Work programme 2012-2015
EURASHE seminar on Quality Assurance
EURASHE organised a Seminar on Quality Assurance (QA) titled ‘Implementation of Internal and External Quality Assurance‘ in Bucharest (Romania) on 24-25 October 2013. It is organised by EURASHE, under the auspices of the Ministry of National Education (Romania), and hosted by the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA).
Implementation of Internal and External Quality Assurance
Background and purpose of the seminar
The European dimension of quality assurance is based on a guaranteed flexibility for governments to choose their system or ‘model‘ of quality assurance, while observing the generic European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG), which are universally used in all European institutions of higher education conducting their own internal quality assurance and/or being subjected to external quality assurance by agencies.
EURASHE as a European members’ organisation with a broad representation in the majority of countries in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has committed itself to provide hands-on support to higher education institutions in the implementation of the priority areas of the Bologna Reform Process, a logical consequence of the creation of the EHEA in 2010, where the focus has shifted to implementation of the ‘Bologna achievements’ on the institutional level. This is certainly the case for quality assurance, as one of the domains with most visible successes, on systemic and institutional level.
Quality assurance has always been and remains a major interest for EURASHE, given our prominent role in the development of the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG), and secondly because of our involvement in the establishment of the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR), always in close cooperation with the other E4 partners, namely ENQA, ESU and EUA.
With the seminar’s targeted attendants (from higher education institutions, but also from a wider background of policy-makers and quality assurance practitioners) we want to bring together a ‘community of practice’, which will be guided through the proceedings on the basis of a Manual for Internal Quality Assurance: Practical guide for implementing internal quality assurance processes in higher education institutions, which is being developed by experts, on the basis of their own expertise and relying on the feedback received from a consultation among our membership and stakeholders in higher education.
The Minister of National Education of the Republic of Romania, Mr Remus Pricopie, has offered his patronage for this European seminar on quality assurance, and the Rector of the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) in Bucharest, Ms Alina Bargaoanu, as an institutional member of EURASHE has kindly accepted to host the event.
Proceedings of the seminar
The quality assurance seminar in Bucharest is our second hands-on seminar focusing on internal quality assurance proceedings, and therefore a useful addition to the annual gathering of policy-makers and quality assurance coordinators at the European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF, of which EURASHE is a co-organiser with its E4 partners), and to the training seminars for participants in external review teams organised by quality assurance agencies.
The broad survey conducted by EURASHE in view of the revision of the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) has shown that more expert hands-on support is needed for institutions in implementing Bologna tools such as quality assurance proceedings, learning outcomes, qualifications frameworks, etc. Secondly, a general need is felt for a forum for practitioners on the institutional level, where expertise and experience on those tools and instruments are shared and exchanged, with practitioners from other higher education institutions.
Plenary sessions will present a keynote speech on the major role of quality assurance in the Bologna Process by a first-hand player, next to a country profile of internal quality assurance with individual experience gained from this, and a closing plenary session confronting a panel of experts who have participated in institutional reviews, in their capacity of managers of higher education institutions and/or acknowledged quality assurance experts familiar with professionally-oriented programmes.
Input by participants to the Manual for Internal Quality Assurance: Practical guide for implementing internal quality assurance processes in higher education institutions during the seminar will be developed in the specific/relevant workshops, such as the link between internal and external quality assurance and the choice of indictors; involvement of stakeholders; quality assurance and its relation to learning outcomes and qualifications frameworks; the role and importance of quality culture in an institution. Workshops will be offered twice, so as to enable attendants to follow two different sessions.