EQAR celebrates 15th anniversary

Fifteen years of EQAR merits a special occasion, especially in combination with the farewells of Colin Tück and Karl Dittrich. We tried to do this in style, in Brussels on 4 April, with an Anniversary and Farewell Reception.

Glasses were raised, food was consumed and there were several speeches, each focusing on a different topic: the exciting EQAR journey from its founding,  Colin – the heart and soul of EQAR since its inception and Karl, our first President, charismatic protagonist of EQAR since 2017.

EQAR, founded by the key European stakeholder organisations, supported by 45 governmental members (43 countries) and now featuring 55 registered agencies, has become a pillar of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) during the last 15 years. We present a few EQAR highlights that have happened since 4 March 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: Election of the first EQAR President, Karl Dittrich, one of the recommendations of EQAR’s first external evaluation.
  • 2018: Launch of DEQAR, EQAR’s Database of External Quality Assurance Results
  • 2020: Milestone: > 50 000 reports uploaded in DEQAR
  • 2020 Karl Dittrich elected President for a second term until July 2023
  • 2021: Completion of EQAR’s (second) external evaluation in which EQAR is described as “one of the most successful pan-European organisations in higher education, fulfilling its original mandate, as a “reliable, trustworthy, independent register that plays an important role in securing a credible QA system in EHEA”
  • 2023: A new Director is found, Magalie Soenen, to succeed Colin Tück who announced that, “after 15 very rewarding years” he will leave EQAR at the end of April.
  • 2023: DEQAR now contains >85 000 reports, uploaded by 47 registered agencies, covering 3 464 HEIs in 107 countries.