What we tell each other about ‘quality’ and ‘trust’: Analysis and discussion of the EQAF 2011 contributions

What we tell each other about ‘quality’ and ‘trust’: Analysis and discussion of the EQAF 2011 contributions by Heinz Lechleiter, Version 2011, BS III.2_Lechleiter.pdf (0 B) - The workshop is a self-reflective exercise analysing and discussing the contributions
to the 6th European Quality Assurance Forum as presented in the abstracts of the papers and
workshops submitted to and accepted for EQAF 2011 based on a study of all the abstracts. It
consists of a short presentation of the study’s results, revealing how buzz-words are used and
what meanings and attitudes are attached to them. The presentation will demonstrate
underlying assumptions and metaphors in the abstracts. The findings will be discussed by the
participants using questions that arise from the study of the abstracts. The aim is to filter out
and clarify tendencies in the Forum contributions, to use a fresh and creative approach for
stimulating discussion and, maybe, to provide participants with a tool and terminology for
viewing and reviewing the conference with the help of headings developed in the workshop.

A snapshot of the students’ involvement in Quality Assurance across Europe

A snapshot of the students’ involvement in Quality Assurance across Europe by Karl Agius, Alina C. Gavra, Version 2011, BS IIIb2_Gavra.pdf (0.5 MB) - Although significant improvements have been recorded in Quality Assurance (QA) in the last two decades, active and genuine student involvement in QA still remains to become an integral part of QA processes at all levels. This paper poses several arguments for why students should be considered as the major stakeholders in QA, depicting also best practice examples in this sense. This paper also shows the overall relatively low level of student involvement across Europe through a snapshot study carried out across 16 countries coming from different regions in Europe. The results show that although currently there seems to be an ongoing commitment to increase student involvement, more needs to be done for enhancing student participation in QA.

Participative Process Management as the Core Element of a Process-based Quality Management

Participative Process Management as the Core Element of a Process-based Quality Management by Elke Sass, Johann Janssen, Version 2011, BS IIIb5_Janssen.pdf (0.4 MB) - The participative process management that has been in operation since 2006 at the University of Applied Sciences Fulda (HFD) in Germany is introduced as a method for supporting the management of the university in the context of New Public Management
(NPM). It is a core element of IT-supported process-based quality management (QM) which encompasses all procedures for control, in particular the implementation of strategic and operational objectives and the process of continuous improvement. At the HFD, QM entails integrating all employees into the sphere of responsibility for the quality of services provided and their ongoing improvement. There have generally been substantial reservations with respect to the application of QM in a university environment. QM is frequently equated with a high level of documentation and formalisation (bureaucracy). The methodology described in the present paper counters such reservations systematically, and an empirical study conducted at the HFD demonstrates some initial success.

The Quality Audit as a Trigger for Change. A Case Study of Trustful Cooperation Between a Higher Education Institution and a Quality Assurance Agency

The Quality Audit as a Trigger for Change. A Case Study of Trustful Cooperation Between a Higher Education Institution and a Quality Assurance Agency by Harald Scheuthle, Karl Wilbers, Maria Wittmann, Version 2011, BS IIIb4_Scheuthle.pdf (0.5 MB) - In many cases, external quality assurance procedures are used for accountability reasons to certify higher education institutions (HEIs) or their programmes. This leads to a certain antagonism between HEIs and quality assurance agencies. This paper presents a model of how an external quality assurance procedure can be used in a cooperative approach between an agency and a university to enhance the university’s internal quality management system. The approach is illustrated in the case study of a Quality Audit at the School of Business and Economics of the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg carried out by evalag (Evaluationsagentur Baden-Württemberg). The paper explains how the specific features of the quality audit support the institution in the enhancement of its quality management and how the procedure requires and builds trust between the university and the agency. It also discusses how the School of Business and Economics used the audit as a catalyst for its internal quality process.

