4th March 2008. The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) will be officially launched in Brussels today in a move designed to improve the quality of European higher education and to promote greater student mobility. The new register is a landmark for European cooperation in quality assurance of higher education in the context of the Bologna Process reforms.
Under the mandate of Education Ministers from the 46 countries taking part in the Bologna Process, the new register has been established by the “E4 Group” comprising the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Students Union (ESU), the European University Association (EUA) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE).
The new register (EQAR) aims to provide clear and objective information about trustworthy quality assurance agencies that are working in Europe. It also aims to help improve the quality of European higher education and to promote greater student mobility by increasing trust between higher education institutions. The register will provide a means for HE institutions (where national regulations permit) to choose between different agencies on the register.
The founding of EQAR is a milestone in the Bologna Process reforms, which has an underlying goal of improving the quality culture of European higher education. In the past decade, there has been a rapid development across Europe of national quality assurance systems, and as a result, common reference points have been defined at European level to improve the consistency of quality assurance schemes.
Inclusion on the EQAR, which is voluntary, will be based on compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance adopted by European Education Ministers in 2005. A Committee – composed of independent experts nominated by the E4 Group, BusinessEurope, Education International, together with five government observers – will be responsible for admissions to the register. The register will be accepting applications from the summer of 2008 and information will be publicly accessible through a web-based tool.
The EQAR will be officially launched by the heads of the E4 Group at a special ceremony to be held this morning (4th March) at the Royal Academy for Science and Arts in Brussels. Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth will also make a special presentation at the event to mark the launch of the register.
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For more information, please contact:
- EQAR Project Manager: Colin Tück, tel: +32 2 2335 413, mobile: +32 495 162293, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- European University Association: Andrew Miller, Press officer, tel : +32 2 788 53 19, or Mobile/GSM: +32 473 748 785. email: email@example.com
- European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA): Emmi Helle, Secretary General, tel: +358 400 896 609, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- European Students’ Union (ESU): Bea Uhart, Press officer, tel +32 473 669 894, email: email@example.com
- European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE): Stefan Delplace, Secretary General, tel: +32 2 211 4197, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HEA Media Release, 27th February, 2008
High Level Review Group to Review University Quality Procedures
HEA Commissions Independent Assessment of Irish Universities Quality Board
An experienced high level review group has been appointed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to carry out an independent review of the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB). The IUQB works with Irish universities in the development and promotion of quality assurance. The HEA has commissioned this review at the request of the IUQB.
The purpose of the review is to ensure that Irish quality assurance procedures meet the best European standards and to assess the effectiveness of IUQB activities undertaken and funded by the HEA such as the series of National Guidelines of Good Practice in quality assurance.
The membership of the Expert Group is as follows:
Dr Don Thornhill, (Chair of the Expert Panel), Chair, National Competitiveness Council
– Marion Coy, President, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
– Fiona Crozier, Assistant Director, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, United Kingdom
– John Dunne, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland
– Des Geraghty, Chair, Affordable Homes Partnership (and former President of the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union)
– Daithí MacSíthigh, Postgraduate student, Trinity College Dublin & former Education Officer, USI (Nominee of the Union of Students in Ireland)
– Jean Morse, Executive Director, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, USA
– Gerard Wrixon, Former President, University College Cork
– Tim Conlon, Secretary to the Expert Panel, Higher Education Authority
According to Tom Boland, Chief Executive of the HEA –
“Our universities are committed to attaining the highest standards in teaching, learning and research. The Irish Universities Quality Board has been instrumental in raising standards and through this review, we want to ensure that those standards remain well recognised throughout Europe.”
The Higher Education Authority is the independent statutory body charged with advising Government on higher education policy and for funding our universities and third level colleges.
For further details, contact Caitríona Ryan, Head of Policy and Planning – (01) 2317180
Malcolm Byrne, Head of Communications, Higher Education Authority – (01) 2317162