Quality assurance has been one of EUA’s key areas of activity since the Association was established. As the voice of Europe’s universities, EUA seeks to ensure that the views of the university sector are taken into account in European and national-level policy discussions on internal and external quality assurance. It also supports its members in developing internal quality systems and aims to promote institutional quality cultures.
With this objective, EUA carries out a variety of activities that are underpinned by the principle that the main responsibility for quality assurance lies within higher education institutions.
EUA is a recognised voice in the quality assurance debate in Europe. At the national level, the Association maintains a continuous dialogue with its collective members, the national rectors’ conferences, about developments taking place in their countries’ systems.
At the European level, a major part of EUA’s policy work related to quality assurance is done in cooperation with the E4 Group, consisting of EUA, ENQA, ESU and EURASHE.
Notably, this partnership worked in cooperation with other stakeholders (Education International, Business Europe and the European Quality Assurance Register) to develop a revised version of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), which were approved at the Bologna Ministerial meeting in 2015. The E4 also developed the original version of the ESG in 2005, and implementing quality assurance in line with the ESG is one of the key commitments of the Bologna Process.
The E4 Group organisations are also founding members of the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR). This is a public register of quality assurance agencies that substantially comply with the ESG. EQAR provides clear and reliable information on credible and legitimate quality assurance agencies operating in the EHEA. EUA is a member of its Executive Board and of the General Assembly. It also nominates two members of the Register Committee.
EUA is active internationally to contribute the European perspective to quality assurance discussions on the global level. Furthermore, the Association supports the development of quality assurance frameworks outside Europe, for example in Asia (SHARE), Africa (HAQAA) and the United States.
EUA has taken the lead in developing the capacity of higher education institutions to create internal quality processes and foster quality cultures and is an acknowledged expert on these topics.
The Association has worked with its members to gather information and share experience in order to empower universities to fulfil their responsibility for quality assurance. As a result, EUA has produced an extensive set of materials on these matters, most notably the “Quality culture in European universities: a bottom up approach”, “Examining Quality Culture II: process and tools – participation, ownership and bureaucracy”, and “EUREQA Moments! Top tips for internal quality assurance”.
In addition, EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) has been running since 1994 and offers enhancement-led institutional peer reviews across Europe and beyond. The Programme supports universities in developing their strategic leadership and capacity to manage change by evaluating them in the context of their own mission and goals.
EUA has worked on the topic of rankings through a number of projects and activities aimed better understanding the role and impact that rankings play for its members and informing stakeholders of the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches. EUA continues to monitor ongoing initiatives and participate in the debate around rankings at the European and international level.
In 2014, EUA examined how European universities have responded to the use of rankings. The results were presented in the report “Rankings in institutional strategies and processes: Impact or illusion”.
In addition, EUA produced two reviews of global university rankings (first report in 2011 and second report in 2013). These reports analysed the methodologies used in the main international rankings and provided EUA members and the higher education community with information on how to interpret the results of these rankings.
The European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) has been co-organised by ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE since 2006 and has become the largest annual gathering of the European higher education quality assurance community and a flagship activity in this field.
EQAF bridges national boundaries by facilitating a Europe-wide discussion on current trends and forthcoming developments in research, policy and practice. EQAF provides a unique opportunity to share experiences and network with a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies, students, researchers and policy makers from across Europe and beyond.
All papers presented at EQAF are available in the EUA publication database.
Improving the quality of teaching and learning has been at the heart of the Bologna Process reforms and continues to be of crucial importance for the further implementation of these reforms. The growth in interest in rankings, as well as recent student protests further illustrate the need for universities to reiterate their continued commitment to improving the quality of teaching and learning. Therefore EUA’s policy position has been updated to take account of recent developments and to provide a solid basis for policy work and advocacy in the years to come.
