EQAR Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Founded by the E4 (ENQA, EURASHE, ESU and EUA) in 2008, EQAR started off with 19 governmental members and 3 first agencies registered.

A short history

First seeds

The first seeds of what was eventually to become EQAR were planted at the 2005 Bergen summit:

ministers adopted the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) and welcomed the concept of a European register of quality assurance agencies, to be further developed during the next two years.

Further steps

The E4 then presented an operational model to Ministers at the London summit in 2007.

Ministers “welcomed the establishment of a register by the E4 group, working in partnership, based on their proposed operational model”.

EQAR was founded on 4 March 2008, after further work by the E4 to turn the operational model into reality.

A few highlights

EQAR now features 45 registered agencies that have demonstrated their compliance with the ESG. It is governed and supported by the European stakeholder organisations and now 39 governmental members,

(from amongst the 48 countries making up the European Higher Education Area, EHEA).

Much has happened since 2008:

  • 2010: After 2 years of being operational, 24 quality assurance agencies are listed on the Register
  • 2011: EQAR itself undergoes an external evaluation by an international panel
  • 2012: Ministers commit to “allow EQAR-registered agencies to perform their activities across the EHEA, while complying with national requirements”
  • 2013: Implementing one of the recommendations of the external evaluation, the Register Committee’s decisions on applications for inclusion on the Register are now published in full.
  • 2014: EQAR analyses agencies’ and higher education institutions’ experiences with cross-border quality assurance in the RIQAA Project.
  • 2015: Ministers adopt the revised Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) and the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes – EQAR contributed significantly to both documents.
  • 2016: The first agency is registered based on a review against the ESG 2015; EQAR completes its second self-evaluation
  • 2017: EQAR starts the work on the Database of External QA Results (DEQAR) by registered agencies.