Critical friends or independent critics? On trust relationships in external quality assurance in Flemish higher education

Critical friends or independent critics? On trust relationships in external quality assurance in Flemish higher education by Mieke Beckers, Dieter Cortvriendt, Patrick Van den Bosch, Version 2011, BS IIIb3_Cortvriendt.pdf (0.2 MB) - The Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) of the Flemish Universities and Colleges Council (VLUHR) is assigned to coordinate the external quality assurance of the Bachelor and Master programmes organised by the Flemish universities and university colleges. The actual assessments are carried out by a panel of peers. In order to organise the study programme assessments successfully, high levels of trust must exist between the QAU and the panels (and a number of other actors like the higher education institutions, the accreditation body  and the Flemish government). In this paper, we will focus on some of the trust relations between the QAU and the programmes, and more precisely on the selection of the panel of peers which carry out the assessments and which can be seen as the focal ‘mediators of trust’ of the whole assessment system. We will argue that trust, independence and expertise are not unambiguous notions and that a panel must both act as critical friends and independent critics in order to establish trust relationships, and as such form the nexus in the checks and balances in the whole system of quality assurance.

External or internal quality assurance?

External or internal quality assurance? by Kath Hodgson, Version 2011, BS IIIb1_Hodgson.pdf (1.2 MB) - Monitoring the quality of a higher education institution’s learning and teaching fulfils many purposes, but to be really valuable the essence of any scheme has to be the improvement of the quality of the experience for the students. This paper explores how an institution used the experience of external subject-level monitoring as the basis for the development of an internal review scheme which assures the institution that quality is being managed effectively by its schools whilst crucially also providing the basis for improvement. It suggests that you do not automatically improve quality in an institution by continually measuring it.

The Art of Programme Management – How to Balance Multiple Tasks and Conflicting Stakeholder Interests

The Art of Programme Management – How to Balance Multiple Tasks and Conflicting Stakeholder Interests by Sven Bislev, Jakob Ravn, Ole Stenvinkel Nilsson, Version 2011, BS IIIa5_Bislev.pdf (0.3 MB) - Programme management includes a multitude of decisions on numerous parameters: course content, modes of delivery, management of professional and academic standards, admission, grading, finance, and marketing. At the same time, programme management is seen as an organisational response to demands from multiple stakeholders with conflicting interests. How does the process assure salient stakeholders’ influence on programme management decisions? Five groups of stakeholders are considered: Faculty/academics, students, industry/employers, the institution (senior management), and society at large. Different HEIs have chosen different solutions to programme management. In this paper we (1) sketch a conceptual framework for an analysis of HE programme management and (2) describe the framework for study programme management at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Denmark, reflecting on the benefits and shortcomings of this particular organisational model. The discussion serves as a point of departure for developing a holistic model that addresses both multiple tasks and legitimate stakeholder interests.

Regaining Trust: is it possible?

Regaining Trust: is it possible? by Alberto Amaral, Orlanda Tavares, Sónia Cardoso, Version 2011, BS IIIa4_Amaral.pdf (2.1 MB) - In recent years there has been a loss of trust in institutions and more intrusive systems of accountability were developed. This was the consequence both of massification of higher education systems and the implementation of New Public Management policies. In this paper recent trends are analysed, both in Europe and in the United States. These trends are very diverse and include in one extreme the EU policies aimed at creating rankings and in the other extreme the quality enhancement movement that can be seen as an attempt at reestablishing trust in institutions. The paper concludes with some comments on the possibility of reinstating trust.

Strengthening trust and value in quality through institution-led internal reviews

Strengthening trust and value in quality through institution-led internal reviews by Tina Harrison, Linda Bruce, Version 2011, BS IIIa3_HarrisonBruce.pdf (0.3 MB) - There has been much debate in recent years about standards in higher education and pressures on quality assurance agencies to assure trust in quality systems in enhancing the student experience. How is such trust achieved? One view is to reduce the emphasis on audit and increase the level of involvement, engagement and ownership of quality systems and processes by universities, their staff and students. Set within the context of the Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework, this paper discusses recent developments in the institutionled quality process at the University of Edinburgh, designed to increase engagement, reflection and ownership of quality processes by its staff and students. A task group was established to review the current process and made a number of recommendations for change that were implemented in the reviews conducted in 2010/11. The paper discusses the changes made in three key areas: quality culture, student engagement, and follow-up and impact.

Students’ view on the external evaluation process. Enhancing quality through student feedback

Students’ view on the external evaluation process. Enhancing quality through student feedback by Anca Prisăcariu, Version 2011, BS IIIa2_Prisacariu.pdf (0.2 MB) - The present paper aims at identifying issues that can be improved in the institutional quality assurance process in Romania. This is done by surveying student quality evaluators about their perception of the review process in its different aspects: general perception of the efficacy of the evaluation process and perception of the pre- and the post-visit phase, teamwork in the review panel and higher institutions’ openness to the evaluation. An insight into the perception of students that have been involved in external reviews points out the fortes of the quality evaluation process and also, and more importantly, aspects that are still missing or that can be improved in the process. The study also provides essential insight about how the review members work as a team. Based on the present status highlighted by the results of the questionnaire, there are a series of concrete solutions for improving the institutional quality evaluation process and also for further research in the domain.

Perceptions of quality: NOKUT’s ‘quality barometers for higher education’ – 2010 and 2011

Perceptions of quality: NOKUT’s ‘quality barometers for higher education’ - 2010 and 2011 by Jon Haakstad, Version 2011, BS IIIa1_Haakstad_NOKUT.pdf (0.4 MB) - NOKUT’s Scientific Employees’ Educational Quality Barometer 2010 was a first attempt in Norway to make a survey of academic teachers’ attitudes to different aspects of quality in higher education. When the barometer was published, however, it gave rise to a storm of student comments, as it seemed to show that teachers generally identified the (lacking) abilities and efforts of the students, rather than the quality of their own teaching, as the main obstacles to high quality. Teaching academics came across as rather complacent about the academic and didactic quality of their provision and found little use in institutional quality assurance systems. A follow-up survey in 2011, now taking in a representative sample of students as well, largely confirmed the findings concerning teachers’ attitudes from 2010  and showed that teachers and students make quite diverging assessments. The paper addresses several interesting points that the barometers raise. A crucial one is this: The Qualifications Frameworks now point to the learning outcome as a central orientation point. QA cannot follow that up unless it becomes more ‘didactic’ and closer to the learning process; therefore QA systems must also win the acceptance and active participation of the teaching academics. Is that likely to happen, given the revealed scepticism?

Building trust for sustainability: the academy vs. the state

Building trust for sustainability: the academy vs. the state by Mike Kuria, Version 2011, BS III.3_Kuria.pdf (0.3 MB) - The Bologna Process was originated by governments if traced back to the 1998 meeting between education ministers from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany, which was followed by the meeting of 29 education ministers from Europe in Bologna, Italy, in
1999. In 1996, the Inter-University Council of East Africa, supported by the DAAD, initiated the development of an East-Africa-wide quality assurance framework. Forty-seven universities have participated and piloted a quality assurance handbook titled The Roadmap to Quality: A Handbook for Higher Education on selected programmes. Workshop participants will compare European and East African experiences and answer the following questions: Based on the Bologna Process and the East African experience, how can trust between the state and academy be enhanced for quality assurance in higher education? What measures can regional blocks (EAC and EU) put in for a sustainable regional quality assurance mechanism?

EUA’s Annual Review of Rankings

EUA's Annual Review of Rankings by Andrejs Rauhvargers, Version 2011, BS II.3 Rauhvargers.pdf (1.7 MB) - The purpose of the annual EUA report on rankings is to inform universities about the methodologies and the potential impact of the existing most popular global rankings. The EUA report on rankings demonstrated that the indicators used by the global league tables are oriented towards no more than 1,000 of the world’s elite research universities, leaving out the other 16,500 universities and that therefore higher education policies should not be based solely on ranking results. The report analyses the methodologies of rankings underlining their strong points and weaknesses. The discussion at the EQAF session will be focussed on the ability of university rankings to reflect on the performance of universities in research and in teaching and whether rankings measure quality as it is often stated.

The External Evaluation of the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) – Overview of Conclusions

The External Evaluation of the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) – Overview of Conclusions by Lucien Bollaert, Colin Tück, Version 2011, BS II.2_Tueck_Bollaert.pdf (98 KB) - When in 2007 European ministers of higher education charged the E4 Group (ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE) with the task to establish EQAR, they asked for an external evaluation of the Register after two years of operation. This was coordinated by a Steering Group working under the auspices of the US Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The evaluation was carried out by an independent panel, including European and non-European quality assurance and higher education experts. The Expert Panel's report was submitted to EQAR in September 2011. It is based on a Self-Evaluation Report produced by EQAR and a site visit, during which the Panel interviewed numerous European governments and stakeholders. The main findings and recommendations set out in the Expert Panel's report will be presented in the session. On that basis, participants will be invited to exchange views on the future role and development of EQAR in the European Higher Education Area.

