007. Before the cooperation began several challenges had to be faced. One challenge was and still is the continuous organic growth of a culture of quality enhancement in the Swiss higher education system. The second challenge – due to the lack of tradition of student participation in Quality Assurance in the Swiss Higher Education System – was to set up a legal basis for the integration of students in external quality assurance. The Swiss experience may be of interest for all countries/QA agencies/student unions to see how such initiative can be realised. Also the role of students is of big importance when discussing about participation in internal and external quality assurance.

Thematic quality review as a supplement to departmental quality reviews: a case study within the Irish university system

Thematic quality review as a supplement to departmental quality reviews: a case study within the Irish university system by Heinz Lechleiter, Version 2008, Ib.3 - Lechleiter.pdf (74 KB) - The Irish universities’ quality assurance and improvement system is well established and successful since its introduction in the late 1990ies. It takes the form departmental reviews of both academic departments (Schools, Faculties and Research Centres) as well as administrative and support units. The case study reports on the introduction of thematic reviews in Dublin City University with the
intention of bridging the gaps that arise from a departmental approach to quality related matters. The theme of the first review of its kind in the Irish university sector was First year and Beginner Student Experience (to include transfer and international students). Characteristic features of thematic reviews, associated difficulties, and ways of coping with such difficulties are shown using the key areas of complexity, leadership, timing and originality of thematic reviews. A short summary of the results of the review and an overview of some of the main distinguishing features of thematic vs. departmental reviews conclude the case study.

Criteria Identification for Study Program Quality Assessment and Ranking

Criteria Identification for Study Program Quality Assessment and Ranking by Dainis Dosbergs, Juris Borzovs, Version 2008, Ib.2 - Dosbergs_Borzovs.pdf (0.2 MB) - The authors present different approaches for higher education institution (HEI) or HEI’s study course quality evaluation as well as introduce a new solution for assessing and ranking study programs based on identification and evaluation of quality criteria. The aim of this research is to define the set of criteria that can be used for study program quality evaluation and ranking. Later on these quality
criteria are to be analysed by the group of experts. In the first section the authors review world’s experience in creating rankings and also identify it strengths and weaknesses. In the second section the authors examine Latvian experience in creating rankings and quality evaluation activities using accreditation. In the third section the authors compare concepts of ranking and quality. In the final section the authors include criteria for ICT study program quality assessment that are presented to experts for detailed analysis as well as describe a method that can be used to identify quality extent of different ICT study program.

Quality Management System – a good aid in creating a new joint culture for merging universities: A case study

Quality Management System – a good aid in creating a new joint culture for merging universities: A case study by Sirpa Suntioinen, Kirsi Karjalainen, Version 2008, Ib.1 - Suntioinen_Karjalainen.pdf (1.1 MB) - The present study explores how a Quality Management System, a QMS, can be used as an aid in creating a joint quality culture for two Finnish universities currently undergoing a merger. Through the joint QMS, the new vision, mission, strategy, and the entire organizational culture are made concrete and visible for the staff and students. Regardless of the campus or faculty, it also gives them
the important feeling of having equal opportunities to work and to participate in the development of the new university. The joint strategic indicators and annual management reviews offer good tools to monitor the fulfilment of the strategy and vision, and the merger process as a whole. Our experiences show that creating a joint QMS with transparent process descriptions alongside with the merger process helps the staff and students to adopt the new organizational culture and the new joint practices.

Enhancing Education Quality Assurance Using Data Mining Case Study: Arab International University Systems

Enhancing Education Quality Assurance Using Data Mining Case Study: Arab International University Systems by Faek Diko, Zaidoun Alzoabi, Mouhib Alnoukari, Version 2008, Ia.9 - Diko_Alnoukari_Alzoabi.pdf (0.1 MB) - In this paper we introduce a comprehensive educational quality assurance system for a university. The system takes into consideration the three main pillars of the educational process: content, delivery, and assessment. We will demonstrate a comprehensive system that enables quality control and quality assurance using data mining combining data from Quality Assurance Automated System QAAS, the
Academic System, HR System, and Financial System focusing on various performance indicators in the aforementioned three pillars. We will explain the system through a real-life case, where this system produced valuable information in a way that helped Arab International University (AIU)-Syria to make use of the vast data produced by its main four systems to uncover hidden trends, knowledge, and quality deficiencies making it easier to the decision maker to plan, assure and control quality.

