The Agency for Quality Assurance through Accreditation of Study Programmes (AQAS, Germany) has recently published a reflection on its work in applying the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) in international accreditation procedures outside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The German agency has carried out ESG-based accreditation procedures on four continents and now draws some conclusions in order to outline recurrent issues that can be addressed to facilitate future procedures.
The reflection reveals that even though the ESG form a set of guidelines agreed upon by European stakeholders and defined against the background of the EHEA, they can successfully be used in higher education systems outside the “Bologna area”. It is shown that their advisory character provides a valuable tool to assess quality against a variety of higher education backgrounds and national regulations. It also seems to be, however, that there are gaps in the assessment guidelines due to the rather broad formulation of the ESG, which relate to the design of programmes and the issue of employability. An anticipation of these issues will help improve future accreditation procedures outside the EHEA, which have proven to be effective in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning.