ENQA statement on COVID-19 pandemic

The ENQA Board and secretariat are closely following the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that this is having on its members and the higher education sector as a whole. As a result of the current situation we have taken the following actions:

We have cancelled this year’s Members’ Forum, planned to take place in Istanbul on 29-30 April 2020. The accompanying General Assembly will now be conducted online. Members and affiliates will receive information about this in due course.

We are in communication with agencies that are currently undergoing an external review to adapt the timelines where necessary, particularly in relation to the postponement of site visits due to international travel restrictions and quarantine measures. We will continue to offer flexibility to agencies in this regard.

We would also like to reassure agencies that decisions on ENQA membership or EQAR registration will not be jeopardised due to the current circumstances: neither due to a delay in the review process, nor due to the suspension or adaption of agencies’ usual external quality assurance activities. For further information regarding EQAR registration and ESG compliance, please see the statement on the EQAR website.

Similarly, we would like to encourage our members to show flexibility in their own review processes, adapt their current activities where necessary and seek ways to support higher education institutions, who are facing an unprecedented disruption to their normal operations. Quality assurance agencies can play an important role in offering guidance and support on matters such as the transfer to online learning and teaching, alternative assessment methods and maintaining academic standards and student support services. To help facilitate this we have also launched a social media campaign to encourage agencies to share their policies, practices and other resources so that members can learn from each other.

In line with measures taken by the Belgian government to limit the further spread of the virus, the ENQA secretariat are working from home until further notice, but can be contacted as usual by email. Everyone at ENQA is working hard to continue our activities as far as possible, and we remain available for any questions you may have. We hope to welcome many members and affiliates to the online General Assembly on 29 April 2020.

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