A crash course in promoting quality culture

A crash course in promoting quality culture by Anna Gover, Tia Loukkola, Version 2015, parallel-plenary-6_ag_tl.pdf (0.9 MB)

European approach to the QA of joint programmes

European approach to the QA of joint programmes by Achim Hopbach, Version 2015, parallel-plenary-5_ah.pdf (0.1 MB)

Quality assurance of cross-border higher education – an increased burden or fruitful cooperation between regions? The European approach

Quality assurance of cross-border higher education – an increased burden or fruitful cooperation between regions? The European approach by Rafael Llavori, Version 2015, parallel-plenary-3_rlb87365ca84b96a879ce5ff00009465c7.pdf (0.7 MB)

Cross-border Higher Education in Dubai –the Power of Partnerships

Cross-border Higher Education in Dubai –the Power of Partnerships by Nitesh Sughnani, Version 2015, parallel-plenary-3_ns.pdf (2.7 MB)

EQA in the Light of the ESG 2015 – perspective of an agency

EQA in the Light of the ESG 2015 - perspective of an agency by Christoph Grolimund, Version 2015, parallel-plenary-2_cg.pdf (0.7 MB)

Internal QA in the light of the ESG 2015

Internal QA in the light of the ESG 2015 by Barbara Michalk, Bernhard Kernegger, Version 2015, parallel-plenary-1_bm_bk.pdf (2.5 MB)

Challenges and Barriers to Assessing and Recognising Excellence in (Professional) Higher Education

Challenges and Barriers to Assessing and Recognising Excellence in (Professional) Higher Education by Alexandre Wipf, Carol Hall, Linda Messas, Lars Ebert, Regitze Kristensen, Version 2015, paper-25_wipf_hall_messas_ebert_kristensen.pdf (0.2 MB) - After 10 years of intensive developments in European quality assurance and in the year of the adoption of the revised European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) this paper will ask whether excellence is the way forward and how to address excellence in (professional) higher education.
We will present the experience gathered in pilot assessments of excellence in institutions offering professional higher education and explore approaches to recognising their claim for excellence. We will examine the genesis of the tested quality framework for excellence and assessment methodology. We will reflect on the successes and challenges of the pilots and outline the possible way forward to recognise excellence.
The paper is built on the activities of the PHExcel project (Testing the feasibility of a quality label for professional higher education excellence) by EURASHE, AEC, ELIA, SPACE, The University of Nottingham with FINE, Jagiellonian University and KIC-Malta.

Ten Years of Quality Assurance with Students’ Eyes – Taking Stock and Providing an Outlook

Ten Years of Quality Assurance with Students' Eyes – Taking Stock and Providing an Outlook by Beate Treml, Asnate Kažoka, Version 2015, paper-24_treml_kazoka.pdf (0.2 MB) - 2015 is not only the 10th anniversary of the ESG and EQAF, but with the Ministerial Conference also the time for a new edition of the European Students' Union's survey “Bologna with Student Eyes”. This paper aims at giving an overview of the students' view of the developments that have taken place in the past ten years and provides some detailed insights of the 2015 survey's part about quality assurance. It furthermore identifies the most burning issues for students when it comes to future enhancement of quality assurance in higher education and provides recommendation about how to further improve students' involvement in quality assurance and how to support national student unions in their work on quality assurance for policy makers, higher education institutions and agencies, with student centered learning being one of the most crucial issues for students in the next years.

A Tribute to transversal expertise: What is the contribution of non-disciplinary experts to evaluation committees in academic programme evaluation in French-speaking Belgium?

A Tribute to transversal expertise: What is the contribution of non-disciplinary experts to evaluation committees in academic programme evaluation in French-speaking Belgium? by Denis Berthiaume, Audrey Van Ouytsel, Caty Duykaerts, Version 2015, paper-23_berthiaume_vanouytsel_duykaerts.pdf (0.6 MB) - Expert evaluation of study programmes has been a common feature of quality assurance systems in Europe and worldwide. In general, expert committees are formed of disciplinary or professional specialists who examine said programmes with a “peer review” approach. In the French part of Belgium, expert committees have included, for several years now, three other types of experts, namely education, quality management and student experts. Their contribution has been significant in the process of programme evaluation but empirical evidence was needed to understand the nature and value of their contribution better. This exploratory research project thus examines the contribution of “transversal” experts. A variety of data collection and analysis procedures have been used to gather evidence that takes into consideration the experience of both “transversal” and “non-transversal” experts. Results point to five areas of contribution for “transversal” experts. These five areas raise further questions as regards the composition of expert panels.

Evolution of the QA Culture at One University

Evolution of the QA Culture at One University by David O’Sullivan, Version 2015, paper-22_osullivan.pdf (0.5 MB) - Quality Assurance (QA) at one university has evolved significantly over the past 15 years in keeping with emerging European standards, reported best practices and structured feedback from key stakeholder groups. In 2001, the QA process was focussed primarily on peer review and involved extensive information reporting. It was characterised largely as a defensive process that struggled to convince various stakeholder groups that QA provided value. In 2015, peer review is now just one element of a broader QA process that is significantly leaner, evidence based and focussed around enhancement. This extended QA process now incorporates a variety of activities including benchmarking, annual operational planning, controlled policies and procedures and performance measurement. The QA culture has evolved to become a significant agent of quality enhancement and is broadly endorsed by key stakeholder groups. This paper presents the evolution of the QA culture at one large university that has contributed to a steady rise in the university’s world ranking.

Does quality assurance reflect the social dimension of higher education?

Does quality assurance reflect the social dimension of higher education? by Anca Prisacariu, Emilia Todorova, Mahsood Shah, Version 2015, paper-21_prisacariu_todorova_shah.pdf (0.2 MB) - Given the ten years since the introduction of the ESG and the five years since the formal launch of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) quality assurance of higher education has gained significant prominence on the public and political agendas. The focus has so far been on core areas including research and education, while importance is now emerging in internationalisation and support functions. With increased diversity of the student population, questions are asked on whether traditional quality assurance frameworks are innovative and morally just in assessing higher education activities. The present paper analyses how various higher education quality assurance frameworks in different countries across the globe address the development and prioritisation of social dimension across the higher education sector. The paper argues the need for governments and institutions worldwide to recognise the importance of social dimension of higher education across the world, and the need for quality assurance frameworks to be innovative in this regard.

How to forecast the future? – Different sources for gathering knowledge about the future needs of employers’ with regard to competences

How to forecast the future? - Different sources for gathering knowledge about the future needs of employers’ with regard to competences by Ditte Strandbygaard, Merete Munk, Rikke Warming, Vibeke Fahlén, Version 2015, paper-20_strandbygaard_munk_warming_fahlén.pdf (0.6 MB) - Graduates must be able to use their degree on the labour market that awaits them when they have completed a higher education study programme. Danish politicians have increasingly focused on this since the beginning of this century. It places great demands to the education institutions' ability to gaze into the future and predict which skills will be required, and on the basis of this, match the right number of graduates with the right competences. This political focus is also reflected in the Danish Accreditation Institution's (AI) criteria, methods and practice.
In the paper session, AI will present an extensive system-wide analysis of the sources education institutions use to gain knowledge about the competence needs of the future in order to ensure relevance of their programmes. The University of Southern Denmark will produce a case on how the institution is working with the assurance of the relevance of new programmes.

A new model for external review of quality in a diverse higher education area

A new model for external review of quality in a diverse higher education area by Orla Lynch, Version 2015, paper-19_lynch.pdf (0.7 MB) - In 2013 QQI commissioned the ‘Review of Reviews’ to take stock of Irish legacy review models and make proposals for the features of a new QQI model. QQI has now published (June, 2015) a White Paper presenting a comprehensive model for reviews. The key innovative features of the new model for review are: multiple objectives (including effectiveness, accountability and enhancement) and multiple dimensions (institution, system and thematic); differentiation between cyclical and ‘for cause’ reviews and initial and subsequent reviews; the close integration of continuous and periodic engagements for reviews; the use of data (metrics) as well as narrative sources of evidence; the development of a Quality Profile for institutions. This paper outlines the features of the review model and the rationale for their development.