Developing internal QA mechanisms – Towards an East African Quality Assurance framework

Developing internal QA mechanisms - Towards an East African Quality Assurance framework by Mayunga H.H. Nkunya, Stefan Bienefeld, Christoph Hansert, Version 2008, Ia.8 - Bienefeld_Nkunya_Hansert.pdf (43 KB) - The expansion of higher education in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) while contributing to national, regional and global development goals has raised concerns over the issue of quality. To address this, the national regulatory agencies of Kenya (CHE, Tanzania (TCU) and Uganda (NCHE) in collaboration with the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and the University of Oldenburg have started a collaboration to develop and pilot an East African QA framework. To this end a handbook including a diagnostic model for internal QA and external assessment was prepared and piloted in 22 selected institutions in the region. Additionally, staff of those institutions was selected and underwent training as quality assurance officers. Preliminary results, successes and challenges are identified and discussed.

Teaching Observation: Does it Develop Teaching? A Case Study from South East European University (SEEU)

Teaching Observation: Does it Develop Teaching? A Case Study from South East European University (SEEU) by Heather Henshaw, Zamir Dika, Rufat Osmani, Alajdin Abazi, Version 2008, Ia.7 - Henshaw e.a..pdf (71 KB) - Governments, regional bodies and individual institutions, employers and students are now demanding a high quality student learning experience and in particular, an improvement in the quality of learning and teaching, within the particular environment of higher education. This case study provides an active example of how a higher educational institution has created and implemented a teaching observation procedure based on critical reflection, individual support, institutional quality assurance and staff training and development, within a challenging, social, economic and political context. It has drawn on European and Bologna policies and guidelines as well as other national schemes in order to shape an effective system. It is intended to offer an individual model
for discussion and generate wider debate about the correlation between layers of quality assurance, and about what methods actually create the conditions and environment for improvement.

Towards Institutional Accreditation: The Swiss Experience in external QA

Towards Institutional Accreditation: The Swiss Experience in external QA by Rolf Heusser, Laura Beccari, Version 2008, Ia.6 - Heusser_Beccari.pdf (0.5 MB) - 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.

Valuing the Student Voice – Evidence from the UK

Valuing the Student Voice – Evidence from the UK by Ruth Williams, Version 2008, Ia.4 - Williams.pdf (49 KB) - The role of students in institutional quality assurance and enhancement processes has a long tradition in UK higher education and elsewhere. In the UK students are invited to respond to institutional mechanisms for collecting their views about the learning experience, and to represent their peers on institutional education and quality governance committees. However, the increasing marketisation of higher education and continuing drives to greater public accountability have prompted renewed institutional efforts to ensure that student voices are listened to and acted upon. This paper draws on the findings of a study that is exploring institutions’ deliberate attempts to involve students in their internal quality assurance and enhancement processes, both formal and informal. While the study focuses on one particular country – England, the findings from this research are likely to be of interest to other countries in Europe and beyond that are grappling with similar issues.

The Actors’ Lenses: On understanding prevailing conditions for introducing quality assurance measures in an institution

The Actors’ Lenses: On understanding prevailing conditions for introducing quality assurance measures in an institution by Ingrid Maria Hanken, Version 2008, Ia.3 - Hanken.pdf (57 KB) - This paper discusses challenges that can confront higher education institutions when quality assurance measures such as student evaluation of teaching are introduced. It is based on a research study of how student evaluation of individual instrumental tuition is perceived, experienced and practiced by instrumental teachers and their students at a Norwegian music academy. The study takes institutional theory as its point of departure. This theory focuses on how norms, values, routines, and perceptions develop in an institution and result in a collective ”logic of appropriateness”: taken for granted expectations as to how members of the institution should” behave. The results indicate that there exists such a “logic of appropriateness” in the case institution, and that it represents several challenges to student evaluation of teaching. The results underline the importance of understanding the prevailing ”logic of
appropriateness” when introducing quality assurance measures such as student evaluation of teaching in higher education institutions.