Major findings and recommendations of the MAP-ESG project

Major findings and recommendations of the MAP-ESG project by Fiona Crozier, Version 2011, BS II.1_MAP-ESG.pdf (0.2 MB) - Over the last year the E4 Group (ENQA, EURASHE, EUA and ESU) have worked on a project called "Mapping the application and implementation of the ESG" (MAP-ESG). The purpose of the project has been to gather information on how the ESGs have been implemented and applied, on national level, in HEIs and in QA agencies in the 46 Bologna signatory countries. After five years of experience with implementing and applying the ESGs, there have been suggestions that they should be revised. As a response to this discussion the E4 Group decided to launch this project to map the experiences of various stakeholders with regard to the ESGs and their views on whether revision is needed. The project will result in an E4 report to be submitted to the HE Ministers and will make a recommendation on the appropriateness of a revision for the ESGs. During this session the major findings and recommendation of the project will be presented, allowing the audience the opportunity to discuss them prior to the finalisation of the E4 report.

Trusting the Foreigners: External quality assurance and minding the quality assurance gap in the provision of transnational education

Trusting the Foreigners: External quality assurance and minding the quality assurance gap in the provision of transnational education by Tara Ryan, Version 2011, BS Ib7_Ryan.pdf (0.2 MB) - The 2008 study produced by the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) on behalf of the European Commission (EC) on Transnational education in the European context – provision, approaches and policies documents the wide diversity of international and collaborative provision and concludes that perhaps the least recognised term used to collectively describe this concept is ‘transnational’ higher education (TNHE). The same report notes that ensuring quality is a critical success factor in TNHE, but that “quality assurance is a difficult concept to capture, and especially so in an international context”. It goes on to identify the challenges in the transnational provision of programmes whose primary quality assurance emanates in one jurisdiction, but must meet additional or alternative quality assurance requirements in another. The report calls the challenges in this process the “quality assurance gap”, and it is into this gap that this paper seeks to step (pp.9-10). The paper draws on six transnational quality assurance evaluations conducted by an Irish awarding body and external quality assurance agency during 2010/11 (the Higher Education and Training Awards Council). It suggests lessons learnt from those exercises and poses questions for the future external quality assurance of transnational provision. Whilst focussing on external quality assurance, its observations are relevant to higher education institutions and providers of higher education across borders.

Experiences gained from the implementation of Quality Management processes at a Greek higher education institution

Experiences gained from the implementation of Quality Management processes at a Greek higher education institution by Pandelis Ipsilantis, Nikolaos Batis, Dimitris Kantas, Ioannis Papadopoulos, Panagiotis Trivellas, Version 2011, BS Ib6_Ipsilandis.pdf (0.9 MB) - Quality Assurance procedures became obligatory for Greek higher education institutions in the period from 2005 to 2007. Implementation of QA procedures at specific institutions became a major project since no formal procedures were in place, and a significant part of the academic, technical and administrative personnel was not familiar with quality principles. This paper, written by the team of academics who formed the first panel of the Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) at the Technological Education Institute of Larissa (TEI/L) presents the approach followed in implementing new practices related to QA, as well as the main actions and challenges faced. The continuous interaction of QAU with internal stakeholders (management, staff, and students) in the cultural environment of TEI/L revealed the needs and interests of each group and also identified issues to be addressed. Experiences
and lessons learnt from this effort are reported and discussed.

To understand and successfully utilise the learning outcome in Higher Education, must we first destroy it?

