Database of External QA Results (DEQAR)
DEQAR is the Database of External Quality Assurance Results from activities performed by EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies. DEQAR not only collects their reports and decisions but also helps to understand reports in their context by describing the national QA frameworks of the European Higher Education Area countries.
- Check out the DEQAR Essential Info page outlining the whys, hows and for whoms of the database.
DEQAR CONNECT project
Enhancing the Coverage and Connectivity of QA in the EHEA through DEQAR
The development and expansion of the DEQAR database, launched in 2018 and further propelled by the EU co-funded DEQAR project (2017-2019), received a further boost by the approval of a second Erasmus+ project application, DEQAR CONNECT. The project, coordinated by EQAR, includes as partners 17 registered agencies, 4 ENIC-NARIC partners, 6 experts and the E4 as associate partners. View all project partners here.
The DEQAR CONNECT project kicked off in March 2020. It focuses on two of the EHEA key commitments, supporting quality assurance and recognition inside the EHEA, and consists of two strands:
1. Expanding coverage to EHEA countries currently under-represented in DEQAR
- Peer support for agencies
The peer support phase of DEQAR CONNECT finished at the end of February 2021 (having started in May 2020). The aim of the peer support phase was to support and guide 16 quality assurance agencies in establishing an automated transfer of data from their databases to DEQAR. Peer learning was achieved by matching experts (from more experienced agencies) with newcomer agencies, in order to help them finding the best ways to upload their data into DEQAR. The peer support phase resulted in an increased number of reports, an increased number of higher educational systems with comprehensive coverage, and an increased number of agencies uploading in DEQAR.After the peer support phase, agencies were required to work in a more independent manner to either finish their uploads, or establish their API connection.
- DEQAR Masterclass
A DEQAR Masterclass in the form of a webinar was organised on 24 September 2021. All EQAR-registered agencies were invited to this webinar to discover the latest on DEQAR. Different sessions were organised for agencies with a DEQAR API connection and agencies that had not yet established a connection to DEQAR. Participants were technical staff and IT subcontractors of registered QA agencies.
2. Enhancing connectivity by exploiting existing synergies and exploring new opportunities to use DEQAR data directly in the recognition workflow, digital credentialing and elsewhere.
The connectivity strand focuses on following initiatives:
- ENIC-NARICs – integration of DEQAR API in their workflow
The ENIC-NARICs partners (CIMEA, CNRED, France Éducation international and Nuffic) continued working on the connection to the database. Two centers announced system restructures, causing a delay in the implementation of the connection. EQAR will continue working and supporting the centers in finalising the connection to DEQAR in 2022. More about the ENIC-NARIC integrations here.
- European Digital Credentials for Learning – creating a compatibility layer
One of the specific DEQAR CONNECT activities was to create a compatibility layer for the European Digital Credentials for Learning infrastructure (EDCI), developed within the framework of Europass. The interface allows to feed DEQAR data directly into the Accreditation Database, which is part of the Europass Qualifications Dataset Register (QDR) and underlies the EDCI. The compatibility layer was completed in early 2021 and is ready to be used by the national Europass centers and the EQF national coordination points, who can access it and activate the link to the QDR. The DEQAR data export was further refined in tune with the ongoing development of the accreditation feature in the EDCI Issuer component, which remained under development as of the end of 2021. More detailed information about DEQAR and the European Digital Credentials for Learning
- Higher Education Data Interoperability Initiative (HEIDI)
Following the (virtual) Roundtable on Higher Education Data Interoperability held in September 2020, EQAR has continued its cooperation with various other European initiatives in the field of HE data in order to work on better connecting existing systems and data sets. As a first concrete problem domain it was agreed to tackle the question of higher education institution identifiers. Based on a number of agreed use cases, a technical group has been working on the requirements for an enhanced approach to identifying higher education institutions in Europe.
As a result, in December 2021, EQAR harvested a substantial number of identifiers using a new HEI API made available by the European University Foundation (EUF) and the API of the European Commission’s Funding Portal. An addition to the DEQAR Web API allows 3rd parties to use arbitrary identifiers for the purpose of looking up data from DEQAR.
- Connection with European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI)
EBSI is a joint initiative driven by the European Commission and the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP), with the aim to deliver EU-wide cross-border public services. EBSI covers various specific applications and use cases, including a Diploma Use Case. The EBSI Diplomas Use Case addresses the same needs as the European Digital Credentials for Learning (see above), but based on a different underlying technical platform.
EBSI is based on contemporary standards for decentralised identification (W3C DIDs) and digital credentials (W3C Verifiable Credentials); education diplomas are a specific type of verifiable credential (VC) in EBSI. Likewise, external quality assurance or accreditation are also represented as a digitally-signed VC that authorise specific higher education institutions to issue education diplomas.
EQAR is part of the EBSI Early Adopters Programme and has built a system to automatically issue Verifiable Accreditation credentials based on the data available in DEQAR, in close dialogue with the EBSI architects and the convenors of the Diplomas Use Case. The work on connecting DEQAR with EBSI complements the Interface for the Europass QDR/Accreditation Database and ensures that DEQAR is connected to either ecosystem. More about the DEQAR EBSI interconnection.
State of play at the end of 2021
By the end of 2021 the total number of reports in DEQAR was 72 642. The total number of reports uploaded during the year 2021 was 18 302.
At the end of last year, 43 (out of 51) EQAR-registered agencies had uploaded reports
Higher education institutions (HEIs)
Newly added reports in DEQAR in 2021 covered 1 544 HEIs based in 36 EHEA countries, and 54 higher education institutions based in 22 non EHEA countries.
DEQAR had significant coverage of 24 higher education systems by the end of 2020 (an increase of three higher educational systems compared to 2020): Austria, Belgium (Flemish community), Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Slovenia.
Note on “significant coverage”: In these systems, DEQAR includes reports on more than half of the higher education institutions, compared to the total number according to the European Tertiary Education Register (ETER) or national lists provided to EQAR. For very small higher education systems (< 5 higher education institutions), significant coverage is considered if the higher education institution(s) is/are the dominant institution(s) in the system and a large proportion of the institution(s) is covered, i.e. not only a small number of programmes.
In 2021, the main mode of upload of report was the API (12 888), followed by CSV (4741) and manual upload (673).
The following tables provide a detailed breakdown by agency and type of reports.
|Agency||Based in||No. of reports in DEQAR|
Visualisation of DEQAR data
DEQAR Explainer video
DEQAR Synergy pages
DEQAR CONNECT project pages
DEQAR Essential info page
DEQAR CONNECT news
DEQAR Talk of the Town