28 August 2020 | Position

The ESG in the changing landscape of higher education

Statement by the E4 Group

In recent years, higher education provision has been changing rapidly, including the mainstreaming of e-learning, the emergence of micro-credentials, the launch of the European Universities Initiative, and the renewed importance of the third mission of higher education institutions.


Furthermore, some higher education institutions and systems are exploring ways to approach quality assurance that go beyond the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), which set out the quality assurance framework for the European Higher Education Area.

Questions have thus been asked about the continued relevance and applicability of the ESG in this changing context and calls have been made for a further revision to take account of these developments. The E4 Group (ENQA, EUA, EURASHE and ESU) offers this joint statement in response to these discussions.

It underlines that in order to continue to be a unifying force, the ESG must remain fit-for-purpose, be sufficiently flexible to respond to the developing higher education landscape, and have high potential to support innovation and diversity in higher education and quality assurance.

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