To understand and successfully utilise the learning outcome in Higher Education, must we first destroy it? by Ian Scott, Julian Martin, Version 2011, BS Ib5_MartinScott.pdf (0.6 MB) - In theory, learning outcomes are a keystone in creating student-centred education and benefit a wide variety of agencies in higher education. In this paper we argue that the learning outcome can be a false god to whom too much attention is paid, distorting the
learning process. We consider that learning outcomes are contextually situated and cannot be used to articulate their intended meaning beyond an expert audience, and suggest that understanding these limitations is essential to their successful use as aids to learning or the design of learning opportunities. It is important to raise the level of critical discourse on what has become a hegemony within higher education in the UK and increasingly across Europe as the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area becomes established. We aim to provoke a discussion of alternative models for HE design that are less dependent on such a contextually reliant concept.

Culture and Quality Assurance Approach: A Case Study of 360-Degree Feedback in China

Culture and Quality Assurance Approach: A Case Study of 360-Degree Feedback in China by Liu Xuanhui, Version 2011, BS Ib4_Xuanhui.pdf (0.2 MB) - Quality assurance approaches are used widely around the world. However, a good approach does not always guarantee good results. This paper provides a case study about the 360-degree feedback approach in one Chinese University. In this case, the 360-degree approach was used in the annual performance evaluation. But the results were far behind expectations. What are the reasons for this? This paper analyses the reasons from a cultural perspective. Traditional Chinese culture influences the evaluators’ attitude and decisionmaking process. This results in the poor effectiveness of the quality assurance approach.

Quality in a heterogeneous institution – Quality assurance in doctoral education at the Freie Universität Berlin

Quality in a heterogeneous institution - Quality assurance in doctoral education at the Freie Universität Berlin by Alexander Rindfleisch, Version 2011, BS Ib3_Rindfleisch.pdf (0.9 MB) - Doctoral education has not been the main focus of quality assurance at the Freie Universität Berlin until recently. This is changing but there are lots of obstacles and problems to be solved. The university is a very heterogeneous institution and there is not one body responsible for overall quality assurance. Data is collected by different offices, there are different bodies involved in administrating the “doctoral process” and there is no clear hierarchy as concerns quality assurance. This paper describes the situation of quality assurance in regards to doctoral education at the Freie Universität Berlin and outlines how the Dahlem Research School, the university’s umbrella organisation for structured doctoral programmes, developed a multi-stage QA model to overcome these obstacles.

How to escape from a vicious PDCA by returning to the basics of quality and by looking for strategies to ensure the enduring concern of the educational front

How to escape from a vicious PDCA by returning to the basics of quality and by looking for strategies to ensure the enduring concern of the educational front by Marieke Janssen, Version 2011, BS Ib2_ Marieke Janssen.pdf (0.8 MB) - Since the early 1990s, quality management has been on the agenda of higher education institutions. During this period we notice a shift from a rather superficial, formalised approach to a steering Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) improvement methodology. As most of the higher education institutions succeeded in installing systematic PDCA control mechanisms, there is the need to take a further step. If higher education institutions do not want to fall into the trap of a vicious PDCA cycle and if they want to renew themselves continuously in a rapidly changing environment, they will have to look for ways to involve their stakeholders (mainly the students and the teachers) in this process. In this paper we look for some ways to stimulate the talent, enthusiasm, ambition and imagination of  teachers and students in order to create an engaging learning environment.

How to Balance Stakeholders’ Expectations in External Quality Assurance? An Estonian case study

How to Balance Stakeholders’ Expectations in External Quality Assurance? An Estonian case study by Maiki Udam, Version 2011, BS Ib1_Udam.pdf (0.6 MB) - In this article, the author shows the expectations of stakeholders regarding the aims of external quality assurance in higher education. The definition of stakeholders is based on Burke’s (2005) accountability triangle where the three angles are academia, market and state. Looking for balance among these actors’ expectations should be one of the objectives of higher education quality assurance schemes. Since 2010, the external quality assurance system in Estonia has been revised. Accreditation of study programmes is replaced by institutional accreditation and assessment of study programme groups. This study is based on focus group interviews with representatives of academia, market and state to map their expectations about the purpose of external quality assurance. The findings of this study pose several aims which have been taken into account during the development of a new external quality assurance system in Estonia and can be considered as well in other countries using similar assessment models.

