In recent times e-learning in different forms has been integrated in a high percentage in the study offerings of HEIs in Europe. The quality assurance of this type of provision has become a concern both for HEIs and for QAAs. Considering this and the fact that a new version of the revised ESG was published in 2015, an ENQA’s working group on quality assurance of e-learning was established.
Since 2009, Portuguese higher education institutions have been developing their own internal quality assurance systems and policies as a result of the reforms of higher education quality assurance in Europe and Portugal.
At a time in which different forms of online education provision are growing in popularity, it is important to bring the assessment of these provisions to the same level.
Since the establishment of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG) in 2005, student involvement in quality processes has been viewed as integral and become more widely adopted across Europe (HEA, 2016).
The external quality audit in Austria encompasses a broad range of HEIs’ activities – alongside the basic duties, they include societal objectives which are supposed to be integrated into the internal quality management system of a higher education institution.
Even the most pioneering approaches to the student voice in quality can run the risk of over-dependence on a narrow perspective – one that is disproportionally full-time, on-campus and undergraduate. A major challenge for broadening the scope of quality assurance is to ensure that student engagement reflects the full experiences of an institution’s student profile.
The credential-space is currently seeing significant innovation, driven by twin priorities, namely the unbundling of learning of micro-learning, and the drive to digitise credentials as prioritised by the Bologna Digital Agenda and the EU’s Digital Education Action Plan.
After having established an integrated QA system for teaching & learning, the University of Würzburg now focuses on quality assurance for its science support services of the central administration. The initiatives carried out by the administration usually require the change of structures or processes.
It is generally accepted in Europe that students should be involved in the external Quality Assurance (QA) of higher educations institutions. Requirements for involving students are stated in the ESG, but student involvement in a meaningful manner is easier said than done.
The European Quality Assurance Register in Higher Education (EQAR) has developed DEQAR with the aim to contribute to the transparency of quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area. DEQAR provides easy access to external quality assurance reports and decisions on higher education institutions and their programmes by EQAR-registered agencies through a single portal. The public preview of DEQAR was launched in May 2018 and currently includes more than 4500 reports covering 807 higher education institutions in 37 countries.