ENQA Leadership Programme – Now open for registrations!

ENQA is very pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative open to its members and affiliates – the ENQA Leadership Programme! The programme is designed to provide an intensive European peer-learning experience for high-potential mid-level to early-senior professional staff at QA agencies to develop their understanding of the European QA framework as well as of the leadership skills required for working effectively as team leaders within agencies, in reviews, and with external stakeholders.

The programme consists of three two-day seminars:

  • Seminar One at AEQES in Brussels, 16 – 18 May: “Trends and developments in (European) higher education”;
  • Seminar Two at AAQ in Bern, 10 – 12 September: “Leadership and higher education”;
  • Seminar Three in the week of 5-9 November (place and exact dates TBC): “Formal and informal leadership in Quality Assurance Agencies”.

The ENQA Board has contracted the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente, the Netherlands to be the programme leaders. CHEPS is one of Europe’s leading higher education research centres and has two-decades of experience in higher education leadership development, including running an annual leadership development programme for the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) since 2006.

More information on the Leadership programme can be found here.

Call for reviewers for ENQA Agency Reviews announced

ENQA invites its members to nominate candidates for the ENQA pool of experts. ENQA is specifically seeking candidates currently employed by a QA agency and who have been engaged in quality assurance within the past five years. The nominees are expected to be fluent in English (both written and oral), as it is the main working language of the ENQA Agency Reviews. The nominating agency/individual should know the nominee personally. At this time, one nomination per agency is welcome.

Nominated experts will be included in a list of candidates, however, the nomination to the ENQA pool is not a guarantee of being invited to a training, as places for training are limited, and the selection is made on the basis of the needs of the reviewer pool for the coming year (profile, nationality, language competences, gender, and expertise).

The next ENQA Training for Agency Reviewers will take place on 31 May – 1 June 2018 in Madrid. The nominees selected to participate in this training event will be contacted individually.

Nominations, including a curriculum vitae for each nominee, should be sent to ENQA Secretariat at agne.grajauskiene@enqa.eu by Monday 5 March 2018. Please use the CV template available for download here.

***Please note that ENQA Secretariat will save nominated reviewers’ information, including name, email address, profile, nationality, language competences, gender, and expertise, in the ENQA pool of experts, which is used for keeping a record of potential reviewers. Nominated candidates may be contacted by ENQA in matters related to ENQA-coordinated reviews. Candidates’ data will not be transferred or shared with any unrelated third parties.***

Note from the President – 12 January 2018

The “Note from the President” is sent in order to update the membership on decisions and activities from recent Board meetings and events. The aim of these notes is to keep the agencies informed about the work of ENQA throughout the year and to enhance communication between agencies and the Board.

Please find the Note from the President of 12 January 2018 here.

ENQA Board reconfirms ANECA’s membership and welcomes new affiliates

At its October Board meeting, the ENQA Board reconfirmed the membership of the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA, Spain).

The Board has also recently granted affiliate status to the Eurasian Centre for Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education and Health Care (ECAQA, Kazakhstan), the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities (ACEEU, the Netherlands), and Cambridge International Qualifications (CIQ, United Kingdom).

The Board also approved the transfer of affiliation from the Albanian Public Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (PAAHE) to the Albanian Quality Assurance Agency (ASCAL).

Report details national student fee and support systems in European HE

One of the key challenges in developing quality mass higher education systems is to ensure that students have the necessary material conditions to study and fulfil their potential. The question of how this is ensured at the national level is a key aspect of the social dimension, and one which is explored in the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency’s (EACEA) new report called National Student Fee and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2017/18.

European countries differ significantly in the level of public expenditure allocated to higher education. Acknowledging that issues regarding the interaction of student fees and support are complex and difficult to compare accurately at the European level, the EACEA nevertheless attempts to provide a comparative overview of fees and financial support presently available to students while also outlining the main elements of national systems. The report includes information from the 28 EU member states as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey.

