Sampling Countries and Higher Education Institutions

In selecting the case studies the diversity of the external quality assurance (EQA) frameworks and approaches was taken into account.

The countries (in the case of Flanders: community) were selected with the aim to represent a geographically balanced sample and to provide a relevant mix of quality assurance frameworks across the EHEA.[1] To achieve this heterogeneity, national higher education frameworks were selected based on the differing characteristics of their QA systems (openness to cross-border reviews, stage of development of the external QA system, diversity in terms of outcomes of QA reviews) and geographical balance.

Two groups of countries differing in one main characteristic of their national higher education setting were selected as follows:

• 8 case-study interviews in four countries that recognise EQAR-registered QA agencies as eligible to satisfy the official requirements for external QA and

• 4 case-study interviews in four countries where cross-border external QA

(EQA) is being carried out on a voluntary basis, in addition to the periodic obligatory external review.

Similarly, the selection of HEIs was made taking into account the diversity of EQA experience with a cross-border review (i.e. programme and institutional reviews, as well as joint or double degree programmes) and the representativeness of the HEI within the national QA system (whenever possible). The case study interviews were conducted at institutions where EQA has been carried out with an EQAR listed agency. There were two distinct exceptions: EFMD's institutional accreditation under the EQUIS label carried out in 2014 at the University of Lund (Sweden) and the IEP review carried out in 2007 at the University of Aveiro (Portugal). IEP was later included in the Register but at the time of the review, EQAR was not operational. The EFMD review was chosen to provide a different perspective for carrying out a review across borders with an EQAR-registered agency.

The final results of the selection are presented below[2]:

1. Higher education institutions from 4 countries that recognise reviews of foreign EQAR-registered agencies as part of the national requirements for external QA (National setting I):

Austria: University of Vienna (OAQ, quality audit 2013), University of Graz (FINHEEC, institutional audit, 2013)

Belgium: Flemish Community (BE-NL): Ghent University (AQAS, joint degree accreditation 2012/2013), Belgium: Royal Military School (CTI & NVAO joint review, 2011)

Lithuania: VTDK University (evalag, programme accreditation 2011); Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius (AHPGS, programme accreditation 2011) Romania: University of Bucharest (IEP, institutional evaluation 2012) & Dimitrie Cantemir University from Targu Mures (AHPGS, programme accreditation 2012);

2. Higher Education institutions from 4 countries that do not recognise (or are in progress of recognising) cross-border EQA reviews (National setting II):

Croatia: University of Zagreb (ASIIN, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, accreditation 2013 and Faculty of Civil Engineering, programme accreditation 2013);

France: Centre d'Etudes Supérieures Européennes (CESEM) at NEOMA Business School (FIBAA, accreditation of a double degree 2011);

Sweden: University of Lund (Lund School of Economics and Management— LUSEM, EFMD accreditation 2014);

Portugal: University of Aveiro (IEP, institutional evaluation 2007).

  • [1] Due to funding eligibility criteria set out under the Erasmus Networks, accompanying measures project, only countries belonging to the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the European Union have been selected. See full list of LLP Countries here: ec.europa.eu/education/tools/ docs/llp-national-agencies_en.pdf
  • [2] See Annex “Selection of countries for the study case” for further information regarding the criteria for the selected countries
 
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