The aim that EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies would be recognised throughout the entire EHEA, and that higher education institutions (HEIs) would be able to choose freely to work with any registered agency, was set out as one of the objectives for EQAR in the E4 Group Report to the London Conference of Ministers on a European Register of Quality Assurance Agencies (2007), endorsed by the London Ministerial Communiqué, and the European Commission’s Report on Progress in Quality Assurance of Higher Education (2009).
Higher education institutions could use the Register to choose to be evaluated by a registered quality assurance agency that suits their mission and needs.
Ministers gathering for the Bucharest Ministerial Conference (May 2012) have put this aim more prominently at the forefront of the Bologna agenda. The recognition of cross-border external quality assurance activities of EQAR-registered agencies would further stimulate the recognition of degrees and qualifications and enhance the European dimension to quality assurance.
At the Yerevan Ministerial Conference (14/15 May 2015), the European ministers of higher education ministers have also committed to allowing their higher education institutions’ to take responsibility for assuring their own quality and to choose a suitable EQAR-registered quality assurance agency for the external quality assurance process.
EQAR's work on cross-border QA
- Between 2013-2014 EQAR carried out the RIQAA (Recognising International Quality Assurance Activity in the European Higher Education Area) project to provide stakeholders and policy makers with information regarding the existing legal practices in EHEA countries recognising EQAR-registered agencies. RIQAA looked into how higher education institutions make use of the existing possibilities to request a suitable EQAR-registered agency and analysed the cross-border activities of EQAR-registered agencies. See here the full results of the project.
- EQAR has been closely monitoring each EHEA country that has opened their legal framework to external quality assurance working in full compliance with the ESG. See EHEA map and list of countries that allow their higher education institution to choose an EQAR-registered agency for their mandatory external quality assurance here.
- Starting with 2014 EQAR has been collecting every year information about the cross-border activity of EQAR-registered agencies. Find out more information under the interactive chart and map prepared for cross-border QA activities of registered agencies.