Big (and Small) Data Meets Quality Assurance

Big (and Small) Data Meets Quality Assurance by Anna Prades, Maribel Quirós, Maria Giné, Lorena Bernáldez, Version 2015, paper-18_prades_quiros_gine_bernaldez.pdf (1.1 MB) - Evidence, both quantitative and qualitative, is at the core of every assessment process. New technology has given us an unprecedented opportunity to tackle both structured and unstructured data, yet barriers remain that restrict our ability to take advantage of this scenario. As a result, data often falls short of triggering change. One reason for this is the over-abundance of information. In this paper, we present and discuss a case study for the assessment of research and teaching quality in university departments. The study illustrates how AQU Catalunya is changing the way it presents quantitative data, benchmarking clusters of indicators to foster debate about the results. Finally, we look to the future, discussing what resources will be required if we wish to explore every opportunity the new data era can offer to quality assurance.

Self-evaluation as an effective tool in establishing quality management at the University of Helsinki

Self-evaluation as an effective tool in establishing quality management at the University of Helsinki by Aimo Virtanen, Nina Aremo, Version 2015, paper-16_virtanen_aremo.pdf (0.5 MB) - The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) is the organization responsible for quality assessment in Finland. The UH passed an international audit performed in 2014–2015.
The most important document produced as a part of the audit process is a self-evaluation report. It was prepared in eight workshops, each taking part with 15 to 25 members.
The self-evaluation was documented according to the guidelines of FINEEC, including both a descriptive and an evaluative part.
The biggest challenges included
A Describing issues honestly without being false or too positive
B Noticing problems and searching for solutions
C Using the input from the workshops in the most beneficial way
D Constructing a realistic picture of the University and its units and activities
The self-evaluation helped the audit team to find the University’s strengths and make recommendations for further development.

On-Site Visit Interviews in External Quality Assurance Procedures – a Linguistic, Empirical Approach

On-Site Visit Interviews in External Quality Assurance Procedures – a Linguistic, Empirical Approach by Fabienne Tissot, Stephanie Hering, Ulla Kleinberger, Version 2015, paper-15_tissot_hering_kleinberger.pdf (0.4 MB) - On-site visit interviews play a crucial role in external quality assurance procedures. Nevertheless, so far there seems to be little empirical research, both in linguistics, and in the field of quality assurance research and studies in higher education.
The contexts of these interviews are diverse, complex and demanding; pitfalls and challenges are manifold. In linguistics, and particularly in the field of discourse analysis, a broad range of approaches can be successfully applied to analyse and understand the challenges of these interview situations. In the long term, an in-depth programme of research could potentially provide agencies as well as peers with valuable advice on how to steer the interviews effectively towards constructive conversations and avoid awkward communicative situations.
In this paper we present preliminary results of a pilot study that was conducted by the ZHAW Department of Applied Linguistics in cooperation with the Swiss Agency of Accre-ditation and Quality Assurance (AAQ).

The Future of Quality Assurance to and after Yerevan

The Future of Quality Assurance to and after Yerevan by Lucien Bollaert, Version 2015, paper-14_bollaert.pdf (0.3 MB) - One of the most successful actions of the Bologna Process is said to be QA. Yet, studies made clear that in quite some HEIs and Bologna countries internal QA was developed only after or because of external QA.
Four axes can be drawn on which the tendencies of QA can be depicted: the scope of QA, the use of learning outcomes, the standards and last but not least the dimension of quality culture. EQAR’s RIQAA report adds the international dimension.
The Yerevan conference and adoption of the revised ESG and European Approach for QA on joint programmes have confirmed those tendencies. Yet, in Yerevan it has also become clear that the EHEA has not been fully or correctly implemented everywhere. Both ministers and researchers have concluded that the European and global context has changed. The question is whether we also need another QA? The paper formulates the future QA dimensions.

Zen and the art of risk assessment: what are the implications of a system of risk- based quality assurance for higher education in England?

Zen and the art of risk assessment: what are the implications of a system of risk- based quality assurance for higher education in England? by Alex Griffiths, Elizabeth Halford, Version 2015, paper-13_griffiths_halford.pdf (0.5 MB) - This paper considers how centrally-available and comprehensive quantitative data can be used as an indication of risk in a risk-based system of quality assurance, as currently implemented in England. This consideration is set within the policy context of expanding higher education and the introduction of a new system of funding undergraduate education through student loans for tuition fees in 2012.
Utilising machine learning techniques this paper demonstrates that the best model utilises three indicators relating to applications, staffing and finance. The paper concludes that the ability of data to predict the outcome of QAA reviews, and hence help prioritise them, is extremely limited.

15 Years Student Accreditation Pool in Germany: Achievements, Failures and Future Challenges

15 Years Student Accreditation Pool in Germany: Achievements, Failures and Future Challenges by Thomas Bach, Version 2015, paper-12_bach.pdf (0.8 MB) - Student participation on equal terms as partners in higher education assurance was a novel concept in the year 2000. Since its founding in 2000-08-12, the German Student Accreditation Pool (GSAP, [9]) has been established as a central body for student participation in QA. The GSAP trained over 1200 students, participated in over 4000 program accreditations, 30 accreditation bodies, handles frequent discussion and interview requests. Representing over 2 million students with different expectations about quality assurance, a substantial lack of funding and the natural fact of limited time and experience of students in managing complex structures raised more than once questions about the future existence of the GSAP. New and ongoing challenges include the decentralization of accreditation in Germany, cross border activities of accreditation agencies, ensuring the participation of students with diverse backgrounds, QA for the GSAP itself and sustainability in processes and funding of the GSAP.

Comparing internal influential factors affecting accreditation processes in Dutch and Dutch-Caribbean universities: enablers and barriers

Comparing internal influential factors affecting accreditation processes in Dutch and Dutch-Caribbean universities: enablers and barriers by Sharine A. Isabella, Don F. Westerheijden, Version 2015, paper-11_isabella_westerheijden.pdf (0.5 MB) - Obtaining accredited status is of great importance for programmes offered in universities, regardless of their scale, location on this globe and developmental status. However, there are few studies on this in small universities in the global south. During 2009 – 2014 a study was conducted on internal influential factors affecting progress and outcomes of accreditation processes in Dutch-Caribbean universities, compared with two Dutch higher education institutions. In this paper findings are presented based on a qualitative multiple case study of accreditation processes in the University of Curaçao contrasted with Utrecht University and HZ University for Applied Science in the Netherlands. Commitment of internal and external stakeholders is a universal enabler, but some other internal factors had different effects in Curaçao and the Netherlands. These findings shed light on the enablers and barriers affecting accreditation processes and how to address the challenges encountered, particularly in small universities.

Eight Challenges for Institutions who Wish to Handle Teaching Competence as a Strategic Quality Goal

Eight Challenges for Institutions who Wish to Handle Teaching Competence as a Strategic Quality Goal by Martin G. Erikson, Version 2015, paper-10_erikson.pdf (0.3 MB) - Teaching competence is often discussed in relation to rewards of present day achievements, rather than in terms of strategic long-term quality. A call for a shift towards a long-term quality perspective on teaching competence is presented, and eight challenges, which have to be met in such a process, are identified. These challenges concern the active responsibility of institutional management and the professoriate; promoting demands of highest academic standards for educational specialists; selecting an appropriate time-frame, and relevant concepts (with a particular focus on the excellence-concept). Further, the challenges include the teachers' understanding of their disciplines, of educational theories and of research methods relevant for evaluating educational results. The final challenge concerns programs for rewarding teachers. Taken together, these challenges presents features, which are suggested to promote a quality culture where teaching competence is seen as a long-term quality goal.

