16 June 2006 | Report

Quality Culture in European Universities: A Bottom-Up Approach

Report on the Three Rounds of the Quality Culture Project 2002-2006

This report is the result of a four-year project, which involved 134 higher education institutions grouped in 18 networks. The major aim of the project was to identify how internal quality culture can be developed and embedded in institutions. The project report highlights principles and good practices in this area and can be useful to a range of higher education actors: first and foremost, to the higher education institutions and their students but also to quality assurance agencies and governments.


The project involved many different types of institution located in 36 countries in Europe. Legal frameworks vary significantly across such a broad geographical area. The maturity with which some institutions approach the topic of quality was evidently linked to their higher degree of autonomy and provides further confirmation of the integral link between quality and institutional autonomy.

This project has had a very important impact on the discussions linked to the Bologna process and the objective of creating a Europe of knowledge. It demonstrated to policy makers that higher education institutions are aware of and committed to the need to demonstrate and improve their quality and that, as stated by the Berlin Communiqué, “the primary responsibility for quality lies with higher education institutions”.

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