Quality Assurance in an International Higher Education Area. A case study approach and comparative analysis of six national higher education systems

Quality Assurance in an International Higher Education Area. A case study approach and comparative analysis of six national higher education systems by Andrea Bernhard, Version 2011, BS Ia7_Bernhard.pdf (0.2 MB) - Transparency and comparability of higher education institutions especially in terms of their academic programmes and research activities are important issues for today’s working environment. This paper is an overview of a recently completed PhD thesis which outlines examples of selected OECD countries (Austria, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada) with their different approaches to implementing a quality assurance system. These case studies are compared along peer-reviewed country reports and interviews with national and international experts. Based on this comparative study, useful recommendations are provided to create a functioning quality assurance system within an international higher education area.

Using the course syllabus to document the quality of teaching and identifying its most useful items according to the students

Using the course syllabus to document the quality of teaching and identifying its most useful items according to the students by Laurent Leduc, Version 2011, BS Ia5_Leduc.pdf (0.4 MB) - Alongside its well-known functions of communication tool, the syllabus represents suitable evidence of teaching quality. Indeed, for the last decade, more references to syllabi are being recommended in faculty evaluation and in accreditation reviews. This paper first discusses the use of syllabus items in documenting and increasing the quality of course planning according to the literature. Secondly, in order to inspire institutions in their choices of the most valuable syllabus items, this paper reports the results of a survey conducted at the University of Liège in order to identify the most useful generic components to be included in course syllabi according to the opinions of 1,432 students. Items like Assessment methods and criteria; Learning objectives/outcomes; Recommended or required readings and Learning advice appeared to be among the most popular. Our communication will address the reasons likely to explain their most surprising choices compared to similar research.

A dialogue and user-centred quality assurance approach

A dialogue and user-centred quality assurance approach by Hanne Leth Andersen, Version 2011, BS Ia4_Leth Andersen.pdf (1.1 MB) - With the new turn in Danish national quality assurance policy in education, it is expected that the accreditation system will be changed from programme accreditation to institutional accreditation. This will put emphasis on the universities’ internal quality systems. The system at Roskilde University (RU) is designed with the clear ambition to be user-centred and focussed on dialogue. Evaluation methods must be chosen by teachers and students, and focus on both parties’ responsibility in teaching and learning. The quality  system has the ambition of focussing on development, not on control (research results show that combinations are most difficult). Therefore, evaluation is not considered to be a means to detect the bad cases, but a tool for dialogue, nor is competence development considered to be a tool that external stakeholders can master; it can be defined in appreciative collegiate groups. Neither students nor teachers can grow if they are not in charge of their own practice.

Implementing quality assurance in doctoral education – a snapshot

Implementing quality assurance in doctoral education – a snapshot by Thomas Ekman Jørgensen, Version 2011, BS Ia3_Jorgensen.pdf (0.5 MB) - This paper presents the main findings of a survey on quality assurance procedures in European doctoral education. It also gives a brief overview of the background of reforms of doctoral education in European universities, underlining the research base of the doctorate, which makes it essentially different from the first and second cycle. The survey results confirm and emphasise the scope of reform, and how universities are taking institutional responsibility in an area previously dominated by the personal master-apprentice relationship between supervisor and supervisee. The paper also demonstrates the differences between various kinds of external and internal evaluations of doctoral programmes considering both research capacity and the quality of institutional structures.

Enhancement of higher-education quality with a focus on the major stakeholders

Enhancement of higher-education quality with a focus on the major stakeholders by Natalia Bukhshtaber, Version 2011, BS Ia2_Bukhshtaber.pdf (1.6 MB) - The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area state that a good-quality higher education should serve the interests of the major stakeholders: students, employers and the society at large. However, the interests of these  stakeholders encompass different time perspectives and different needs, which often conflict. In today's knowledge-intensive economy, a university should not only meet the requirements of employers and students, but also serve as an active agent of development. Its mission should be to develop those competencies that will be most needed as society progresses, such as creativity, innovation and social responsibility. The paper discusses the challenge of balancing the various requirements of major stakeholders to ensure that the educational process simultaneously leads to the personal and professional development of graduates, the successful operation of companies, and the prosperity of society. The author challenges the traditional understanding of the roles of intended learning outcomes (ILOs) in quality assurance. The paper aims to provoke a discussion of how the achievement of such desirable elements as creativity and innovation can be measured against the pre-determined standards found in ILOs. The paper illustrates these challenges by looking at the experiences of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Business School in its efforts to enhance educational quality.

