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Examining Quality Culture in Higher Education Institutions
Start date: Oct 1, 2009,

The quality of European higher education is at the core of the EHEA, and European countries have committed to support the development of quality assurance (QA) at institutional, national and European level. Since the Berlin ministerial meeting European Standards and Guidelines for QA in the EHEA (ESG) have been developed by the E4 group (ENQA, EUA, EURASHE and ESU) and adopted by the ministers of education in Bergen in 2005. Each of the signatory countries has also developed national QA systems for HE and good information exist about these external QA systems. The ESG provide a common European background for QA at institutional and national level. Part 1 of the ESG describes 7 areas in which guidelines are given for institutions’ internal QA processes. So far, and although part 1 of the ESG is integrated in various ways into criteria of external quality processes, no overall study has been undertaken on how HEIs across the Bologna countries actually have responded to the standards identified by the ESG. The EQC project, building on the 3 rounds of EUA’s Quality Culture project (2002-2006), will tackle this question and provide HEIs, policy makers and other stakeholders an overall picture on the internal QA processes currently in place within HEIs. Through a survey questionnaire, EQC aims at mapping the progress made in implementing part 1 of ESG. This survey will be published and preliminary results will be made available for the European ministerial meeting in Vienna in 2010. The results of this survey will then serve for identifying, analysing and disseminating good practices that apply to internal QA within HEIs. Responses to the survey will be analysed and followed-up through phone interviews. A second publication on these good practices will then be finalised. This project will contribute to further develop QA processes within universities and raise awareness among HEIs on the importance of quality and of processes sustaining it at an institutional level.

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