Cross-Border External Quality Assurance: Practical Experiences and Recommendations

Cross-Border External Quality Assurance: Practical Experiences and Recommendations by Michael Hofer, Christine Fahringer, Christine Abele, Susanne Klöpping, Thomas Rothenfluh, Anita Klöti, Olivier Binet, Version 2015, paper-9_hofer_fahringer_abele_kloepping_rothenfluh_kloeti_binet.pdf (0.3 MB) - We present findings on practical experiences with national and cross-border external quality assurance procedures made by six universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland working with the same Swiss quality assurance agency from 2012-2015. This paper is based on joint analyses undertaken by the quality managers responsible for internally coordinating the external quality assurance procedure in each involved institution. The aim of the contribution is to discuss the impact of external quality assurance on internal quality assurance and to make recommendations from which both, higher education institutions and agencies may benefit. For the analysis we used the purposes and principles of the revised version of the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

What do the indicators tell?

What do the indicators tell? by Jon Haakstad, Version 2015, paper-8_haakstad.pdf (1.4 MB) - Input factors have always been an important element in the evaluation of education. Another approach is to highlight outcomes, and yet a third to listen to the students’ assessment of course and programme quality. Ideally, correspondences between these three perspectives should make up a logical picture; performance indicators on factors like intake, input and outcome, plus the students’ appreciation of quality, should present a consistent body of information that allows us to make reasonable assessments of the quality of provision. But to what extent do we actually find these correspondences and this consistency in the data? In other words: Can we rely on the indicators that we refer to so often in our quality discussions? A study of certain key data for all Norwegian BA and MA programmes in biology, political science and nursing suggests that performance indicators tell us much about performance but may indicate less about quality.

The transition to a level playing field in English Quality Assurance: does one size fit all?

The transition to a level playing field in English Quality Assurance: does one size fit all? by Paul Hazell, Version 2015, paper-7_hazell.pdf (0.2 MB) - The United Kingdom's quality assurance framework for higher education has been characterised by relative policy stability over the last 20 years. But far reaching and significant reforms to the funding of undergraduate education have increased the pace and scale of marketisation. This has placed the regulation of higher education centre stage. Common approaches to quality assurance, for all providers delivering English higher education, enable the performance of different types of provider to be analysed via QAA's external quality reviews. This paper considers the learning from a common review method and assesses whether this is appropriate for all providers. The findings for England raise issues that may be relevant for other countries and policy contexts.

Students: full partners of institutional Quality at the University of Lausanne (UNIL)

Students: full partners of institutional Quality at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) by Sophie Fuhrimann, Mélanie Glayre, Véronique Kobel, Version 2015, paper-6_fuhrimann-glayre-kobel.pdf (0.3 MB) - Student participation in the internal Quality processes is one of the fundamental values underpinning the Quality system at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). This participation does not stop at their involvement as beneficiaries of the processes: students are involved in steering them too.
This article will demonstrate that the value of student participation at all levels of institutional Quality processes is not just wishful thinking enshrined in the texts describing the institutional processes, but can actually be seen in practice with the students showing a genuine willingness to be involved. Students are, in fact, present, they play a role, participate and appreciate being able to do so, at every stage in the processes.

Accreditation outcomes 2010-2015: which programmes fall short of expectations and why

Accreditation outcomes 2010-2015: which programmes fall short of expectations and why by Cristina Sin, Orlanda Tavares, Alberto Amaral, Version 2015, paper-5_sin_tavares_amaral.pdf (0.6 MB) - The paper analyses the main outcomes of programme accreditation in Portugal further to the operations of the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education, which were initiated in 2009. Tracking the evolution of study programmes, the paper found that out of the initial 5262 programmes on offer in 2009/10, 40% have been either discontinued or not accredited as of July 2015. The analysis revealed differences between the private and the public sector, with higher proportions of closure in the former. It also revealed differences by disciplinary area. For Law, the discipline with highest percentage of non-accredited programmes, the main reason for non-accreditation resided in the programmes’ lack of compliance with legal requirements regarding teaching staff qualifications and full-time employment. The blurred identity of programmes, undifferentiated between university and polytechnic sectors, and curricular incoherence were other important reasons for non-accreditation.

