22 November 2012 | EQAF Paper

Do EQA and accreditation really make a difference in Flanders’ higher education?

Patrick Van den Bosch, Dieter Cortvriendt, Daphne Carolus, Dries Froyen


Due to EQA and accreditation the quality of higher education programmes has increased. At least, that is what everyone hopes. In fact, little or no research is conducted in Flanders to measure the outcomes (impact) of EQA on the quality of higher education. The outcomes in terms of quality still remain a black box.

Our goal is to give a nuanced, but critical, impression of the impact of EQA in Flanders and the added value of accreditation, based on years of experience in EQA. In this paper we distinguish five different categories of EQA- perception: EQA being a calendar, a magnifier, a mirror, a catalyst or a label. EQA, as we believe, makes a big difference when perceived as a catalyst. Based on our experiences the conditio sine qua non to enhance the quality remains the willingness of all actors involved in higher education to become increasingly aware that all educational practices are a collective responsibility.


This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

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