Working group V on Excellence (finished)

Following the findings of the Quality Procedures in higher education: Visions for the future (QPP) Project, a need for developing the concept of “QA and Excellence in higher education” has arisen. The notion of “excellence” is gaining importance and is being used more frequently by an increasing number of countries in order to qualify their higher education institutions and the programmes of the latter. Politicians and rectors generally aim at excellence of their higher education institutions and programmes as well as high places in rankings. Within this framework, quality assurance is expected to contribute to defining, discovering, stimulating and certifying excellence. The current quality assurance procedures do not seem to examine and tackle the notion of excellence in teaching and learning.

Purpose and activities

The objective of setting up an ENQA working group on quality assurance and excellence in higher education is to discuss the concepts of excellence in HE and its implications for quality assurance. The group will discuss various definitions and interpretations of the notion of excellence and try to clarify which actors define excellence and which procedures can be used in the assessing of excellence. In order to achieve the aimed results, the group will discuss and exchange experiences among the main stakeholders in quality assurance. Furthermore, it will review the existing QA approaches with view to the notion of excellence and develop different approaches to cover excellence, both in institutions and programmes. The foreseen final outcomes of the working group consist of a seminar on “QA and Excellence” and a final publication gathering the findings.

The working group is chaired by Dr Stephen Jackson, Director of Reviews Group at the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) in the UK, and coordinated by the ENQA Secretariat. The working group is open to ENQA membership and affiliates.