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For: IUQB’s response to stakeholder demands for autonomy, accountability and accessibility through the Institutional Review of Irish Universities (IRIU) Process

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For: IUQB’s response to stakeholder demands for autonomy, accountability and accessibility through the Institutional Review of Irish Universities (IRIU) Process by Karen Jones, Version 2011, BS Ia1_Jones.pdf (0.9 MB) - In the last ten years the university sector in Ireland has published over 400 internal review reports and undertaken two cycles of institutional level review. Yet, the majority of internal and external stakeholders would have little or no awareness that this vast independent knowledge base existed, know how or where to find it, or indeed what to do with it. The Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) will use this session to reflect on the findings of a mid-cycle analysis of feedback gained from universities and reviewers that participated in its institutional review process between 2009 and 2011. It will share reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the methods used by IUQB to maximise the accountability of Irish universities and enhance public accessibility to the reports, findings and follow-up actions arising from internal (university-managed) and external (IUQB-managed) quality assurance processes, while respecting institutional autonomy, independence and diversity.

Sabotaging trust and managing distrust – an inventory of our best bad practices

Sabotaging trust and managing distrust – an inventory of our best bad practices by Bernhard Kernegger, Oliver Vettori, Version 2011, BS I.3_Kernegger_Vettori.pdf (0.6 MB) - The conference theme “Quality and Trust: at the heart of what we do” invites an overdue debate regarding the intended but also the unintended consequences of our impressively wide range of QA tools that were developed during the last two decades, and reminds us of the social and cultural dimensions involved. In many cases, the relationships between different actor and stakeholder groups (such as HEIs across different countries or sectors, HEI and QA agencies, senior management and staff, QA experts and academics etc.) are characterised by strong reservations towards each other and a considerable level of (dare we say it?) suspiciousness. It is a common experience for QA experts in any organisation, for example, that their efforts to support improvement are rather interpreted as a badly disguised attempt at control and surveillance. The workshop will provide an opportunity for critically analysing our daily QA-related activities with regard to the trust/distrust dilemma and encourage the participants to share their own experiences. In this regard, the workshop will also address questions of ownership, reflecting who we are thinking of when we say “at the heart of what we do”.

Enhancing quality through student engagement

Enhancing quality through student engagement by Eve Lewis, Version 2011, BS I.2_Lewis_sparqs.pdf (0.1 MB) - Scotland’s tertiary education system has been focused on quality enhancement since the creation of the Quality Enhancement Framework in 2003. Whilst still having a place for quality assurance, the Framework has put the focus more on the enhancement of quality and engaging students effectively within learning and teaching. An enhancement model includes involving students within quality mechanisms, but it should also focus on enabling students to shape their own learning experience. This workshop will outline the role of sparqs (student participation in quality Scotland) in ensuring students are effectively engaged in quality. Participants will then explore their own and each other’s understanding of involving students in quality assurance and enhancement. The workshop will introduce a number of concepts and tools used to engage students in quality which participants will be given the opportunity to discuss and critique. This workshop will be of interest to anyone who wants to explore an enhancement approach and enable successful engagement of students within quality processes and the learning experience.

Education leadership at study programme level – what does it mean and is it well defined?

Education leadership at study programme level – what does it mean and is it well defined? by Berit Kjeldstad, Version 2011, BS I.1_Kjeldstad.pdf (0.5 MB) - The workshop will explore why academic leadership matters in developing education, quality assurance reforms and qualification frameworks where study programmes are developed based on learning outcomes, credits and different types of learning. Many universities have introduced predefined study programmes for most students. In Norway, this principle was introduced in 2003 as a part of the Bologna Process. Some programmes are inter-disciplinary and students take courses at many departments or at different faculties. Others are more mono-disciplinary and students belong to a certain group. In both cases academic responsibility for the whole programme can be unclear. Quality improvement is usually done in each course separately. Responsibility is often taken by the professor him/herself to improve quality. Less attention is given to how the different courses interact with each other. This requires an academic leadership beyond course management and administrative procedures. Is this well established? Is leadership necessary? Can one level be identified as having the “core” responsibility? There is a need to view teaching and learning as a collective responsibility, which requires academic leadership and a discussion about responsibility between university leadership, administration management and individual academics. The workshop will introduce some questions we have addressed in Norway. We will discuss how relevant this is for other countries.

