External Review of ENQA Agency Reviews
The ENQA Agency Review process is designed to formally demonstrate agency’s compliance with ESG 2015 in order to meet the expectations of the ENQA Board for membership applications, and of EQAR for the purpose of registration. The process stimulates trust in quality assurance and quality of higher education internationally, and supports and adds to the legitimacy of the reviewed agency at the national level (where relevant).
Since 2011, ENQA has coordinated a large majority of the agency reviews in the EHEA. In spring 2018 the ENQA General Assembly decided that the ENQA Agency Review process should go through an external evaluation in order to evaluate the transparency and independence of ENQA agency review process and to support the improvement of its usefulness and fitness-for-purpose. In order to do so, the external review will evaluate how the principles outlined in the standards of Parts 2 and 3 of the ESG are reflected in the reviews of agencies (while adapting them to the context and work of ENQA) and, on the other hand, how far the ENQA procedures help to improve the quality of the work of QA agencies and allow for innovative approaches to QA processes.
The review encompasses the following activities related to the ENQA Agency Review process:
– Selection and training of experts
– Coordination of the review processes
– The ENQA Agency Review Guidelines
– ENQA’s membership decision making process
– Publication of reports
– Analysis of the outcomes of reports (“thematic analysis”)
– Feedback mechanisms and the internal quality assurance of the ENQA Agency Review process
– Appeals and complaints processes
– Follow-up activities.
The review process will consist of a self-assessment, an external assessment including a site visit by a panel of independent experts, and delivery and publication of a final report.
The review process is supervised by an ad hoc steering committee which, among others, drafts the terms of reference for the external review, evaluates the proposal for tenders, contracts the external review coordinator on behalf of ENQA, approves of the review methodology, ensures the independent appointment of the peer review panel, and approves of the final report. The steering committee is composed of three representatives of ENQA’s member agencies and three representatives of the main European level stakeholder bodies.
The review process takes place between September 2018 and November 2019.
A call for a coordinator of the external review was open until Friday, 16 November 2018. This call for tender was open to any agency, organisation, or individual with at least 5 years of QA experience that has not actively been a part of the ENQA review process within the last three years. ENQA Members and Affiliates were not permitted to apply.