ENQA working group and projects to be presented at EQAF

Early bird registration is open until 9 October 2017 for the 12th European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF), which will take place on 23-25 November 2017 in Riga, hosted by the University of Latvia. After this date, late registration fees will apply; however, capacity is limited, and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The recently updated programme indicates that several Forum sessions are dedicated to projects or initiatives in which ENQA is involved.

Outcomes from research conducted by the ENQA working group on quality assurance and recognition will be presented by the working group chair, Teresa Sánchez Chaparro, in a breakout session entitled “Current practices on external quality assurance of academic recognition among QA agencies”. ENQA is also represented through the paper presentation concerning the external evaluation of e-assessment, a paper based on the “Adaptive Trust-based e-assessment System for Learning” (TeSLA) project, in which ENQA is a partner. One of the workshops will present the European Toolkit for Internal Quality Management in Competence-Based Higher Education, as developed in the project “Internal Quality Management: Evaluating and Improving Competence-Based Higher Education” (IQM-HE), in which ENQA is a partner.

One of the parallel plenary sessions will approach global perspectives on regional cooperation in QA by sharing experiences from Africa and the ASEAN region. The African perspective will be disseminated by introducing the African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA), as prepared under the coordination of ENQA in the HAQAA Initiative. Developments in the harmonisation of quality assurance in the ASEAN region will be introduced through the lens of the SHARE project, in which ENQA is also a partner.

ENQA Board accepts membership renewal requests of NVAO and ACQUIN

At its September meeting, the ENQA Board renewed the memberships of the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO, the Netherlands) and took a decision to reconfirm the membership of the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (ACQUIN, Germany) following the appeal ACQUIN lodged against the ENQA Board’s decision of 14 February 2017. The reports and other materials relating to the reviews are available on the Review Reports and Decisions page on the ENQA website.

In this meeting of the ENQA Board, one affiliate request was considered. Affiliate status was granted to the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE, United Kingdom).

Registration for EQAF is now open

Registration is now open for the 12th European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF), which will take place on 23-25 November 2017 in Riga, hosted by the University of Latvia. The deadline for the early-bird registration fee is 9 October 2017. After this date, late registration fees will apply; however, capacity is limited, and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Under the title of “Responsible QA – committing to impact”, the Forum will focus on the need for quality assurance, whether aiming at accountability or enhancement, to be carried out in a transparent and responsible manner. Forum organisers are seeking proposals for paper sessions and workshops from QA practitioners in higher education institutions and QA agencies, students, and researchers in the field. Selected contributions will also receive one reduced fee for attending the Forum. The deadline to submit contributions is 24 July 2017.

Note from the President 14 July 2017

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 14 July 2017 here.

EQUIP focus groups attempt to address implementation challenges with the ESG 2015

In the framework of the “Enhancing Quality through Innovative Policy and Practice” (EQUIP) project, in which ENQA is a partner, a series of focus groups are being organised. The focus groups will verify and further consolidate the evidence collected through previous project activities about implementation challenges with the ESG 2015 and aim to share good practice and discuss the proposed approaches to solving these challenges and their applicability in different contexts. Each of the focus groups addresses six different stakeholder groups: 1) universities, 2) universities of applied sciences and university colleges (professional higher education), 3) academics, 4) QA agencies, 5) students, and 6) ministries. Three of the focus groups have taken place already – for students, universities, and academics – and have provided insight for those remaining.

ENQA is in charge of organising the focus group addressed to QA agencies. The ENQA focus group will take place in conjunction with the Members’ Forum, on 3-4 May 2017 in Oslo, Norway. It will focus on current issues in quality assurance and the concepts of quality, impact, and innovative solutions related to the ESG 2015. Participation is limited to 20 individuals representing QA agencies who have extensive experience working with the ESG 2015. Individuals who are interested in attending the free event are requested to kindly contact Anaïs Gourdin at the ENQA Secretariat.

EQAF 2017 call for contributions is now open

The 12th European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF), hosted by the University of Latvia, will take place in Riga, Latvia, on 23-25 November 2017. The Forum organisers, ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE, are seeking proposals for papers and workshops from quality assurance practitioners from higher education institutions and QA agencies, students, and researchers in the field.

Under the title “Responsible QA – committing to impact”, this year’s Forum will focus on the need for quality assurance, whether aiming at accountability or enhancement, to be carried out in a transparent and responsible manner. EQAF 2017 will explore how this can be done in practice, examining issues such as communication, ethics, and the concept of change in quality assurance. During the Forum, paper sessions and workshops will provide space for more detailed discussions about research, policy initiatives, and practical case examples related to current developments in quality assurance. Selected contributions will also receive one reduced fee for attending the Forum. For more information about the call, please consult the EQAF website. The deadline to submit contributions is 24 July 2017.

Note from the President – 3 March 2017

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 3 March 2017 here.

FIBAA shares practices for assessing student-centred learning

In 2015, the ministers responsible for higher education of the Bologna states adopted three documents in which student-centred learning (SCL) – a method of teaching in which students engage as active participants in their own learning, fostering transferable skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and reflective thinking – is addressed: the Yerevan Communiqué, the ECTS Users’ Guide (2015) and the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG 2015). It is evident by these documents that student-centred learning has gained importance in the context of higher education policy, and it is therefore given greater significance in quality assurance procedures.

The Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA, Germany) has reacted to this shift and presents advantages and examples of SCL in a recent factory article from August 2016. The article suggests institutions could offer options such as specialisations, elective subjects, and optional subjects in the curriculum, as they can have motivating effects on students, since parts of the subject matter are engaged with by choice, or students could be allowed to choose topics for projects and group work. The author explains that, according to FIBAA’s assessment guides for accreditation procedures, experts assess the extent to which an institution has implemented SCL and that FIBAA’s quality seals are only awarded to programmes which are able to successfully demonstrate their regard for SCL.

Registration is open for the ENQA seminar on the social dimension of e-learning

In the framework of “TeSLA – An adaptive trust-based e-assessment system” project in which ENQA is a partner, ENQA is organising a seminar entitled Social dimension of e-learning – Addressing challenges through QA” in Athens, Greece, on 12-13 December 2016.

ENQA is pleased to invite its members, affiliates, and other interested stakeholders to participate in this event to discuss plagiarism and fraud, accessibility, the social dimension of e-learning, and quality assurance and to learn more about the TeSLA project. Registration for the fee-free event is open until 23 November 2016. Participants are kindly requested to consult the event webpage for information concerning the programme, accommodation, and practical elements.