Using ESG 2015 to develop a national quality culture for further and higher education in a post-colonial micro-state: Malta

Using ESG 2015 to develop a national quality culture for further and higher education in a post-colonial micro-state: Malta by Sandro Spiteri, Version 2015, paper-4_spiteri.pdf (0.4 MB) - In July 2015 Malta inaugurated its National QA Framework for Further and Higher Education to foster a comprehensive quality culture in the sector. This is the first QA framework within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that covers further, higher and adult formal educational provision. The Framework is based on the 2015 version of ESG, enriched with EQAVET elements. This synthesis was possible because of Malta’s characteristics as a post-colonial micro-state.
As part of this process a number of tools and procedures were developed, institutions were upskilled in both internal and external QA, prospective peer and student evaluators were trained, and the first three pilot external quality audits have been carried out. The support of ENQA and the ESU were instrumental in this.
This paper will discuss how Malta’s characteristics informed the development of Malta’s QA Framework, and how the Framework itself was developed and implemented.

The Learning Paradox in Higher Education

The Learning Paradox in Higher Education by Marieke Janssen, Version 2015, paper-3_janssen-.pdf (0.7 MB) - Learning from the animal kingdom we stipulate that the mission for HEI’s that want to persist beyond the 21st century is simply: “how not to be a dinosaur, a frog or a turkey”. By transforming themselves into learning organization HEI’s can adapt in order to fulfil this mission and thus survive all possible futures.
In this paper we first characterize the ideal learning organization. Secondly we explain the learning paradox and the difficulties for a HEI to become a learning organization. We then summarize some ideas on how to resolve this learning paradox and we explore how HEI’s can learn to learn.
We conclude that there is a growth potential for those HEI’s that succeed in bringing their theoretical knowledge into practice within their own organizations and thus transforming themselves into learning organizations. Within EURASHE’s working group “Quality in HE” we agreed on the desirability of further exploring this domain.

How to support Quality through International Activities – Case studies from the field of higher music education

How to support Quality through International Activities - Case studies from the field of higher music education by Martin Prchal, Linda Messas, Version 2015, paper-2_prchal_messas.pdf (0.4 MB) - One of the main concepts of the ESG is that they are European. Nevertheless, even if they provide a framework for quality assurance in the entire EHEA, the ESG also apply to quality assurance activities with a very limited international scope. In their Part 1, the word ‘international’ hardly features and no reference is being made towards the promotion of internationalisation activities (e.g. staff mobility or international benchmarking) as tools to support quality assurance.
By providing examples from the field of higher music education, this article shows concrete ways in which quality assurance can be supported by international activities. After claiming that quality is only achieved through a focus on standards as well as on educational quality, the paper presents international activities which can help institutions to improve in these two areas, and ends by introducing an international approach to external quality assurance addressing both standards and educational quality.

The value of prognostics in quality assurance: Using student and graduate monitoring data for strategy development

The value of prognostics in quality assurance: Using student and graduate monitoring data for strategy development by Karl Ledermüller, Oliver Vettori, Version 2015, paper-1_ledermueller_vettori.pdf (0.6 MB) - From a conceptual point of view, quality assurance tends to be oriented towards the presence or the past rather than the future (ex post approach). This paper strongly advocates the need to make use of quality assurance instruments and processes as a means of forecasting future developments and thus to contribute to strategic and proactive decision-making. Presenting the case of a complex Student and Graduate Panel Monitoring – a framework of integrated surveys for students and graduates at different stages in the student life-cycle that is also combined with other data sources – the authors show how quality assurance instruments can be used for predictive purposes, provided that they are constructed in a specific way.