Trust through mistrust. Does the calibration of external QA matter for contributing to trust in higher education?

Trust through mistrust. Does the calibration of external QA matter for contributing to trust in higher education? by Rolf Heusser, Tove Blytt Holmen, Oana Sarbu, Stephan van Galen, Gro Hanne Aas, Version 2011, ARACIS Prezentation QA and TRUST.pdf (0.2 MB) - Contributing to trust in higher education in society at large is high on the agenda of the national agencies for quality assurance. It may then seem as a slight paradox that agencies can be said to represent ‘organised mistrust’ in their ways of working towards institutions of higher education. The idea of the workshop is to stimulate discussions on trust, mistrust and the calibration of external quality assurance. When it comes to fostering trust, does it matter if the external QA models have their emphasis on the institutional level or the programme level, and on direct or indirect control? Workshop participants are invited into the discussions by being asked to answer questions, by ‘voting’ on statements, and by free contributions on specific topics. The views from the participants will be fed back into discussions in the agencies and networks of the organisers.

Trust through mistrust. Does the calibration of external QA matter for contributing to trust in higher education? (2)

Trust through mistrust. Does the calibration of external QA matter for contributing to trust in higher education? (2) by Rolf Heusser, Tove Blytt Holmen, Oana Sarbu, Stephan van Galen, Gro Hanne Aas, Version 2011, tbh_eqaf_new form of supervision.pdf (0.3 MB) - Contributing to trust in higher education in society at large is high on the agenda of the national agencies for quality assurance. It may then seem as a slight paradox that agencies can be said to represent ‘organised mistrust’ in their ways of working towards institutions of higher education. The idea of the workshop is to stimulate discussions on trust, mistrust and the calibration of external quality assurance. When it comes to fostering trust, does it matter if the external QA models have their emphasis on the institutional level or the programme level, and on direct or indirect control? Workshop participants are invited into the discussions by being asked to answer questions, by ‘voting’ on statements, and by free contributions on specific topics. The views from the participants will be fed back into discussions in the agencies and networks of the organisers.

Putting Quality at the Centre of Quality Assurance – Where is the Centre?

Putting Quality at the Centre of Quality Assurance - Where is the Centre? by Marion Coy, Version 2011, PS 2 - Marion Coy.pdf (4.9 MB)

European QA in a Global Perspective: Holding on to Soft Power?

European QA in a Global Perspective: Holding on to Soft Power? by Mala Singh, Version 2011, PS 1 - Mala Singh.pdf (0.7 MB)

External Quality Assurance as a means of building trust in higher education in the Netherlands

External Quality Assurance as a means of building trust in higher education in the Netherlands by Stephan van Galen, Version 2011, EQAF 2011 Stephan van Galen.pdf (0.6 MB)

Employability at the Bologna studies – Perception of students and teachers from the University of Rijeka

Employability at the Bologna studies – Perception of students and teachers from the University of Rijeka by Aleksandra Deluka-Tibljaš, Duško Pavletić, Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Version 2011, BS IIIb6_Deluka_Tibljas_new.pdf (1.9 MB) - After five years of implementing study programme reforms on the basis of the Bologna Declaration and the implementation of extensive reforms, the question of the quality of the implemented changes at the University of Rijeka has arisen. In order to establish the results after the first five years of the Bologna reforms, extensive research was carried out by the Quality Assurance board of the University of Rijeka in cooperation with QA units at university constituents. This paper presents the results of a comprehensive study of the implementation of the Bologna reforms at the University of Rijeka, particularly with regards to "employability". The results of a survey of teachers and students at the university indicate their perception of the employability of students enrolled in the reformed programmes. The study was conducted with the participation of 3,984 students and 768 employees. Research results indicate that there is a need for certain actions that should contribute to the employability of Bachelor graduates and to the development of the necessary labour market competences of graduate students. The biggest problem, reported in all segments of the research, is the recognition of Bachelors at the labour market. The recognition of Bachelors is connected with the definition of their labour market oriented competencies, another complex issue that will soon have to be addressed.