Organisation and Evaluation

Evaluation EQAR

The 10-year cycle for external evaluations
EQAR adopts a 5-year cycle for regular self-evaluations, with an external evaluation following every second self-evaluation, i.e. every 10 years. Since the first external evaluation took place in 2010/11, (followed by a comprehensive self-evaluation in 2015/16), EQAR started the process of organising its second external evaluation in 2020.

The Approach and Roadmap of the External Evaluation
The General Assembly agreed that the external evaluation should address:

  • Are the processes related to the Register fit for purpose and comply with those ESG standards that are pertinent for and can be applied to EQAR correspondingly?
  • How has EQAR performed against the indicators defined in the Strategic Plan 2018-2022?
  • What is EQAR’s contribution to the wider policy goals enshrined in its mission and objectives, and the vision of the EHEA?

The evaluation should result in a report, containing a qualitative analysis, conclusions and recommendations for improvement.

Finding a Coordinator
EQAR published the Call for Tender for the Coordinator of the EQAR external evaluation in October. This resulted in five bids by reputable organisations, which were then reviewed by the Executive Board, considering the relevant experience as well as the suitability and soundness of the approach. The Yehuda Elkana Center for Higher Education (CEU YECHE) was finally selected to coordinate the EQAR external evaluation.

The Yehuda Elkana Center for Higher Education at Central European University (Vienna and Budapest) is a collaborative academic initiative carrying out applied policy research, consultancy and professional training in higher education. The Center was established in 2009 and builds on more than two decades of experience at CEU in policy advising and professional development programs for governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and higher education institutions from countries on all continents.

The main tasks of the Coordinator

  • Agree with EQAR on the Terms of Reference.
  • Recruit, appoint, brief and support the panel of experts.
  • Ensure the quality and timely delivery of the review report.

Timeline

  • Drafting of the self-evaluation report by the Self-Evaluation Group: since end 2020
  • Panel appointed for external evaluation: March 2021
  • Discussion and adoption of self-evaluation report: 16 April (at the General Assembly)
  • Site visit: July 2021
  • Final external report: November 2021

Membership

The number of governmental members involved in the overall governance of EQAR in 2020 remained at 41, the same as the previous year. The end of the year brought some good membership news with Hungary sending their application for membership, with as starting date the first day of 2021. All 48 signatory countries of the Bologna Process can become governmental member of EQAR.

Statutory bodies

The 2020 EQAR General Assembly was held online on 26 June. Apart from the yearly recurring agenda items such as the annual accounts, the budget, the work plan and the annual report, two elections took place:

EQAR President
Karl Dittrich was re-elected as EQAR President for a second (three-year) term.

Karl was first elected, as the first ever EQAR President, in 2017. After a very positive assessment, instigated at his own request, the Selection Committee for the EQAR President agreed to propose to the GA to re-elect Karl Dittrich and not to open a public call.

Executive Board
EQAR members elected the following Executive Board for a for a term until the GA of 2022. According to the agreed annual rotation, the Executive Board assumed the following functions, with Karl Dittrich as President:

  • Re-elected: Tia Loukkola (EUA) – Vice-President
  • Re-elected: Michal Karpisek (EURASHE) – Treasurer
  • Re-elected: Gohar Hovhannisyan – (ESU) – Member
  • Newly elected: Goran Dakovic (ENQA) – Member

See under Annexes “EQAR data” the full composition of the various EQAR bodies in 2020.

The General Assembly further adopted the the approach and roadmap for the self-evaluation and external evaluation of EQAR (see details above).

The EQAR Members’ Dialogue, revolving around EQAR’s self-evaluation, was postponed and held online in January 2021.

Karl Dittrich, re-elected as EQAR President at the 2020 General Assembly

Staff

EQAR had some staff changes in 2020. Aleksandra Zhivkovikj joined the Secretariat as Policy and Project Officer in July. She supports the Register, does general DEQAR maintenance work and does many DEQAR CONNECT project related activities. She took over some of the tasks of Kathryn Mathe and Jelena Šantić Stefanoska, who left the EQAR Secretariat earlier in 2020.

Pooja Venkatesh joined the Secretariat as Project Reporting & Finance Officer in November, on a part-time basis. Pooja takes care of general finances and accounting, financial reporting for the DEQAR CONNECT project, office management and other administrative tasks. Pooja had already worked for EQAR as temporary agency worker to coordinate the DEQAR project financial reporting in 2019.

Due to these staff changes, with the new hires being delayed because of COVID-19, the Secretariat worked at reduced capacity for a period of around five months. The total Secretariat staff at the end of 2020 was back to 4,2 FTE (the same as at the end of 2019).

Finances

The year 2020 resulted in a surplus of EUR 74 144,70. The significant surplus is primarily a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (meetings cancelled/held online and staff recruitments being delayed). After the DEQAR project completion, EQAR received funding under the Erasmus+ programme for “Enhancing the Coverage and Connectivity of QA in the EHEA through DEQAR” (DEQAR CONNECT) for a period of two years as of 1 March 2020.

EQAR relies on a diverse funding base including annual contributions from its members (governments and European stakeholder organisations), application and listing fees paid by quality assurance agencies and occasional project grants.

Balance Sheet
Assets Liabilities and Equity
Fixed assets 2 218,11 Own funds 247 658,81
Immaterial assets 900,00 Profit/loss previous years 44 059,26
Office equipment 1 170,45 Result per 31/12/2019 9 144,70
Guarantees 147,66 Reserves 185 000,00
Liquid assets 474 493,90 Liabilities 229 053,20
Receivables up to 1 year 39 915,79 Payables up to 1 year 212 366,20
Cash and term accounts 430 642,35 thereof: pre-financing EU grants 30 877,69
Adjustment accounts 3 935,76 Adjustment accounts 16 687,00
Total 476 712,01 Total 476 712,01
Profit and Loss Account
Income Expenditure
Operational income 457 196,21 Operational expenditure 381 895,82
Membership fees 344 356,00 Meetings 8 724,99
Agency fees 58 394,00 Project direct costs 14 775,00
Project income 49 264,35 Office and administration 58 657,79
Other income 5 181,86 Staff 239 688,47
Other costs 60 049,57
Operational result 75 300,39
Financial income 48,00 Financial costs and taxes 1 203,69
Total result 74 144,70
Withdrawal from reserves 0,00 Allocation to reserves 65 000,00
Result to be reported 9 144,70

Annex: Financial accounts (detail)