In 2015, the EHEA Ministerial Conference adopted the revised Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (the “ESG”). One of the important novelties compared to the 2005 edition was the clear shift to a more student-centred learning approach in higher education. The specific standard on student-centred learning, teaching and assessment (Standard 1.3) states that “Institutions should ensure that the programmes are delivered in a way that encourages students to take an active role in creating the learning process, and that the assessment of students reflects this approach.” The guidelines that follow highlight the importance of student-centred learning in ensuring that the learning process responds to the diversity of students’ needs, using a variety of pedagogical methods, and ensuring appropriate autonomy of students while providing necessary guidance and support. In addition to Standard 1.3, student-centred learning approach impacts the entire Part 1 of the ESG including standards related to teachers, student support, and programme design. While the relevance of student participation in internal and external QA processes is a main focus of the ESG, it continues to remain one of the weaker areas in quality assurance across Europe.

Three years have now passed since the adoption of the ESG2015. In that time, institutions and agencies have taken important steps in revising their QA approaches, methods and criteria to better align them with these new requirements. Meanwhile, several European projects continue to address the topic of student-centred learning as well. Nevertheless, it is clear that both institutions and agencies are still debating the best and most appropriate ways to detect, measure, and support student-centred learning approaches through quality assurance.

This ENQA workshop considered the following questions:

  1. How is student-centred learning addressed in quality assurance and how could it be in the future;
  2. What are the respective roles of institutions and agencies;
  3. What is the role of students in the related processes; and
  4. How can we make the most of their contribution?

The event mainly targeted QA professionals from QA agencies but was open to any professional in the QA field that may be interested in this topic.

The seminar took place over two half-days, with the programme beginning at 13:00 on Monday, 10 December and concluding on Tuesday, 11 December at 13:30.


The final programme can be found here.
Practical information can be found here.
The list of participants can be found here.



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