ENQA Newsletter Issue 7 - April 2014
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Message from the President
Padraig WalshDear colleagues,

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2014. I would like to take this opportunity to bring two important developments to your attention.

On 18 March, the E4 Group (ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE), in cooperation with Education International (EI), BUSINESSEUROPE and EQAR, organised a launch event where they presented their joint proposal for a revised version of the “Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)”. As requested by Ministers in the Bucharest Communiqué in 2012, the seven organisations have sought to make the ESG clearer, particularly in terms of their structure and in order to avoid potential confusion with their interpretation. The proposal, which presents the joint views of all of the organisations (in itself a considerable achievement), reflects the recent changes in the EHEA and defines the relationship of quality assurance with other Bologna Process developments that have taken place since 2005. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the member agencies for their contribution to the development of the final proposal. The proposal will be discussed by the Bologna Follow-Up Group in Athens in April, and discussions will continue until the Ministers responsible for higher education are finally asked to adopt the revised ESG at the Bologna Ministerial conference in Yerevan, Armenia in 2015.

On another note, the current ENQA Strategic Plan 2011-15 was adopted by the General Assembly in Helsinki in September 2010 and is due to expire in 2015. The ENQA Board has set about the process of preparing for the next Strategic Plan for the period 2016-2020 and looks forward to a high level of engagement from member agencies during its development phase. The Board has established a strategy sub-group and intends to use the occasion of the upcoming Members’ Forum in St. Petersburg, on April 24-25, to gather the initial views of members on the way forward for our association. Members will have further opportunities to feed into the development of the strategy, notably at the General Assembly in Zagreb in October of this year. I look forward to your engagement and contributions into the development of this plan.

Padraig Walsh
President of ENQA
News from ENQA
ENQA welcomes a new member
The Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Ecclesiastical Faculties (AVEPRO), former ENQA affiliate since 2007, has been granted full ENQA membership in February, after its successful external review which took place in 2013. > More

ENQA and partners launch the joint proposal of the revised ESG
The proposal for a revised version of the European Standards and Guidelines was published and presented on 18 March at the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU in Brussels. > More

EQAF call for papers is open and looks for agency participation
The call for contributions (papers and workshops) for the EQAF 2014 is now open. The call is addressed to quality assurance practitioners at higher education institutions, quality assurance agencies, students, academic staff, institutional leaders and researchers in the field. ENQA would like to encourage papers from the member agencies, and welcomes in particular proposals which combine different perspectives (e.g. a case study developed jointly by a university and a QA agency).  > More

Nathalie Lugano will be replaced by Paula Ranne during her maternity leave
The ENQA secretariat is pleased to welcome back Paula Ranne who was initially Project Officer and then Project Manager of ENQA in Helsinki from 2008 to 2011.  > More

ENQA refreshes its image: new website, new newsletter format
ENQA has decided to refresh its image and provide its members with a more user-friendly website. After several intense months of work, the new website was launched in January this year.  > More
News from ENQA Members and Affiliates
In response to the growth in popularity and availability of MOOCs, the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) published in early March a statement that outlines how these courses relate to its review and enhancement activity. > More
At the end of 2013, ACSUG introduced a pilot scheme for accreditation renewal in which 17 qualifications were involved and for which the external visit is planned in April 2014. This pilot scheme will enable ACSUG to establish whether their current tools are adequate and to introduce improvements into future processes. > More
In December 2013, AKKORK held a final conference to discuss the results of the five state projects in the framework of Federal State Programme for Education Development carried out by the Agency from 2011 to 2013. > More
In January 2014, in the framework of the next “European Semester” (the annual cycle of economic policy coordination implemented in the scope of the Europe 2020), a European Commission delegation paid a visit to the Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education (ASHE) in order to collect information. > More
The ECA-led project, “Certificate for Quality of Internationalisation” (CeQuint), has finalized the overall methodology to be used in twelve pilot procedures for the award of a Certificate for Quality of Internationalisation. > More
The Central and Eastern European Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (CEENQA) will hold its annual General Assembly and workshop on May 23-24 in Prishtina, Kosovo, hosted by the Kosovo Accreditation Agency (KAA). > More
During its annual seminar on 10-11 February 2014, Cti and Abet signed a new Memorandum of Understanding.  > More
NEWS from ENQA Partners
The European University Association (EUA) has published its second Occasional Paper on the topic of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). A follow-up to the first paper published at the beginning of 2013, it is designed to provide an update on the broad range of MOOCs developments that have taken place in recent months, especially in Europe and North America, but also more widely. > More
The European Students’ Union (ESU) has recently concluded a large scale project looking into the added value of involving students in quality assurance. “Quest for Quality for Students” ran from 2010 to 2013 and the final outcomes of the project, namely the project website and the five publications, are now available. > More
The European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) will organise a seminar on “Cross-Border External Quality Assurance” in the framework of an EU project entitled “Recognising International Quality Assurance Activity (RIQAAA)”. The seminar will take place on 29-30 April 2014 in Bayreuth, Germany, and will be hosted by ACQUIN (the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute). > More
The 2014 Forum of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) will be held on 26 – 28 May in Tallinn, Estonia, and will be hosted by the Estonian Higher Education Quality Agency (EKKA). > More
In collaboration with authors from different backgrounds, the Council of Europe has recently published a book entitled The Lisbon Recognition Convention at 15: making fair recognition a reality. > More
Policy Developments and projects
European Commission’s recent reports note progress in QA in HE and VET
At the end of January, the European Commission published a report on “Progress in Quality Assurance in Higher Education” for the European Parliament and the European Council. The report describes some of the developments and trends in QA of higher education since 2009, making references to several projects carried out in this field by a number of stakeholder organisations. > More
Council of the EU adopts new conclusions on the 2014 European Semester and education and training
During the meeting on 24 February in Brussels, the EU Member States adopted new conclusions on “Efficient and Innovative Education and Training to Invest in Skills”. The conclusions support the 2014 European Semester and respond to the publication of the 2014 Annual Growth Survey and the 2012 Commission’s Communication on “Opening Up Education”. > More

