In this paper we explore how equity and inclusion in Higher Education (HE) can be promoted from a quality assurance agency.
The inclusion of assessment of the social dimension in external quality assurance could be a step forward towards what is labelled as the “next Bologna”, i.e. an European Higher Education Area based on shared values, promoting both accountability and improvement in this arena. Quality Assurance Agencies (QAAs), from their position between governments and HE Institutions, may steer the assessment, but not without challenges. The case of AQU Catalunya implementing the gender perspective as an axis of inequality is presented. Finally, we identify the main lessons of this case study that may be useful not only for other agencies interested in the gender perspective, but also to understand the challenges of assessing the social dimension based on different axis of inequality like social background, ethnicity or disability.
This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.