09 July 2009 | Report

Improving Quality, Enhancing Creativity: Change Processes in European Higher Education Institutions

Final Report of the Quality Assurance for the Higher Education Change Agenda (Qaheca) Project

Concerns about the relationship between quality assurance processes and creativity and how quality assurance, whether internal or external, can either enhance or stifle innovative practices and creativity within higher education institutions (HEIs) was picked up as a main question for Quality Assurance for the Higher Education Change Agenda (QAH ECA ), a project launched in 2007 by EUA and its partners, the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (AC QUIN), the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the National University of Ireland in Maynooth (NUIM).

These issues will be tackled in various ways in this final report. After the overall presentation of the project, the following chapters will discuss the relationship between quality assurance and creativity from various angles and provide some key principles on how HEIs and QA agencies, through their processes, can foster creativity and innovative practices. Some examples of practice from institutions participating in the QAH ECA project have been included in annex 3 to highlight some of the initiatives taken by project participants and to exemplify the recommendations of the project. However, the objective of this publication is not to provide simple, practical instructions on how to design QA processes that enhance creativity – as it would simply be too huge task. Instead, it aims to stimulate reflection within each organisation on what kind of processes could work in its own institutional culture.

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