DEQAR CONNECT Conference: summary and conclusions

From Data to Policy - Linking QA and Recognition

The (virtual) project conference “From Data to Policy – Linking Quality Assurance and Recognition”, a conference for the Bologna working structures on quality assurance and recognition was held on 6-7 December and gathered 182 representatives of ministries of education, quality assurance agencies, ENIC-NARICs and experts on higher educational policies from across the European Higher Education Area.

The event featured presentations, panel discussions and poster presentations by and with experts and stakeholders on the state of play of DEQAR,  the integration of DEQAR in recognition workflows, the possibilities of using and merging DEQAR data for policy making at national and European level and the potential of connecting DEQAR to the European ecosystems for digital credentials.

Conference conclusions

The main conclusion of the conference is that DEQAR is seen as a great success. Speakers have praised the initiative and both stakeholders and experts are convinced of DEQAR’s usefulness and value. It was also pointed out that DEQAR is crucial in the (real) system level automatic recognition.

Some sound bites of speakers at the DEQAR CONNECT Conference when talking about DEQAR:

  • Fantastic tool, containing a great deal of information
  • Reliable and trustworthy
  • Key in ecosystems for digital credentials
  • Easy to integrate
  • Makes our work faster and easier!

Key words for the future of DEQAR are connecting, inclusiveness, and future-proof, i.e.:

  • Improve coverage and keep records up to date.
  • DEQAR data (alone or in combination with data of other databases) should be used for policy making.
  • DEQAR should continue its work on linking up, connecting and facilitating interoperability.
  • DEQAR can and should have an important role in micro-credentials, digital credentials and the European degree.
  • More awareness should be raised on how and why HEI’s and experts can use DEQAR data.

Conference attendance

Participants (182) of the conference came from many different (mostly higher education) backgrounds, as shown below in the breakdown of the conference participants per category:

  • DEQAR CONNECT project partner organisations: 22
  • Quality assurance agencies: 26
  • ENIC-NARICs: 19
  • Higher Education Institutions: 13
  • Members of the BFUG Thematic Peer Group on QA: 37
  • Members of the BFUG Thematic Peer Group on Recognition: 21
  • EQAR Governmental members: 24 (representatives of ministries of higher education)
  • EQAR Stakeholder Members: 5 (ENQA, ESU, EUA, EURASHE, Education International)
  • EQAR statutory bodies and staff: 11

The conference marks the (almost) end of the Erasmus+ project DEQAR CONNECT  “supporting the implementation of European Higher Education Area (EHEA) reforms”. The project, started in April 2020, focuses on two of the EHEA key commitments; supporting quality assurance and recognition inside the EHEA, by expanding coverage and enhancing connectivity of the DEQAR database.