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European Quality Assurance Register in Higher Education
In May 2007 ENQA submitted, on behalf of the E4 Group, a Report to the London Conference of Ministers on a European
Register of Quality Assurance Agencies (pdf). Following the ministers endorsement, the European Quality Assurance Register
in Higher Education (EQAR) was founded by the representatives of the E4 Group (ENQA, EUA, ESU and EURASHE) on 4 March 2008.
The Objectives of EQAR
The Register is a web-based and publicly accessible tool which aims to provide clear and objective information about trustworthy
quality assurance agencies that are operating in Europe. The Register also aims to help improve the quality of European
higher education and to promote greater student mobility by increasing trust between higher education institutions.
The Register provides a means for HE institutions (where national regulations permit) to choose between the different
agencies listed on the register.
Inclusion in the Register
Inclusion in the Register, which is voluntary, is based on compliance with the ESG (pdf).
Consequently, full ENQA membership normally constitutes satisfactory evidence for inclusion in the Register.
The decisions on inclusion are made by an independent Register Committee composed of independent experts nominated by the E4 Group, BusinessEurope, Education
International, together with five government observers.
The relationship between ENQA and EQAR
The missions and functions of ENQA and EQAR are similar in some respects and differ in others. Both organisations adhere to the principles of diversity
reflected in the ESG, which state that primary responsibility for quality lies with HEIs and that the assurance of quality should be carried out
transparently by agencies who maintain independence in the operation of their review processes and the published outcomes of those
EQAR was founded by ENQA and the 3 other members of the E4 Group: EUA, ESU and EURASHE.
ENQA has two representatives in the EQAR Register Committee and one representative in the EQAR Executive Board.
Therefore, ENQA is involved in the day-to-day management of EQAR.
Both associations use the ESG as their criteria for membership (ENQA) and for inclusion (EQAR) and both use the threshold of “substantial” compliance rather
than requiring full compliance with all of the standards. Their decisions on membership/inclusion are based on the same review reports of agencies.
ENQA Full membership normally constitutes satisfactory evidence for inclusion in the Register.
ENQA is a membership organisation of QA agencies and is a representative of and managed by its members.
The association organises events, publishes reports, shares and promotes good practice, conducts different (research) projects.
It represents the interests of its members in the EHEA and internationally.
The members of ENQA are quality assurance agencies in the field of higher education from EHEA member states.
EQAR is an information tool on trustworthy agencies, a list on the internet.
EQAR is managed by the E4 organisations as founding members, in co-operation with European government members and other social partner organisations represented
in the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG). Quality assurance agencies are listed in the Register but are not members of EQAR.
While EQAR’s objective – through managing a list of QA agencies that substantially comply with the ESG – is to enhance trust and
confidence by providing clear and reliable information on QA agencies in the EHEA and to promote the mutual acceptance of QA decisions,
ENQA aims to contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of European HE and to act as a major driving force
for the development of QA across all the Bologna signatory countries. Thus EQAR decisions reflect a “snapshot” of agencies at a given time, whereas ENQA
aims to work with its members (and potential members) to enhance their operation and contribute to the continuous development of external QA systems.
For further information, please visit the EQAR website.