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EUA Newsletter 19   15 November 2010

New EUA study maps quality assurance processes and ‘quality culture’ in Europe’s universities

A new study published by EUA analyses the implementation of quality assurance (QA) processes within European universities and how they are being used to develop a ‘quality culture’ within higher education institutions.


Over the last decade, there has been an increasing rise in demand for QA within higher education. This has been driven by a number of factors including rising student numbers and massification of higher education and also at the European level by the Bologna Process reforms, which have a stated aim to raise the quality of European higher education provision. As part of the Bologna Process, in 2005, ministers of education adopted the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area which reinforced the role of universities as having primary responsibility for quality assurance.


The new study is a result of the first part of an EC-supported project “Examining quality culture in higher education institutions” carried out by EUA with its partners, The German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and QAA Scotland. 222 institutions from 36 countries responded to a questionnaire to enable EUA to map the processes and structures used by universities to support internal quality and respond to the increasing demands of accountability.


Co-author of the report Tia Loukkola said: “This report underlines the remarkable progress made in QA in recent years. According to our results, the overwhelming majority of European universities now have fundamental policies, structures and processes in place. This was certainly not the case ten years ago, so things have moved quickly in a relatively short space of time. Nevertheless, the survey also underlines that developing a ‘quality culture’ takes time and that there are a number of areas where universities can improve QA processes, notably in terms of widening student participation and stakeholder involvement.”


The report will be presented at the European Quality Assurance Forum for Higher Education taking place in Lyon (18-20 November).


Click here to read a press release with a longer summary of the findings.


Download the full report.

Policy and Projects News

EUA launches European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy Research


In Brussels this week (15 November) at the Belgian EU Presidency Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-PLAN) Conference, the European University Association (EUA) officially launched its European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy Research (EPUE). The European Platform comprises almost 150 universities from across Europe with demonstrated research and training capacity in the energy field encompassing the full range of disciplines from science, engineering and technology to bio-sciences, medical/life sciences and economic, social sciences and humanities. EPUE has been developed by EUA as a major part of its contribution to the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) of the EU SET-PLAN.
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European and African universities call on heads of state to move higher education up political agenda

EUA and the Association of African Universities (AAU) are calling on political leaders from both continents meeting later this month in Libya for the 3rd Africa-EU Summit (29-30 November) to make sure that higher education has a stronger position in the political agenda outlined in the ‘Africa-EU Strategic Partnership’. In a detailed statement to heads of state (and to members of the European Commission and Parliament) AAU and EUA underline their concerns that the role of universities in Africa and university cooperation between Europe and Africa, have not been adequately promoted in the political dialogue between both continents.
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Events News

Preview of the 5th European Quality Assurance Forum in Lyon (18-20 November 2010)

This month’s European Quality Assurance Forum for Higher Education will bring together nearly 500 higher education stakeholders (from around 50 countries) working in quality, including higher education institutions, students, quality assurance agencies, governments and intergovernmental organisations as well as researchers in higher education.
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News from Brussels

European Commission sets out its priorities for 2011

The European Commission has published its 2011 annual work programme, the document in which the European executive’s priorities are set by policy area. For higher education, planned initiatives include the revision of the so-called Modernisation Agenda. A communication on this topic should be released next autumn. The document should help take stock of the progress achieved in the past five years and highlight new challenges and examples of best practice.
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Companies’ investment in R&D slowed down by the crisis, reveals EU Scoreboard

The "EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard" presents information on the top EU and non-EU companies investing the largest sums in research and development. The latest edition, released by the European Commission at the end of October, shows that investment by top companies has fallen by 2.6%  following the impact of the crisis on the companies’ profits. However, the benchmarking tool does seem to indicate that R&D investment still remains an important strategic priority for industrial partners in Europe.
More information is available here.



Member and Partners News

Next Newsletter: 26 November 2010

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