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Quality Assurance for HEIs' Continuing Education Programmes
Start date: Oct 1, 2009,

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are key actors in lifelong learning promotion. For this reason they are now called to implement their efforts in providing research-based higher education for lifelong learners and in guaranteeing the quality of their learning offer.A response HEIs actually give to social challenges in terms of lifelong learning need is the provision of advanced Continuing Education and Training courses. Considering the increasing and great relevance of this variety of offers, at the intersection between HEIs, professional practice and general vocational continuing education and training, it is evident the need for transparency and external accountability and the need to assess their quality just like for higher education mainstream courses. Therefore there is a clear evidence about the need for creating and sharing specific tools in this field.The main aim of the project is to develop a general framework for QA of Continuing Education programmes offered by HEIs, compatible and adapted to the needs and special features of each individual HEIs, and to elaborate concrete and practical tools for their quality assessment.In the way to attain the objectives and provide outputs for HEIs, three stages can be distinguished:- to carry out a comparative analysis within the partner universities with regard of the specific context in which continuing education programmes are offered and their main characteristics, and with regard to QA in the field of and/or relevant to continuing educational programmes- to design an overall framework by sharing and analysing the selected good practices, considering the potential impact of these tools to continuing education programmes quality assessment in different university contexts- to conduct a “pilot evaluation” of a group of continuing education courses using the overall framework and concrete and specific tools to test some operational and organisational aspects and the feasibility of the framework.

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