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Mapping the application and implementation of the ESG (MAP-ESG)
As part of a project consortium formed by the so-called E4 Group (ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE), EUA took part in the implementation of the project: 'Mapping the application and implementation of the ESG' (MAP-ESG) coordinated by ENQA.

1. Project purpose and goals

The purpose of the project was to gather information on how the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESGs) – adopted by the Ministers in HE in 2005 following a proposal of the E4 Group – had been implemented and applied, on national level, in HEIs and in QA agencies in the 46 Bologna signatory countries.

After five years of experience with implementing and applying the ESGs, there had been suggestions that the ESGs should be revised. Nevertheless, as the authors of the document, the project consortium members felt that before discussing the revision, there was a need for a thorough investigation of how the ESGs had been implemented and applied in relation to their original purposes. It was in this context that the E4 Group decided to launch this project to map the experiences of various stakeholders with regard to the ESGs and their views whether revision was needed.

The project resulted in an E4 report and a recommendation on the appropriateness of a revision of the ESGs. The report was presented at a launch event on 17 January 2012 and was submitted to the Bologna Ministerial Conferencein Bucharest in April 2012. Further to the project recommendation, the Ministerial Communiqué invited the E4 Group to prepare an initial proposal for a revised ESG in cooperation with Education International, BUSINESSEUROPE and the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education.

2. Project timeline

The timeline of the project was as follows:

December 2010-Summer 2011: Each consortium member conducts internal consultation processes
Autumn 2011: Preliminary results processed
November 2011: Public consultation of the draft report
December 2011-January 2012: Finalisation of the report
January 2012: Dissemination conference in conjunction with BFUG meeting in Denmark

3. Outline of the EUA consultation process

EUA’s consultation among its members consisted of two parts: desk research and workshops.

Desk research looked into the existing information sources, such as the first EQC report on internal QA processes and other EUA studies. As part of this research a survey was conducted among the national rectors’ conferences.

In addition, a series of workshops was organised in Brussels in May and June 2011, to facilitate in-depth discussion on the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance and their implementation within the universities.

These workshops offered the participating universities an opportunity to benchmark their quality assurance processes in teaching and learning against the ESGs and share their experiences of good practice as well as obstacles encountered in implementing these processes. Moreover, the universities were able to contribute to the recommendations and policy decisions made in the context of this project and thus shape the future of the European quality assurance framework.

4. Further information

For any questions or further information on this project, please contact Tia Loukkola.


With the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union
(Erasmus/Multilateral Projects).

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96