The Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) provide the framework for internal and external quality assurance. They were adopted at the EHEA Ministerial Conference in 2015.
ENQA worked in partnership with the rest of the E4 Group (EUA, EURASHE and ESU) as well as other stakeholder organisations (Education International, Business Europe), and with EQAR to draft the ESG 2015. The E4 Group was also the authors of the original version of the ESG in 2005.
Implementing quality assurance in line with the ESG is one of the key commitments of the Bologna Process. As such, the ESG provide the basis for enhancing trust, mobility and recognition between higher education systems.
The ESG are divided into three parts:
- Part 1: internal quality assurance
- Part 2: external quality assurance
- Part 3: quality assurance agencies
The ESG are designed to be applied to all higher education, regardless of place or mode of delivery. The Standards set out the agreed and accepted practice, while the Guidelines describe how the standards might be implemented, however this will vary depending on the context. Further guidance on the scope and use of the ESG is provided in the introduction to the document. Furthermore, in 2020, the E4 Group issued a statement clarifying the continued relevance and applicability of the ESG in the changing higher education context. It covers issues such as the purpose, focus and interpretation of the ESG.
For ENQA, the ESG are of particular importance as ENQA membership is only open to quality assurance agencies that demonstrate their compliance with the ESG. The ENQA Agency Reviews use Parts 2 and 3 of the ESG as the criteria for the review process, and the resulting report is used as the basis for decisions on ENQA membership (taken by the ENQA Board) and EQAR listing (taken by the EQAR Register Committee).
Separately from the agency reviews, ENQA supports its members in meeting the expectations of the ESG through a variety of projects, publications, events and working groups.
The following unofficial translations of the ESG are available. Please note that the translations have not been verified by ENQA and that the translating parties bear the responsibility of inaccuracies. The original English remains the official document in all cases.
- ESG IN ALBANIAN: Translated by the Kosovo Accreditation Agency
- ESG IN BASQUE: Translated by Unibasq
- ESG IN BOSNIAN: Translated by Suzana Trubajić within the framework of the EU-funded twinning project, “Strengthening Institutional Capacities for Quality Assurance”.
- ESG IN BULGARIAN: Translated by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency of Bulgaria
- ESG IN CATALAN: Translated by AQU Catalunya
- ESG IN CROATIAN: Translated by the Agency for Science and Higher Education
- ESG IN DUTCH: Translation commissioned by The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
- ESG IN FINNISH: Translated by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC)
- ESG IN FRENCH: Translated by Réseau FrAQ
- ESG IN GEORGIAN: Translated by Erasmus Georgia
- ESG IN GERMAN: Translated by the German Rectors’ Conference
- ESG IN HUNGARIAN: Copyright Hungarian Translation (C) OFI in cooperation with the Hungarian Accreditation Committee
- ESG IN IRISH (GAEILGE): Translated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland
- ESG IN ITALIAN: Translated by the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI)
- ESG IN JAPANESE: Translated by the National institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation
- ESG IN KAZAKH: Translated by the Independent Kazakh Agency for Quality Assurance in Education
- ESG IN LATVIAN: Translated by the Academic Information Centre
- ESG IN LITHUANIAN: Translated by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC)
- ESG IN MACEDONIAN: Translated within the framework of the EU Twinning Project “Further support to the implementation of the National Qualifications Framework” for the Ministry of Education and Science of North Macedonia
- ESG IN MONGOLIAN: Translated by the Mongolian National Council for Education Accreditation (MNCEA)
- ESG IN ROMANIAN: Translated by the Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education
- ESG IN RUSSIAN: Translated by the National Centre of Public Accreditation
- ESG IN RUSSIAN: Translated by the Independent Kazakh Agency for Quality Assurance in Education
- ESG IN SLOVAK: Translated by Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic
- ESG IN SLOVENIAN: Translated by the Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
- ESG IN SPANISH: Translated by the Aragon Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation
- ESG IN SPANISH: Translated by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain
- ESG IN TURKISH: Translated by Metin Toprak, Istanbul University, Deniz Us, the Council of Higher Education, Mehmet Sengul, the Council of Higher Education
- ESG IN UKRAINIAN: Translated by the British Council
- E4 statement on the ESG in the changing higher education landscape (2020)
- A report with considerations on how the ESG apply to e-learning (2018, produced by the ENQA Working Group on Quality Assurance and e-learning)
- A report with considerations on how the ESG apply to work-based learning (produced by the WEXHE project)
- The ESG 2005 (original version, superseded by the ESG 2015)
- A comparative analysis of the ESG 2015 and the ESG 2005 (produced by the EQUIP project)