This seminar was held on 19 September 2011 and hosted by the Austrian Accreditation Council (ÖAR). The event took place at the University of Vienna, Austria.
Joint degree programmes, resulting in a truly trans-European degree, facilitating mobility and attracting students from outside the European Higher Education Area, have been on top of the agenda from the beginning of the Bologna process. They have already been mentioned in the Sorbonne Declaration (1998), and the Ministers of Higher Education involved in the Bologna process raised the issue at most of the ministerial conferences since then. In 2007 and 2009, the implementation of joint programmes was also followed up in the stocktaking exercises.
At the Leuven/Louvain-La-Neuve conference in 2009, ministers emphasised that “joint degrees and programmes […] shall become more common practice”. Already in the early days of joint programmes it became clear that they mean a challenge to quality assurance: more than one provider develop and offer a joint programme which is studied at more than one institution in more than one country with different political and legal frameworks and not the least differing quality assurance regimes.
The European quality assurance agencies accepted this challenge and made a great effort in the last years to analyse the specific issues of quality assurance in joint programmes and develop approaches for this specific case. The most important projects were the “Transnational European Evaluation Projects I and II” (TEEP I and II) by ENQA, “Joint Master’s Programmes – Joint Evaluations: A Nordic Challenge” by the Nordic Quality Assurance Network, and the work done by the European Consortium for Accreditation, not the least in the field of mutual recognition. In addition, EUA developed the European Master’s New Evaluation Methodology (EMNEM). Hence, today one can rely on ample experience with quality assurance of joint programmes.
The purposes of this seminar were
- to analyse experience in quality assurance of joint programmes as regards specific issues and methodological approaches, and
- to draft recommendations to the Bologna ministerial conference in Bucharest in April 2012
The seminar gathered 27 participants from ENQA, NOQA, ECA and the European Commission.
The seminar programme can be found here.