The European Approach should be applied depending on the needs of the cooperating higher education institutions and the requirements of their national frameworks:
- If some of the cooperating higher education institutions require external quality assurance at programme level (e.g. programme accreditation or evaluation is mandatory), then the cooperating institutions should select a suitable quality assurance agency from the list of EQAR registered agencies.
- The agency will use the Standards (part B) and the Procedure (part C) to carry out a single evaluation or accreditation of the entire joint programme. The result is to be accepted in all EHEA countries. Dependent on the national legal framework, the external quality assurance decision should come into force or be recognised in all countries where the programme is offered, as agreed in the Bucharest Communiqué.
- If all cooperating higher education institutions are subject to external quality assurance at institutional level only and have “self-accrediting” status, they may use the European Approach in setting up joint internal approval and monitoring processes for their joint programmes (according to ESG 1.2 & 1.9), if they deem it useful in their context.
Hence, in these cases no additional external evaluation or accreditation procedures at the programme level are necessary. The European Approach may also be used for joint programmes that are offered by higher education institutions from both within and outside the EHEA.
- Involved institutions from non-EHEA countries are encouraged to inquire whether their national authorities would accept the Standards (part B) and be able to recognise the decision of an EQAR-registered agency, if applicable.
Read further: B. Standards