CURRENT REVIEWS

Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (ACQUIN)

The review will evaluate the way in which and to what extent the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (ACQUIN) fulfills the criteria for ENQA membership and thus the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. The evaluation is scheduled to finish in July 2021.

Background and context

The Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute ACQUIN e.V. was founded on 26 January 2001. The resolution of the Bavarian Conference of Rectors in May 2000 about setting up an independent agency for the accreditation of study programmes with Bachelor’s and Master’s degree laid the corner stone for that. The initiative of the Bavarian universities was supported by representatives of research universities and universities of applied sciences from Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Austria, Saxony and Thuringia. ACQUIN is a registered non-profit association. Its members include science related professional and trade associations along with more than 160 higher education institutions in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lebanon.

The core competence of ACQUIN is the evaluation of study programmes for different types of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Germany and the evaluation and accreditation of study programmes abroad as well as evaluation of quality management systems in HEIs (system accreditation) in Germany. ACQUIN’s central concern is to promote and anchor quality culture in higher education and therefore assure through its activities a high quality standard in higher education. In addition, ACQUIN carries out certification procedures of continuous education programmes related to higher education, nationally and internationally, to foster lifelong learning.

ACQUINUS GmbH is a subsidiary company fully owned by ACQUIN. It offers consultancy services to higher education institutions.

ACQUIN has been a member of ENQA since 2003 and is applying for the renewal of ENQA membership.

ACQUIN has been registered in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) since 2008 and is applying for a renewal of the EQAR registration.

Review process

This review will evaluate the extent to which ACQUIN fulfils the requirements of Parts 2 and 3 of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). Consequently, the review will provide information to the ENQA Board to aid its consideration of whether membership of ACQUIN should be reconfirmed and to EQAR to support ACQUIN application to the register.

The review should give specific attention to those standards where the EQAR Register Committee concluded in its last decision that the agency complied only partially with the ESG, namely standards 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 3.4, as well as to issues flagged in Substantive Change Reports since ACQUIN’s last renewal; all decisions can be found at https://data.deqar.eu/agency/5-acquin

Review panel

The panel is composed of the following members:

  • Oliver Vettori, Dean of Accreditation and Quality Management, Vienna University of Business and Economics, Austria – Chair, quality assurance professional/academic (EUA nominee)
  • Aurelija Valeikiene, Deputy director, Center for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC), Lithuania – Secretary, quality assurance professional/academic (ENQA nominee)
  • Esther Huertas, Head of QA department, Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU Catalunya), Spain – Quality assurance professional/academic (ENQA nominee)
  • Damian Michalik, PhD in physics, Warsaw University, Poland – Student (ESU nominee, member of the European Students’ Union Quality Assurance Student Experts Pool)

This review is being coordinated by Anaïs Gourdin.