Back to the future: Taking quality assurance to the next decade

Back to the future: Taking quality assurance to the next decade by Jill Whittingham, Ineke Wolfhagen, Version 2015, workshop-6_whittingham_wolfhagen_dolmans.pdf (0.5 MB) - Looking back over the last decade, higher education institutions have invested a lot of time and energy in building QA systems. Many institutions have succeeded in this challenge of setting up systems in which the educational quality is monitored by planned and systematic evaluation activities. In many cases this implies that systems are characterised by a structural and systematic approach. However, there is still work to be done as these systems do not always result in continuous improvement of educational quality. The future challenge will be to integrate quality assurance in organisational working patterns within different layers of organisations. This leads to the challenge: how to develop a quality culture that is characterised by open communication and close involvement of staff in continuous improvements of education? The workshop will illustrate this transition by providing the opportunity to share experiences, discuss different methods/activities, formulating tips to take quality assurance to the next decade.

Possible Developments for the European Register of quality assurance agencies (‘Oxford-style debate’)

Possible Developments for the European Register of quality assurance agencies ('Oxford-style debate') by Colin Tück, Melinda Szabo, Version 2015, workshop-5_tuck_szabod67765ca84b96a879ce5ff00009465c7.pdf (0.3 MB) - The session will bring together different views on the purposes and activities of the Register for quality assurance agencies. The discussion will feed into the ongoing self-evaluation exercise of EQAR.
EQAR was set up in 2008 by the E4 Group to manage a Register of quality assurance agencies. The main aim of the Register is to build trust between European higher education systems by facilitating the recognition of quality assurance decisions, providing a basis for governments to authorise higher education institutions to choose a suitable agency from the Register, promoting student mobility and reducing opportunities for “accreditation mills” to gain credibility.
Seven years after it was established the Register includes 40 quality assurance agencies (QAAs) that have demonstrated their substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG). While the number of registered agencies shows a clear progress, it is still to be seen whether EQAR plays a strong enough role in the trust building and further integration of higher education systems in Europe.
A debate on the role of EQAR will provide a productive way to weigh different views on the issue and to assess the logical arguments supporting each view.

Enhancement-led Visits to the faculties of the University of Ljubljana

Enhancement-led Visits to the faculties of the University of Ljubljana by Vanja Perovšek, Katja Kamšek, Version 2015, workshop-4_perovsek_kamsek.pdf (0.8 MB) - The aim of the workshop is to:
- briefly present a unique setting for quality improvements that is based on using powerful questions and cooperating in small, interactive groups of people,
- enable participants to briefly experience the use of these methods.
An example of a quality-enhancement approach recently developed at the University of Ljubljana (UL) will be presented (enhancement-led visits). The approach was developed as an alternative to a more common approach of internal audits. The combination of asking powerful questions and working in small groups of participants is being used, which proved to be inspiring, supportive and meaningful for the participants and the faculties involved at the UL.
The participants will be invited to experience these methods by using powerful questions while working interactively, followed by reflection and discussion in order to exchange insights and suggestions for further development and to identify similar approaches in their own environments.

Challenging the system: envisioning the future of quality assurance

Challenging the system: envisioning the future of quality assurance by Cristina-Ramona Fiț, Delia Gologan, Anca Prisăcariu, Version 2015, workshop-3_gologan_prisacariu_fit.pdf (0.9 MB) - Given the recent challenges in quality assurance across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the aim of this workshop is to provide, with the active involvement of the participants, the key global changing factors that will potentially influence the future of quality assurance.
Thirty key factors were predefined by the facilitators under the form of statements about events/elements that are predicted to determine global changes and influence the future of quality assurance. After becoming familiar with these starting factors, participants will have the opportunity to add new different ones in order to create a narrative of future scenarios on how quality assurance might develop given the global challenges the current status-quo is facing.
Therefore, the purpose of the workshop is to provide and facilitate a framework for the participants to envision and define scenarios for the future developments of quality assurance worldwide, but especially in EHEA.