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EUA Newsletter 21   30 November 2012

Report from 7th European Quality Assurance Forum: ‘How does quality assurance make a difference?’

Last week’s 7th European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) brought together around 400 higher education stakeholders from approximately 50 countries to discuss the latest developments and trends in quality assurance (QA).


This year’s edition, held at Tallinn University in Estonia, focused on the theme ‘How does quality assurance make a difference?’. Over three days, the majority of the plenary and parallel sessions discussed the impact of external and internal QA on higher education policies and institutional realities. While participants provided a wide range of evidence on this topic, many also called for more research to be carried out on the impact of QA. They also acknowledged, however, the challenges of delivering precise studies on this topic.


The sessions also explored new developments (in QA) such as the increased international dimension of external QA (e.g. cross-border accreditation and recognition of joint programmes). New approaches to quality assurance in various countries and institutions were also presented and participants were given an opportunity to update their knowledge on recent European policy developments.


One of the conclusions of the final plenary was that QA as a whole is a highly politicised field, and by no means an exact science, but perhaps this is part of its appeal to those involved in QA.


The discussions will continue in next year’s EQAF, which will be hosted by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, from 21 to 23 November 2013. More information on next year’s event will be published through the EUA newsletter and website.


The Forum is organised by the E4 Group consisting of EUA, the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Students' Union (ESU) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE).


More information on last week’s EQAF is available on the event website, where presentations will also be posted shortly.

Policy and Projects News

Europe-Latin America bi-regional university association and leadership conference held in Sao Paulo (11-14 November 2012)

EUA and its partners of the ALFA PUENTES project welcomed over 200 participants to the first bi-regional university association conference ‘Innovative Strategies for Higher Education in Latin America and Europe: International Collaboration and Regional Development’ in São Paulo, Brazil, a major research and innovation hub of Latin America. The event, held from 11 to 14 November, targeted university leadership from both regions.
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RPWG debate focuses on Horizon 2020 and ERA Policy

At its meeting on 21 November EUA's Research Policy Working Group (RPWG), chaired by Professor David Drewry (EUA Vice-President), held a debate with Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General, Directorate for Research and Innovation, European Commission, on the state-of-play of Horizon 2020 and the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in July between EUA and the European Commission on the European Research Area (ERA) policy framework.
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EUA participates in EU Presidency Conference: ‘Completing the European Research Area in the Context of the Innovation Union - Boarding Time’ (Nicosia, Cyprus)

Held under the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus in collaboration with the Planning Bureau of Cyprus and the support of the European Commission organised this conference on 14 November in Nicosia. The event gathered about 200 European experts including university leaders, research organisation leaders, ministry representatives, policy makers, representatives of pan-European stakeholders and other associations.
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Events News

Reminder: 6th EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) Workshop 'Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programmes', Turin, Italy (17-18 January 2013)

Registrations are still open for EUA-CDE members that wish to attend the sixth EUA-CDE Thematic Workshop which aims to facilitate a discussion on the advantages and challenges of interdisciplinary doctoral programmes. The two-day event will include case studies on how to develop and manage interdisciplinarity in doctoral education, and provide opportunities for participants to exchange experiences in this area.
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News from Brussels

Updates on EU developments in education and research

On 20 November, the European Commission presented a new Communication on ‘Rethinking Education’. Meanwhile, following the recent European Council Summit on the EU Budget for 2014-2020, discussions on the proposals for the next long-term programmes for research and education are continuing at the level of the European Parliament and Council of the EU (member states).
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Member and Partners News

Next newsletter: 14 December 2012

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