ENQA Seminar on external reviews of agencies: “First external evaluations of quality assurance agencies – lessons learned

10 July 2008-11 July 2008 00:00

ENQA organised the seminar on the outcomes of the first external reviews of quality assurance agencies. The event was hosted by AERES.

In order to become Full Members of ENQA and to be granted admission in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) once it is established, QA agencies are required to successfully undergo an external review and thereby to show that they comply sufficiently with the ESG.

Some agencies have already undergone an external review, coordinated at national level or by ENQA. It is now time to learn lessons from these first outcomes in order to continuously enhance this process, essential for strengthening mutual trust between agencies and stakeholders in higher education as well as among the agencies themselves.

The purpose of the seminar was threefold:

  • to draw conclusions from reviews that have already been conducted and, in particular, to point out good practices and possible areas for improvement;
  • to raise the awareness of the potential actors of external reviews (managers of agencies and experts) on the difficulties encountered during the reviews and to reflect specifically on the training for experts;
  • to reflect on the implementation of centrally important concepts or principles to increase the quality of the review results.

The seminar helped to better define two particular concepts that are at the core of the external evaluation process: the notion of “substantial compliance”, which defines the type of approach that the evaluator has to implement; and the notion of independence, which assures the legitimacy of the agencies’ activities.

The seminar programme can be found here.

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