ENQA briefing note on the European Commission higher education package

On 27 March 2024, the European Commission published a higher education package with ambitious proposals to support international cooperation in higher education through a range of initiatives including the European degree and a European quality assurance and recognition system. ENQA is pleased to publish a briefing note outlining the key elements of the proposals and some reflections on the implications for quality assurance agencies.

ENQA welcomes the initiatives from the European Commission to facilitate international cooperation in higher education and quality assurance, in particular the elements related to enhancement-led quality assurance, removing bureaucracy and legislative barriers, and facilitating automatic recognition. ENQA also appreciates that the proposals build on existing tools of the EHEA (European Higher Education Area) and supports their full implementation, as synergies between the EHEA and the EEA (European Education Area) are vital for successful international cooperation.

It is hoped that the ambition shown in the proposals is matched by a willingness from national authorities to fulfil new and existing commitments. National legislation is frequently cited as being the primary barrier to cross-border cooperation in quality assurance, and ENQA underlines that the addition of new tools and approaches will not be possible unless this fundamental underlying challenge is addressed, not just in the European Union, but across the whole EHEA.

ENQA strongly encourages agencies in European Union countries to engage with their relevant ministries in order to relay the key messages that should be taken up in the further negotiations on the proposals in the Council of the European Union.

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