The Quality Convergence Study Project was a follow-up to the ENQA Survey on Quality Procedures in European Higher Education. The main objective of the project was to study the possibilities for convergence of national quality assurance systems in Europe through six samples, aiming to obtain identifiable reference points for transnational quality evaluations. The study was carried out between September 2003 and October 2004, with the final report being published in March 2005.
The Quality Convergence Study aspired to find out why national quality assurance systems operate in particular, yet commonly identifiable ways in different national contexts. The starting point for the project was formed by the existing descriptions of how these quality assurance processes work. The overall objectives of the project were in clear accordance with the aims of the Bologna Process, encouraging the European co-operation in quality assurance. The future establishment of the European Higher Education Area requires a certain level of convergence in the European quality assurance systems.
The project was coordinated and conducted by a project team consisting of representatives of the ENQA member agencies. It also had the valuable contribution from six external quality assurance experts.
The writing of the self-analysis documents and their examination constituted an important part of the project. Each participating agency wrote a detailed description about its specific national quality assurance context. After a cross-checking exercise, the documents were sent to external experts for analysis on the possibilities of convergence.
One of the most important findings of the study was that convergence cannot be achieved only by searching similarities in the higher education systems, but also by understanding the different national contexts.
The self-analysis documents and the Quality Convergence Study can be accessed in the Publications section.