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European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education


In most European countries, higher education institutions or study programmes are subject to regular external review by a quality assurance agency. The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) is a register of such agencies, including those that substantially comply with a common set of principles for quality assurance in Europe.
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11 June 2015: Four Agencies Newly Registered - Policy on Use and Interpretation of the ESG

St. Patrick's College, Dublin 

Register Committee members convened in Dublin on 4-5 June to discuss various (renewal) applications and the transition to the revised ESG.

The following agencies were newly admitted to the Register:

  • BAC - British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education
  • fmdi - Fundación para el Conocimiento Madridmasd
  • KAA - Kosovo Accreditation Agency
  • QQI - Quality and Qualifications Ireland

The Register Committee also decided to renew the registration of another three agencies:

  • ACSUCYL – Agency for the University System in Castilla y Léon
  • AHPGS - Accreditation Agency in Health and Social Science
  • evalag – Evaluation Agency Baden-Würrtemberg

With regard to the transition to the revised European Standards and Guidelines, the Register Committee adopted a new policy document providing an ex ante transparency of the official EQAR interpretation of the ESG. The new policy “Use and Interpretations of the ESG” aims to increase transparency, understanding and consistency within the decision-making process of the Register Committee.

The main target groups of the policy on the Use and Interpretation of the ESG are the quality assurance agencies, the external review coordinators and the external review panels.

The Register Committee also updated the Procedures for Applications. We are currently updating the Guide for Applicants and additional information for applicant quality assurance agencies.

Register of quality assurance agencies
Use and Interpretation of the ESG for the European Register of QA Agencies [PDF]

14/15 May 2015: Revised ESG adopted in Yerevan At the ninth EHEA Ministerial Conference, Ministers adopted the Yerevan Communiqué including the Revised Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) and the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes.

14/15 May 2015: Revised ESG adopted in Yerevan

The revision process started in 2012, when Ministers mandated the E4 group in cooperation with Education International, BUSINESSEUROPE and EQAR to revise the ESG in order “to improve their clarity, applicability and usefulness, including their scope” and submit their proposal to the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG).

The EQAR Register Committee has been preparing for the adoption of the Revised ESG at various stages of the process and on different levels. In early June, a policy document on the Use and Interpretation of the ESG as well as information on the future application process will be published.

Revised Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)

European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes.

Annual Report 2014 In 2014, the Register extended to 37 quality assurance agencies from 18 countries.

Annual Report 2014

Cover of the Annual Report 2014

Further highlights of the year include EQAR's preparations for transition to the revised ESG and the conclusion of the RIQAA project, with a number of conclusions and policy recommendations on the development of cross-border quality assurance.

Read the Annual Report 2014 now or receive a paper copy

26 March 2015: EQAR General Assembly in Riga At EQAR’s 9th General Assembly, held in Riga on 23 March in conjunction with the BFUG meeting, six new members were welcomed and attended their first General Assembly: Azerbaijan, Finland, Lithuania, Moldova, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and the United Kingdom.

26 March 2015: EQAR General Assembly in Riga

The General Assembly reviewed and adopted the Message to the Yerevan Ministerial Conference which highlights some of EQAR’s activities as well as the main developments in cross-border quality assurance since the last ministerial meeting in 2012 (Bucharest) and offers a number of recommendations for the Yerevan Communiqué.

Members of the GA took note of the “Use and Interpretation of the ESG”, a policy document prepared by the Register Committee, based on the current "Practices and Interpretations". Likewise linked to the revised ESG, the General Assembly considered a number of amendments to the “Procedures for Applications” and approved to extend the current term of the Register Committee by one year to ensure a smooth and stable transition to the revised ESG. These documents will be published after the Yerevan Ministerial Conference in May.

The Annual Report 2014, including the Report of the Register Committee, was presented to the General Assembly and will be published shortly.

29 January 2015: Register Committee Special Session on New ESG On 23 and 24 January 2015 the Register Committee held their 14th meeting in Brussels to discuss, amongst others, the revised version of the ESG, the decision making process of the Register Committee and external reviews of quality assurance agencies.

29 January 2015: Register Committee Special Session on New ESG

VLUHR-QA (the Quality Assurance Unit of the Flemish Council of University and University Colleges), already provisionally registered by way of the EQAR Merger Policy was accepted to the Register after having demonstrated their substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) through an independent external review.

The main reason for convening the Register Committee meeting so soon after the last meeting in November was to discuss the Revised Version of the ESG and set up ESG Interpretation Guidelines. These Guidelines will be published after the approval of the Revised ESG by the next Ministerial Conference of the EHEA in May 2015, and are meant to:

  • increase the transparency of the Register Committee's decision-making practice;
  • help demonstrate consistency in the Committee's practices, interpretations and decisions on applications;
  • aid external review panels in understanding how the Committee has interpreted the ESG and used external review reports;
  • facilitate the understanding of the Committee's public decisions.

The ESG Interpretation Guidelines address three main target groups: quality assurance agencies seeking registration on EQAR or having to renew their registration, coordinators of external reviews that are used for registration on EQAR and external review panels undertaking a review against the ESG.

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