The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education has been granted funding for a Lifelong Learning Erasmus project entitled “Transparency of European higher education through public quality assurance reports” (EQArep). The two-year project started on 1 October 2012 and will end on 30 September 2014.
Higher education institutions in Europe face a steadily growing interest amongst students and all stakeholders in higher education and the public at large in accessing detailed and reliable information on individual study programmes, faculties and higher education institutions, especially on quality at programme and at institutional level.
The current external evaluation reports vary greatly between countries in terms of structure and content and also as regards to publication strategies and channels.Thus their contribution to the comparative dimension of transparency of higher education at the European level is still relatively limited: the reports are not always easily readable and understandable by potential users.
In order to respond to the general need for more transparent, comparable and reliable information on the quality and quality assurance of European higher education institutions, the project consortium has decided to undertake the EQArep project which aims to develop common European standards for external quality assurance reports.
The project mainly targets quality assurance agencies and other stakeholders in higher education quality assurance, namely students, higher education institutions, employers and governments.
The outcomes of the project will result in recommendations on the content and form of informative and approachable quality assurance reports. ENQA member agencies will be encouraged to use the recommendations to review their reporting practices and align the content and form of the reports to the recommendations.
The main outcome of the project on a longer term will be thus a higher degree of comparability of quality assurance reports and consequently a better contribution of quality assurance to transparency of higher education at the European level.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.