Study on modernisation of higher education

The European Parliament has published a study on modernisation of higher education which analyses policy developments since the European Commission’s 2011 agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems and assesses developments towards the aims of the agenda. The study notes that cooperation between EU member states has significantly grown in recent years in the field of higher education, guided by objectives and targets set at the EU level. By addressing not only employment concerns but also exploring the contribution which higher education can make to tackling wider societal challenges, the 2017 communication offers a more integrated approach, but with higher expectations. The report further indicates that there is evidence of important developments in the priority areas set in the 2011 communication, however, challenges remain, and these require further concerted action – particularly with a view to supporting improved dialogue on teaching and teaching excellence, developing more sustainable funding models, and moving beyond seeing higher education institutions (HEIs) as utilitarian organisations.

The study recommends that the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education focuses its follow-up work on the 2017 communication in five areas, which include: supporting dialogue on teaching enhancement, addressing the funding challenge, mainstreaming internationalisation in four priority areas, supporting a wider disciplinary focus, and working to ensure that HEIs, industry, and regional actors are on board.

European Commission publishes a new vision on the European Education Area

The European Commission has published a vision for the creation of a European Education Area by 2025. According to the vision, the European Education Area should, for instance, make mobility a reality for all by building on the positive experiences of the Erasmus+ programme and the European Solidarity Corps and expanding participation in them. The mutual recognition of diplomas should be made reality by initiating a new “Sorbonne process”, building on the Bologna Process, which would prepare the ground for the mutual recognition of higher education and school-leaving diplomas. Lifelong learning is promoted by seeking convergence and increasing the share of people engaging in learning throughout their lives with the aim of reaching 25 percent by 2025. The mainstreaming of innovation and digital skills in education is sought by promoting innovative and digital training and preparing a new Digital Education Action Plan.

In the Commission’s view, it is in the shared interest of all member states to harness the full potential of education and culture, as they can be considered drivers for job creation, economic growth, and social fairness as well as a means to experience European identity in all its diversity.

UNESCO’s GEM Report recommends that QA outputs be more widely shared

The Global Education Monitoring Report, which monitors progress towards the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG4), has recently published the second in its GEM Report series, entitled Accountability in education: meeting our commitments. The report examines the different ways people and institutions can be held accountable for reaching SDG4 including regulations, testing, monitoring, audits, media scrutiny, and grass roots movements.

In a section dedicated to quality assurance, the report provides a brief background on the need for and development of quality assurance in higher education, citing examples of various international legal frameworks in place which allow for quality assurance to be conducted and referencing deficiencies in quality assurance in which systems cannot keep up with the growth of institutions and the presence of fraudulent or predatory institutions. The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) was cited as a means by which agencies can demonstrate transparency. Even in countries with well-developed quality assurance systems, university leaders, faculty, staff, and students showed that few are aware of its impact on teaching or research quality; therefore, the report recommends that outputs of quality assurance systems be more widely shared and that sufficient resources be set aside for communicating the reports to the ultimate beneficiaries.

New legislative framework and system for quality assurance and accreditation in Cyprus

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus appointed, after consultation with the related stakeholders, the members of the Council of the Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (DIPAE), as laid out in recent legislation.

The new legislation provides a quality assurance framework for higher education in Cyprus within which higher education institutions will be driven to enhance quality and develop an internal quality culture. DIPAE, an affiliate of ENQA, is responsible for ensuring the quality of higher education in Cyprus and to support, through the procedures provided by the relevant legislation, the continuous improvement and upgrading of higher education institutions and their programmes of study.

ASFOR promotes leadership in changing HE context

The Italian Association for Management Development (ASFOR) recently organised the seventh edition of the Learning Lab, which gathered 100 participants from among its membership to discuss the theme “Leadership readiness for the future”. Key observations from the event include: the emergence of a new profile of leadership, linked to adaptability and flexibility and which is open to collaborative decision making; the need to hasten the organisation innovation process, by way of people empowerment and engagement, and which can be achieved thanks to both technology (new connecting platforms) and collective mindfulness; the key role of management education to let the potential of students (and people already inside organisations) emerge, utilising innovative means and leveraging them; the creation of a culture of inclusiveness, spurred by digital advancements, which overcomes gaps, such as age, experience, and competence.

Within this context, management education and accreditation play a key role, interfacing innovations and challenging institutions to define and measure outcomes and impact of learning goals, which include not only knowledge and abilities but also a leadership mindset in learners.