The website has always been EQAR’s main communication tool to address its target audiences. A substantial increase of visitors was noted in 2020 with 59 000 visits, which is an increase of 22 % compared to 2019 (48 000 visits). The doubling of the figures between 2018 (24 000) and 2019 (48 000) is largely attributed to the launch of the DEQAR database.
The statistics also show that the main focus of visitors now clearly shifted from the list of the registered quality assurance agencies and related information (“Register” section) to the Database of External Quality Assurance Results (DEQAR, “Database” section). Over 33% of all page views was on the DEQAR pages, followed by 25% on the Register pages and 17% on the Knowledge Base pages, both of which are linked from the database via the agency and country information.
Surveys were sent out in November 2020 to quality assurance agencies and (potential) EQAR members in the context of EQAR’s self-evaluation, which included some questions about the website. In these surveys 81% considered that information on the EQAR website was easy to access; while slightly more QA agencies than members stated so, the difference (83% vs. 78%) is small. The remaining respondents found it “somewhat” easy to access, while no respondents chose “no”.
The surveys also asked both members and QA agencies representatives about how often they are consulting DEQAR:
Newsletters and social media
EQAR issued four newsletters in 2020, reaching each around 625 recipients.
Newsletter topics included information about the decisions of the Register Committee, external QA activities of EQAR-registered agencies, relevant policy updates and documents with regard to QA and the use of EQAR in the national QA frameworks of the EHEA countries, DEQAR updates as well as organisational updates.
EQAR also remained active on social media, including Twitter, LinkedIn and, to a lesser extent, Facebook. In 2020, 40 tweets led to a total of 87 000 impressions (number of times users saw the tweet on twitter) and 1 860 engagements (number of times a user has interacted with a tweet). EQAR’s Twitter followers amounted to around 1 500.
A total of 14 LinkedIn posts were shared in 2020, generating an average engagement rate of 7,75% (the number of interactions divided by impressions).
The following documents were published in 2020:
- The EQAR Annual Report 2019 was published on the EQAR website in June and was promoted in the newsletter as well as on social media.
- The revised version of the Policy on the Use and Interpretation of the ESG was published on the website in July and was promoted in the newsletter as well as on social media.
The policy assists applicant QA agencies, review panels and the Register Committee itself when interpreting the standards. They support a common understanding, but do not claim to be exhaustive or exclusive.
- The Triparte Terms of Reference was published in September 2020.
It is a sample (application) document that can be used as model between the agency and the coordinator, if the agency decides to use another coordinator than ENQA.
- The policy on Eligibility of Review Coordinators and Panels was published in December 2020.
This policy elaborates on the Register Committee’s specific understanding and application of the requirements for external reviews of quality assurance agencies. Quality assurance agencies seeking to choose a review coordinator other than ENQA should be guided by these minimum requirements.