ENQA is currently involved as a partner in the project “Database of External Quality Assurance Results – DEQAR” coordinated by the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR). The project was selected for EU co-funding under Erasmus+ Key Action 3 – European Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects.
November 2017 – October 2019
In 2016 EQAR carried out a feasibility study on the Database, including surveys of potential users and registered agencies, as well as desk research of existing database initiatives.
The resulting Report and Operational Model were presented to EQAR members (European governments and stakeholder organisations), most of whom had received positive feedback from their national stakeholders and considered that the database would enhance accessibility of external quality assurance results.
While all EQAR-registered agencies publish the reports and decisions from their external quality assurance on their own websites, users frequently face difficulties accessing such information, especially from other countries than the one they are familiar with. The results of the study showed that most EQAR-registered agencies could supply the information that is most relevant to users into a central European database.
Once set-up, the Database will allow users to identify whether a higher education institution has been subject to external quality assurance in line with the ESG, by an EQAR-registered agency (at institutional level, or one or more of its programmes) and to easily access the corresponding external QA report(s).
The main aim of the DEQAR project is the development of a database that will enhance access to reports and decisions on higher education institutions/programmes externally reviewed against the ESG, by an EQAR-registered agency.
The database is expected to enable a broad range of users, including but not limited to:
- Recognition information centres (ENIC-NARICs)
- Recognition officers in higher education institutions
- Quality assurance agencies
- Ministry representatives and other national authorities
to satisfy their information needs and support different types of decisions (e.g. recognition of degrees, mobility of students, portability of grants/loans). A first public preview version of the database will be available in May 2018.
Through this database EQAR will contribute to the transparency of external quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area.
The project consortium consists of:
Stakeholders & users will be involved in ensuring relevance of the database and links with the end users:
- ENQA – The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education
- ESU- European Students Union
- EUA – European University Association
- EURASHE – European Association of Institutions in Higher Education
- EI – Education International
- CIMEA – Centro di Informazione sulla Mobilità e le Equivalenze (Italian ENIC-NARIC)
A Research Centre will be responsible for piloting studies in the use of the database:
- University of Ghent – The Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG)
17 QA agencies as well as GAC and HRK. They will have as main responsibility the technical implementation of the database:
- A3ES – Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education
- ACPUA – Aragon Agency for Quality Assurance and Strategic Foresight in Higher Education
- ACSUG – Agency for Quality Assurance in the Galician University System
- ANECA – National Agency for the Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain
- AQU – Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency
- ARACIS – Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education
- ASHE – Agency for Science and Higher Education
- ASIIN e.V.
- BAC – British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education
- EKKA – Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education
- fmid – Fundación para el Conocimiento Madrimasd
- HCERES – High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education
- PKA – Polish Accreditation Committee
- NVAO – Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders
- SQAA – Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency
- Unibasq – Agency for Quality of the Basque University System
- GAC – German Accreditation Council
- HRK – Hochschulrektorenkonferenz
Associate Partners (do not benefit from the EU grant and may come from non-EU countries):
ECA will contribute experience and expertise from Qrossroads:
- ECA – European Consortium for Accreditation
Registered QA agencies from non-eligible countries will be involved in the technical implementation of the database:
- AKKORK – The Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance and Career Development
- KAA – Kosovo Accreditation Agency
- NCPA – National Center for Public Accreditation