EUA’s has completed the evaluations of all public higher education institutions in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The evaluations took place during the years 2016-2018 at the joint request of the institutions and the Ministry of Education and Science as part of the...view more
The study is the result of a series of activities including workshops, surveys and focus groups...read more
The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), European Students’ Union (ESU), European University Association (EUA), European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) and European Quality Assurance Register for Higher...read more
In 2012-2014, EUA was part of the stakeholder group that revised the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). This work resulted in the current ESG, which were adopted by the ministers in charge of higher education in May 2015. The...read more
EUA has a long record of working on quality assurance (QA) in Europe and has supported its members in developing their internal QA systems through a variety of activities. Many of these activities have been co-funded by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme...read more
The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)...read more
The first results of U-Multirank (UMR), a multi-dimensional ranking of higher education institutions produced with seed funding from the European Commission, were unveiled on 13 May 2014. UMR has also been discussed by EUA’s governing bodies on a number of occasions and these...read more
The publication “Rankings in Institutional Strategies and Processes (RISP): Impact or Illusion?” is the outcome of a 2.5 year EUA-led project, which has carried out the first pan-European study of the impact and influence of rankings on European higher education...read more
Created in 1994, IEP (Institutional Evaluation Programme) is an independent membership service of the European University Association (EUA) which has carried out over 300 institutional evaluations in higher education institutions (HEI), in Europe and worldwide, and a number of system-level...read more
The first EUA report on “Global university rankings and their impact” was published in June 2011. Its purpose was to inform universities about the methodologies and potential impact of the most popular international or global rankings already in existence. This second report was...read more
Quality assurance and doctoral education have been elements of the Bologna Process since the 2003 ministerial meeting in Berlin, but until rather recently, they have been developing on two different tracks. The basic principles governing both, the Standards and Guidelines for Quality...read more
In October 2009, the European University Association (EUA), together with its partners, the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and QAA Scotland, launched a project entitled: “Examining Quality Culture in Higher Education Institutions” (EQC). The EQC project...read more
Le présent rapport a été établi à la demande de l’EUA en raison du nombre croissant de classements internationaux et nationaux dans l’enseignement supérieur, en réponse aux demandes de plus en plus nombreuses d’informations et...read more
The project "Examining Quality Culture in Higher Education Institutions" (EQC) aimed to provide an overview of the internal quality assurance processes in place within higher education institutions across Europe and tackled the question of how they have responded to Part 1 of the...read more
EUA commissioned this report in response to the growth in international and national rankings, as a result of increasing questions from member institutions requesting information and advice on the nature of these rankings, because of the interest shown by national governments in ranking...read more
The project “Examining Quality Culture in Higher Education Institutions” (EQC) aims to identify institutional processes and structures that support the development of an internal quality culture. The study bases its understanding of “quality culture” on the...read more
Concerns about the relationship between quality assurance processes and creativity and how quality assurance, whether internal or external, can either enhance or stifle innovative practices and creativity within higher education institutions (HEIs) was picked up as a main question for...read more
This report is the result of a four-year project, which involved 134 higher education institutions grouped in 18 networks. The major aim of the project was to identify how internal quality culture can be developed and embedded in institutions. The project report highlights...read more
The Institutional Evaluation Programme of the European University Association (EUA) was launched in 1993 and has evaluated over 110 universities in 35 countries. The evaluation reports offer a wealth of insights and recommendations which were waiting to be tapped. At the...read more
The EUA Quality Culture Project, funded by the Socrates Programme, was conceived to enable participating institutions to discuss how to introduce and embed a quality culture in their institutions and develop action plans in specific thematic areas. Participants included fi fty...read more
En octobre 2002, le groupe ELU (Europe Latine Universitaire) composé des Présidents et de permanents des conférences de Présidents et de Recteurs suisse, italienne, portugaise, belge francophone et française a décidé d’entreprendre...read more
EQAF provides a platform for discussion, professional development and exchange of experiences among the main European stakeholders in QA. More information...Read more
Due to the strong response to participate in the Forum, maximum attendance was reached before the planned deadline. As a result we can, unfortunately, no...Read more
How can quality assurance (QA) ensure transparent and responsible action? The 12th EQAF explored current developments in research, policy and practice from...Read more