Organisation and Evaluation
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 preparations for its second external evaluation in 2020. The Coordinator was selected in December 2020: Yehuda Elkana Center for Higher Education (CEU YECHE).
- The Members Dialogue in January 2021 revolved around the self-evaluation process. Results of several surveys (among EHEA governments, stakeholders and QA agencies) were shared and discussed along with ideas on how to tackle some of the proposed areas for improvement.
- These suggestions were then further examined and developed by the Self-Evaluation Group and fed into the Self-Evaluation Report, which was adopted by the General Assembly in April 2021.
Expert Panel and Site Visit
- In the summer of 2021, the Coordinator for the evaluation of EQAR appointed an independent Panel to carry out the evaluation, including experts in quality assurance of higher education from different backgrounds and different stakeholder perspectives.
- The actual, in situ, site visit of EQAR’s external evaluation took place from 16-18 September. Almost the entire international evaluation panel (six of the eight experts) came to Brussels and interviewed EQAR staff, members, committee members, partners and stakeholders. The panel continued conducting interviews, albeit online, until the beginning of October.
- Before the final submitting of the External Evaluation Report, EQAR had a chance to comment on the factual accuracy of the report. This was done towards the end of 2021.
- The External Evaluation Report was then discussed at the Members Dialogue in 2022 and soon after published on the website.
Results and recommendations
The Panel described EQAR as “one of the most successful pan-European organisations in higher education” and concluded that EQAR is excellent in fulfilling its original mandate, as a “reliable, trustworthy, independent register that plays an important role in securing a credible QA system in EHEA”. There is of course always room for improvement and development. The Panel concurred with many opportunities for enhancement that had also been identified in the Self-Evaluation Report. The following conclusions and areas for improvement were also discussed at the EQAR Members’ Dialogue:
- The Panel recommended enhancing the efficiency of the review and registration process, and improve the communication between EQAR and the agency review panels.
- The Panel underlined that several challenges remain with regard to cross-border QA in the EHEA and HEIs being able to work with a QAA from another country.
- The Panel recognised DEQAR as an initiative that is held in very high regard by our stakeholders and that advanced EQAR’s role significantly. The Panel recommended to review how DEQAR could be better tailored to different user profiles and that clear and measurable indicators of success for the future be defined.
- The Panel highlighted that EQAR disposes of great expertise in the area of quality assurance and that this expertise is invaluable to policy-makers.
The summary of recommendations can be found at page 19-20 of the External Evaluation Report.
Statutory bodies and staff
The 2021 EQAR General Assembly was held online on 16 April. Apart from the yearly recurring agenda items such as the annual accounts, the budget, the work plan and the annual report, there were two other issues under consideration; the Self-Evaluation Report and a Targeted Approach to Third and Further Agency Review. Both were well received by members (read more about the 17th General Assembly in the relevant news item).
The following four elections took place:
- Register Committee
The GA approved the nominations of the Register Committee, which included nine re-nominations and one new one, Aleksandar Šušnjar. Alexander was nominated by ESU and will replace Andrea Blättler (as of July 2021), who served on the Register Committee since 2013.
- Appeals Committee
The GA elected Pedro Teixeira as member of the Appeals Committee, to replace Gemma Rauret who resigned in 2020, for the remaining term until the GA of 2023.
- Observers on the Register Committee
The GA elected Cyprus and Slovenia as observers on the Register Committee, replacing Greece and the Czech Republic as of July 2021, for a two-year mandate.
- Executive Board
Jakub Grodecki was by-elected on the Executive Board, to replace Gohar Hovhannisyan, who resigned in January, for the EB’s remaining term until the GA of 2022.
According to the agreed annual rotation, the Executive Board assumed the following functions (until the 2022 GA), with Karl Dittrich as President:
- Newly elected: Jakub Grodecki (ESU) – Vice-President
- Re-elected: Goran Dakovic (ENQA) – Treasurer
- Re-elected: Michal Karpisek (EURASHE) – Member
- Re-elected: Tia Loukkola (EUA)– Member (Tia resigned from the EB per 1 October 2021 as a result of leaving EUA and taking up a new position with OECD)
See under Annexes “EQAR data” the full composition of the various EQAR bodies in 2021.
There were no staff changes in 2021. The total Secretariat staff at the end of 2021 was 4,2 FTE (the same as at the end of 2019 and the end of 2020).
The year 2021 resulted in a surplus of EUR 14 925,93.
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, which currently is the Erasmus+ funding for the DEQAR CONNECT Project.
|Assets||Liabilities and Equity|
|Fixed assets||6 621,88||Own funds||253 129,89|
|Immaterial assets||787,50||Profit/loss previous years||53 203,96|
|Office equipment||5 686,72||Result per 31/12/2021||4 925,93|
|Liquid assets||389 108,90||Liabilities||133 146,04|
|Receivables up to 1 year||18 358,48||Payables up to 1 year||115 586,62|
|Cash and term accounts||368 803,98||thereof: pre-financing EU grants||56 668,32|
|Adjustment accounts||1 946,44||Adjustment accounts||17 559,42|
|Total||395 730,78||Total||395 730,78|
|Operational income||463 230,33||Operational expenditure||443 821,21|
|Membership fees||350 992,00||Meetings||11 114,49|
|Agency fees||60 114,00||Project direct costs||8 919,37|
|Project income||50 315,68||Office and administration||62 262,89|
|Other income||1 808,65||Staff||283 735,55|
|Other costs (incl. external evaluation)||77 788,91|
|Operational result||19 409,12|
|Financial income||0,03||Financial costs and taxes||4 483,22|
|Total result||14 925,93|
|Withdrawal from reserves||0,00||Allocation to reserves||10 000,00|
|Result to be reported||4 925,93|