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.


8 April 2014: EQAR General Assembly in Greece

EQAR members convened in Athens for the 8th General Assembly of the organisation. The Annual Report 2013, including the Report of the Register Committee, was presented at the event and will be published on the EQAR website shortly.

The General Assembly approved the Work Plan 2014/215 of which the RIQAA project (Recognising International Quality Assurance Activity in the EHEA) is one of the main activities for 2014. The final dissemination conference of the project (and Members' Dialogue) will take place in Rome in September 2014.

EQAR is also planning to co-organise regional peer-learning events on cross-border quality assurance in cooperation with national ministries. Ministries interested in co-hosting such an event are kindly requested to contact the EQAR Secretariat.

The General Assembly elected the following Executive Board for a two-year mandate:

  • Fernando Galán Palomares (ESU)
  • Maria Kelo (ENQA)
  • Tia Loukkola (EUA)
  • Andreas Orphanides (EURASHE)

A special word of thanks was given to Lesley Wilson who served on the EQAR Board since its foundation as well as to the other two outgoing board members Stefan Delplace and Allan Päll.

Four new Register Committee members were approved by the General Assembly. Their two-year mandate will start on 1 July 2014. Incoming members Olav Øye, Freddy Coignoul, Anita Līce, and Tibor Szanto will replace outgoing members Anca Prisacariu, Henrik Toft Jensen, Christoph Anz and Mala Singh - these last three having served on the Register Committee since 2008.

HE stakeholder organisations present proposal for revised ESG 18 March 2014: The E4 Group (ENQA, ESU, EUA, EURASHE), in cooperation with Education International (EI), BUSINESSEUROPE and EQAR have today (18 March) published a joint proposal for a revised version of the “Standards and Guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)”.

HE stakeholder organisations present proposal for revised ESG

The proposal seeks to make the ESG clearer, reflects the recent changes in the EHEA, makes a more explicit link to the learning and teaching process in the section on internal QA and defines the relationship of QA with other Bologna Process developments that have taken place since 2005 (including those relating to Qualifications Frameworks and learning outcomes).

Read more and download the proposal

Progress in Quality Assurance in the EHEA 28 January 2014: The European Commission published its triennial Report on Progress in Quality Assurance in Higher Education, following up on the European Parliament and Council’s recommendation on quality assurance in higher education of 2006.

EQAR is pleased that the Commission will work with EU Member States to “encourage more quality assurance agencies to apply for EQAR registration; and to allow foreign EQAR-registered agencies to operate in their HE systems”, consistently with the corresponding commitment made by Ministers of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in their Bucharest Communiqué (2012). Opening higher education institutions the possibility to choose a quality assurance agency that best suits their mission and profile may help institutions to have an external evaluation, audit or accreditation that best benefits its own internal quality assurance activities.

As the report sets out, many countries in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) yet have to take steps to implement the Bucharest Communiqué commitment. Through its current project “Recognising International Quality Assurance Activity” (2013/14), co-funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme, EQAR aims to contribute to advancing policy developments in that respect.

The project analyses both the existing national frameworks for enabling higher education institutions to work with foreign EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies, as well as experiences, challenges and opportunities observed by quality assurance agencies and higher education institutions in accreditation, evaluation and audit across borders.

The Report further calls to “minimise bureaucracy” in external quality assurance of joint programmes, so as to facilitate their development and growth. While ministers have already committed to “recognise quality assurance decisions of EQAR-registered agencies on joint and double degree programmes” (Bucharest Communiqué), this is not a reality yet in all EHEA countries. EQAR has been participating in discussions on a set of European principles for external quality assurance of joint programmes, as a way to promote the principle of a single review adopted in the Bucharest Communiqué.

EQAR has further been actively participating in the revision of the European Standards and Guidelines for Higher Education (ESG). By enhancing the clarity and applicability of the ESG, including clear articulation with other relevant Bologna Process tools such as qualifications frameworks, the revised ESG is expected to enhance the international trust in a coherent European framework for QA and, thus, to contribute to the recognition of quality assurance agencies' results and decisions across the EHEA.

Further information:
Press Release European Commission

11 December 2013: Peer-Learning Seminar in Croatia A Seminar on the role of NQF’s and QA in Recognition was held in Trakošćan, organised by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and EQAR.

11 December 2013: Peer-Learning Seminar in Croatia

Medieval castle of Trakošćan 

Almost 40 participants from various European ministries, ENIC/NARICS and QA agencies discussed the use of NQF’s and External QA as a reference point for recognition and recognition of cross-border QA reviews.

Case study presentations were held by representatives of the ENIC-NARIC's of Croatia and the Flemish Community of Belgium, the University of Graz and the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC).

Click here to view the different presentations

23 October 2013: Three new agencies listed on the Register The Estonian Higher Education Quality Agency (EKKA), the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA, United Kingdom) and the Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (SQAA)..

23 October 2013: Three new agencies listed on the Register

were accepted by the Register Committee at its meeting in Ghent last week. 

The Register now features 32 agencies that have demonstrated to operate in substantial compliance with the European Standard and Guidelines.

7 May 2013: Two Agencies admitted to Register At its meeting in Berlin on 2/3 May 2013, the Register Committee renewed the registration of the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA) and admitted the European Council on Chiropractic Education (ECCE) to the Register.

7 May 2013: Two Agencies admitted to Register

Based on external reviews of the two agencies the Register Committee concluded that they operate in substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG).

Having satisfied the requirements of the EQAR Merger Policy, the Flemish Council of Universities and University Colleges' Quality Assurance Unit (VLUHR QAU), established as a result of a merger between the two quality assurance agencies VLIR and VLHORA (both admitted to the Register in 2009), was granted provisional registration. During the two-year period VLUHR QAU will have to undergo an external review against the ESG.

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In the context of the Bologna Process EQAR has been founded by EURASHE, ENQA, EUA and ESU. / Copyright of the logos above is with the organisations.

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