EU Mobility Scoreboard: more effort needed to promote studies and training abroad
The European Commission’s mobility scoreboard, which covers all 28 EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey, is part of the Commission's response to a call by Member States to remove obstacles to studying and training abroad. The scoreboard focuses on five key factors that influence young people's motivation and ability to study or train abroad. > More

European Commission public consultation on recognition of qualifications
On 19 December 2013, the European Commission launched a consultation on the “European Area of Skills and Qualifications”. The objective of the consultation is to collect views of stakeholders on the problems faced by learners and workers with regard to the transparency and recognition of their skills and qualifications when moving within and between EU Member States, on the adequacy of the related European policies and instruments, and on the potential benefits of developing a “European Area of Skills and Qualifications”. > More

Open Education Challenge: a new initiative to promote innovation in education
In partnership with the European Commission a consortium of two private companies has launched the Open Education Challenge, a Europe-wide initiative that will give education start-ups an opportunity to create, develop, strengthen and receive funding. > More

Eurydice issues a new report on Europe 2020 priorities
In December 2013, the Eurydice Network published a report entitled “Education and Training in Europe 2020 - Responses from the EU Member States”. The report contains comparative analysis of national responses to the Europe 2020 strategy priorities in the field of education and training. > More

Swiss involvement in Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 at stake
The European Union has suspended negotiations on Switzerland's participation in Horizon 2020 (Research and Innovation), Erasmus+ (Education) and MEDIA (Audiovisual industry) programmes and relegated Switzerland to third-country status. > More

Towards a better higher education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance (HEA) of Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) was granted funding under the EU’s Instrument for Pre-accession (IPA) for a Twinning project entitled “Strengthening Institutional Capacities for Quality Assurance”. > More

The 100 most international universities in the world
Times Higher Education has published its list of the world’s 100 most international universities. Drawn from the world’s top 400 institutions (according to the World University Rankings 2013-2014), these institutions are noted for their percentage of international students and staff and the proportion of its research papers which have been produced with a co-author from at least one other country. > More

Competency-based education gains ground in the United States
The US government is supporting the expansion of competency-based education, a system which allows students to earn a college degree without attending classes, “through the demonstration of skills and knowledge in a required subject area through a series of carefully designed assessments”. > More

Accreditation agencies in India granted autonomy
Following legislation last year, which requires accreditation for all educational institutions, the Indian government recently announced that the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) will now be operationally autonomous. > More
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Table of Contents

Upcoming ENQA Events

24-25 April 2014,
St. Petersburg, Russia
More information here.

12-13 May 2014
Bern, Switzerland
More information here.

19-20 May 2014
Mannheim, Germany
More information here.

2-3 June 2014
Brussels, Belgium
More information here.
23 September 2014
Brussels, Belgium
More information here.
ENQA 2014 General Assembly
16-17 October 2014
Zagreb, Croatia
More information here.

Associated Events

30 March - 3 April
Chicago, USA
More information here.

8-9 April 2014
Paris, France
More information here.

8-10 April 2014
Athens, Greece
More information here.

15-16 May 2014
Yerevan, Armenia
More information here.


ESG Revision - Proposal

ESG Revision - Response to Comments
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