Douglas Blackstock, ENQA President
I am pleased to announce the first issue of the new ENQA Bulletin. The re-launch of our newsletter is an important step in ENQA’s work to enhance its communication with quality assurance agencies and a broad range of partners and experts who have a strong interest in our work. With Member and Affiliate agencies in 45 of the 47 countries of the European Higher Education Area, as well as relationships with quality assurance networks around the world, ENQA has unique expertise and input in the quality assurance of higher education that is of interest to a wider audience.
2023 marks the mid-point in the current ENQA strategic plan, covering 2021-2025. The Board and secretariat have recently been reflecting on the achievements so far in this period, and there is much to be proud of. ENQA has navigated a turbulent period, with the external world rocked by the pandemic and outbreak of war, while internally we have seen a significant change in staff members, including the Director. But the work has continued at pace, including large-scale projects supporting the development of QA agencies in Europe (SEQA-ESG), Asia (SHARE) and Africa (HAQAA); the implementation of ENQA working groups on micro-credentials and academic integrity; the launch of the new targeted review methodology; and the establishment of the Agency Review Committee, not to mention numerous events and webinars, through which we have reached a wider than ever audience.
But we have ambitions to do more and support both agencies and the higher education sector in responding to rapid change brought on by digital and blended delivery, the acceleration of artificial intelligence, and a renewed focus on cross-border collaboration. These provide great opportunities, but also challenges for learning, teaching and assessment that quality assurance cannot ignore.
In the coming academic year, there will be a significant focus on ENQA’s contribution to policymaking. Through the QA-FIT project we are working with key stakeholder organisations to map quality assurance activities and reflect on the fitness for purpose of the ESG, with a view to proceeding with their revision after the Bologna Ministerial Communique of 2024. We are also engaging with the European Commission’s consultation to develop a European Union Recognition and Quality Assurance System, with a particular focus on ensuring that it is compatible with developments in the wider EHEA.
In the meantime, we continue our efforts to support countries in meeting the key commitments of the Bologna Process and through the second round of the SEQA-ESG project we are working with agencies and ministries in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Ukraine to support them on the path to alignment with the ESG.
Of course, the system-level developments would not be possible without committed and talented staff within QA agencies. The fourth edition of the ENQA Leadership Development Programme is currently underway to support the professional development of emerging leaders in our sector. We also look forward to welcoming alumni of the programme to a seminar in Brussels later this year.
Through the Bulletin we will bring you the latest news from ENQA. Our spotlight articles will dive into specific topics in more detail, and our noticeboard is a place for the ENQA community to share information about the latest opportunities from their own organisations. You can submit news for inclusion on the noticeboard by contacting the ENQA Secretariat. ENQA will continue to disseminate a separate update specifically for members and affiliates twice a year, after each General Assembly meeting.
We hope that you find the Bulletin a helpful tool for keeping in touch with ENQA’s activities. Please do share it with colleagues so they can also subscribe!
You can subscribe to the Bulletin through the form on our website here.