Review on the quality of teaching in higher education Case studies / good practice paper

Review on the quality of teaching in higher education Case studies / good practice paper by Fabrice Henard, Version 2008, Ia.2 - Henard.pdf (56 KB) - This paper reflects the early findings of a review been carried out by the OECD programme Institutional Management for Higher Education (IMHE), on the quality of teaching in higher education. That review aims at understanding why and how the institutions support, implement and reward the quality of teaching. The paper focuses on the emergence of the institutional support to the quality of teaching, on the influence of QA on the quality of teaching, and on the evaluation of the quality of teaching by the institutions themselves. A conclusive part points out the importance of the institutional involvement to improve the quality of teaching.
Over 2008, IMHE worked with a group of 28 higher education institutions, which provided vignettes of their practices in the field of quality teaching. Many institutions are in some way hesitant to support the quality of teaching because it might alter academic freedom. However, they now strongly believe that teaching can no longer be neglected at institutional level and be left to individuals; new challenges brought about an institutional interest in to quality of teaching. Institutions become keen on helping the academic community to improve the pedagogical skills and to gear teaching to the current requirements of a diverse audience of students and of the job-markets.
Institutions consider that QA national systems have had an impact on raising the consciousness of the quality teaching within the institution. However, some complain that QA can embrace the complexity of higher education of today (e.g. to appraise the quality of elearning). Evaluation instruments to appraise the quality of pedagogy are indeed lacking. The evaluation of inputs prevails whereas the evaluation of learning outcomes remains utopia for many. But all institutions recognize the importance of defining what quality means for
teachers prior to embarking institutional support.

Concept of Complex Quality Management in the HEI Strategy

Concept of Complex Quality Management in the HEI Strategy by András Gábor, József Temesi, Version 2008, Ia.1 - Gabor_Temesi.pdf (0.3 MB) - The aim of this paper is to describe a possible approach to the institutional task of developing an internal quality assurance system.
Complex quality management can contribute to the development and maintenance of the organizational strategies at universities. Organizational strategies refer to the administrative systems, institutional policies and systems that make the integration of international, intercultural, and global dimensions of the primary functions of a university (teaching, research, and community
services) possible.
The proposed solution is based on a set of innovation. The innovative technologies cover identity management and the related applications: e-learning, blended learning, mobile learning, adaptive testing, advanced learning environment. Furthermore innovation goes beyond the traditional learning/teaching relations: technological challenges of a less bureaucratic administration, closed information flow (workflow), management information systems, executive information systems, strategy monitoring are also addressed.

Joint NARIC and ENQA Diploma Supplement Project

Joint NARIC and ENQA Diploma Supplement Project by Guy Aelterman, Susanna Kärki, Version 2008, I.9 - Aelterman_Karki.pdf (0.1 MB) - The Diploma Supplement Project, managed by ENIC-NARIC and ENQA, and financed by the European Commission’s Socrates Programme, collected and cross-examined 26 recent Diploma Supplement samples from 22 EHEA countries in order to reflect on the use and purposes of the Diploma Supplement and use the results to work out an educational tool for the benefit of institutions working with the Diploma Supplement. The cross-reading of the Diploma Supplements was accompanied by three site-visits in different institutions (polytechnic in Finland, engineering school in France and a university in Turkey). The purpose of the project was to compare and contrast good practises, and to collect good examples. In addition to ENIC-NARIC and ENQA, ESU, EUA and Business Europe participated in the project. From the point of view of Quality Assurance there are three ways to look at the Diploma Supplement (product and process) : (1) as a possible tool as regards accreditation of programmes (mutual recognition of evaluation/ accreditation decisions), (2) As a product of the institution, and (3) what kind of IQA and EQA are used / needed in the production process DS.

Quality procedures in European Higher Education: ‘Lessons’ from the ENQA 2008 survey and future directions

Quality procedures in European Higher Education: ‘Lessons’ from the ENQA 2008 survey and future directions by Božana Knežević, Tanel Sits, Version 2008, I.8 - Knezevic_Sits.pdf (0.9 MB) - The workshop will start from the results of the ENQA 2008 Quality Procedures Project survey and its outcomes and, in particular, present patterns of priorities, purposes, activities and changes in these procedures. The results will be presented in a way that links priorities, purposes and procedures to ‘contexts’ – both local and European - and changes that are occurring in these. The main part of the workshop will involve structured discussions by subgroups, working within different but overlapping areas and each with some ‘starter’ topics / questions. The workshop will conclude with a plenary that will seek to link the key points identified by each group into a wider ‘picture’, and identify where thoughts and actions may most effectively be focussed to further develop and improve quality assurance both within HE institutions and the QA agencies that are responsible for their external evaluation.

Students’ QA Experiences: An introduction to the Institutional Audits and Programme Accreditation

Students’ QA Experiences: An introduction to the Institutional Audits and Programme Accreditation by Juhana Harju, Version 2008, I.4 - Fabry_Harju.pdf (1.2 MB) - In Europe, countries or regions have approached external accountability in higher education through programme accreditations as well as institutional accreditations or audits. There is an on-going debate on the benefits and disadvantages of both approaches. This session will analyse how students, who have been involved in these evaluations, see their possibilities to influence the quality of the higher education. Do students consider these accreditations and audits to have an impact on the education offered by higher education institutions? What are the perceived pros and cons of the different approaches from a students’ perspective? The session will
discuss experiences from two different angles: institutional audits (Finland) and programme accreditations (Belgium Flemish community).

The challenge of writing competency-based learning outcomes

The challenge of writing competency-based learning outcomes by Astrid Scholten, Jenneke Lokhoff, Version 2008, I.3 - Scholten_Lokhoff.pdf (0.3 MB) - This workshop aims to make participants familiar with the different aspects of writing learning outcomes, both from a theoretical and a practical point of view. As part of the theoretical discussion attention will be given to different definitions of the terms ‘competence’ and
‘competencies’, the difference between competencies and qualifications and European and national qualification frameworks. The participants will be challenged to write competency-based learning outcomes for a fictional degree program. This workshop builds further on the conclusions of the Competences in Education and Cross Border Recognition (CoRe) project (www.core-project.eu), that has been carried out last year by Nuffic (in collaboration with other NARIC’s) and Tuning. CoRe’s analysis of learning outcomes of different programs showed that there is currently a lack of uniformity both on the level of the information provided as well as on the level of the format design.

On the way to mutual understanding: the terminology of quality assurance

On the way to mutual understanding: the terminology of quality assurance by Janet Bohrer, Fiona Crozier, Helka Kekäläinen, Version 2008, I.2 - Bohrer_Crozier_Kekalainen.pdf (15 KB) - Many delegates at the conference will be involved with translating documents into and out of English as part of their work. The use of English as a ‘mediating’ language in quality assurance has the potential for creating confusion and the lack of a shared linguistic understanding has been considered a possible stumbling block in the creation of a European Higher Education Area. Drawing on the experience from previous European discussions this workshop will give participants a chance to explore the meanings they ascribe to certain terminology with the aim of increasing shared understanding. Workshop participants will be able to consider if there are ‘key’ terms that would benefit from a common understanding; if there are particular standards within the European Standards and Guidelines where differing interpretations might lead to difficulties; and without a common understanding what difficulties there might be when working collaboratively, for example, Erasmus Mundus joint degrees.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes by Etelka Tamminen Dahl, Version 2008, I.1 - Dahl.pdf (0.6 MB) - The workshop will discuss problems, pitfalls, challenges, student involvement and good practice in curriculum design and enhancement. The quality assurance and evaluation of a study programme will be highlighted.
We will begin with what looks like a virtual workshop, with a rehearsed scenario rather than a panel debate. Some actors sitting among the audience will play different roles (academics, students, quality assurance staff) presenting their various and authentic different opinions on curriculum design. However, the audience will from the very beginning be involved in the discussion. The objective of this form of workshop is to ensure that crucial questions will be raised. As a background for the theme, the workshop will start with a short presentation of the frame for curriculum design on the European level (20 minutes). The introductory presentation will then turn to permeate the elements of a curriculum for a study programme.

Universities and Rankings – the multi-purpose game

Universities and Rankings – the multi-purpose game by Oliver Vettori, Version 2008, Plenary_V_-_Vettori.pdf (0.4 MB)

The Emperor Has No Clothes? Rankings and the Shift from QA to World-Class Excellence

The Emperor Has No Clothes? Rankings and the Shift from QA to World-Class Excellence by Ellen Hazelkorn, Version 2008, Plenary_V_-_Hazelkorn.pdf (0.3 MB)