About

DEQAR: Quality at your fingertips!

The Database of External Quality Assurance Reports (DEQAR) project was selected for EU co-funding under Erasmus+ Key Action 3 – European Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects. The main aim of the DEQAR project was the development of a database that would enhance access to reports and decisions on higher education institutions/programmes externally reviewed against the ESG, by an EQAR-registered agency.

The database is expected to enable a broad range of users to satisfy their information needs and support different types of decisions (e.g. recognition of degrees, mobility of students, portability of grants/loans). These users include but are not limited to:

  • Recognition information centres (ENIC-NARICs)
  • Recognition and admission officers in higher education institutions
  • Students and student organisation representatives
  • Quality assurance agencies
  • Ministry representatives and other national authorities

DEQAR builds on several Commission funded projects:

  • DEQAR was conceived in the context of the EHEA goal of automatic recognition. Amongst others, it was inspired by Qrossroads, a frontrunner in publishing quality assurance reports developed by the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA).
  • An important contributor to the database is ETER (the European Tertiary Education Register) and the related OrgReg (a Register of Public-Sector Organizations). DEQAR harvests records from ETER/OrgReg on an annual basis. These records serve as base set of records on European higher education institutions in DEQAR. The following ETER data on institutions are stored in the database: ETER ID, official name, English name, acronym, country, city (when available), latitude/longitude (when available), QF-EHEA levels and institution website.

Through this database EQAR will contribute to the transparency of external quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

Disclaimer Erasmus + programme

The European Commission support for the production of any DEQAR publications does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project mission

To collect all external quality assurance reports and decisions performed by EQAR-registered agencies in line with the ESG in order to make these available to various user groups.

Project objectives
  1. Improve access to information on the external quality assurance of higher education
  2. Facilitate the recognition of qualifications
  3. Map the diversity of external quality assurance frameworks in Europe
  4. Facilitate the exchange of data and links with other tools
  5. Pilot the use of the database as a basis for Europe-wide thematic studies
Project Partners (29)

Coordinated by EQAR, the project partners include a number of EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies, the key European stakeholder organisations and a research partner:

Stakeholders & users (6) will be involved in ensuring relevance of the database and links with the end users:

  • CIMEA – Centro di Informazione sulla Mobilità e le Equivalenze (italian ENIC-NARIC)
  • ENQA – The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education
  • ESU– European Students Union
  • EUA – European University Association
  • EURASHE – European Association of Institutions in Higher Education
  • EI – Education International

A Research Centre will be responsible for piloting studies in the use of the database:

  • University of Ghent – The Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG)

16 QA agencies (1) as well as GAC and HRK. They will have as main responsibility the technical implementation of the database:

  • A3ES – Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education (PT)
  • ACPUA – Aragon Agency for Quality Assurance and Strategic Foresight in Higher Education (ES)
  • ACSUG – Agency for Quality Assurance in the Galician University System (ES)
  • ANECA – National Agency for the Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ES)
  • AQU – Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (ES)
  • ARACIS – Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (RO)
  • ASHE – Agency for Science and Higher Education (HR)
  • ASIIN e.V. (DE)
  • BAC – British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education (UK)
  • EKKA – Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education (EE)
  • fmid – Fundación para el Conocimiento Madrimasd (ES)
  • HCERES – High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (FR)
  • PKA – Polish Accreditation Committee (PL)
  • NVAO (2) – Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (BE-FL )
  • SQAA – Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency (SI)
  • Unibasq – Agency for Quality of the Basque University System (ES)
  • GAC – German Accreditation Council (DE)
  • HRK – Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (DE)

Associate Partners (4):

(do not benefit from the EU grant and may come from non-EU countries):

  • ECA – European Consortium for Accreditation (BE)

ECA will contribute experience and expertise from Qrossroads, a frontrunner and inspiration for DEQAR.

Registered QA agencies from non-eligible countries will be involved in the technical implementation of the database:

  • AKKORK – The Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance and Career Development (RU)
  • KAA – Kosovo Accreditation Agency XK (3)
  • NCPA – National Center for Public Accreditation (RU)

1 All interested EQAR-registered QA agencies from Erasmus+ Programme countries (max. 38) were invited to sign up.
2 NVAO participates in the DEQAR project for its activities in Flanders only.
3 Temporary code used for Kosovo. All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

Background

In 2016 EQAR carried out a feasibility study on the Database, including surveys of potential users and registered agencies, as well as desk research of existing database initiatives. The resulting Report and Operational Model were presented to EQAR members (European governments and stakeholder organisations), most of whom had received positive feedback from their national stakeholders and considered that the database would enhance accessibility of external quality assurance results.

While all EQAR-registered agencies publish the reports and decisions from their external quality assurance on their own websites, users frequently face difficulties accessing such information, especially from other countries than the one they are familiar with. The results of the study showed that most EQAR-registered agencies could supply the information that is most relevant to users into a central European database.

Once set-up, the Database will allow users to identify whether a higher education institution has been subject to external quality assurance in line with the ESG, by an EQAR-registered agency (at institutional level, or one or more of its programmes) and to easily access the corresponding external QA report(s).

-> Read here the Report and Operational Model

Erasmus +

Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects (FLCPs) are trans-national co-operation projects aiming to identify, test, develop or assess innovative policy approaches that have the potential of becoming mainstreamed and giving input for improving education and training systems.

They provide in-depth knowledge on target group(s), learning, teaching or training situations and effective methodologies and tools that help policies to develop, as well as conclusions relevant for policy makers in education and training at all levels.Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects aim at promoting innovation emerging from representative stakeholders in the field (“bottom-up approach”).

Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects are implemented by key stakeholders with a proven record of excellence and state of the art knowledge, the capacity to innovate or reach a systemic impact through their activities and the potential to drive the policy agenda in the fields of education and training.

Additional information about Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects.

Technical database documentation for QAAs

The following technical (supporting and background) documentation for participating, registered agencies can be found here, (including but not limited to):

  • Data submission methods (overview of, how to select, corresponding links)Architecture and Data model (role of Standards and Identifiers, Building
  • Institution Records, Hierarchical and Historical Institutional Relationships)
  • DEQAR eco system
  • Questions and bug reports

 

Eltjo Bazen, QA advisor at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht