Swiss Agency of the Accreditation and Quality Assurance (AAQ)
The review will evaluate the way in which and to what extent the Swiss Agency of the Accreditation and Quality Assurance (AAQ) 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 May 2021.
Background and context
Established by the Federal Act on Funding and Coordination of the Higher Education Sector (HEdA) on January 1st, 2015, the Swiss Agency for Accreditation and Quality Assurance AAQ is the successor of the Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (OAQ), which operated from 2001 to 2014. It receives public funding by the Swiss Confederation and the university Cantons, besides mandate-based funds.
AAQ is the only Swiss agency active in the field of quality assurance and accreditation in higher education. It contributes to the development of a culture of quality in the higher education landscape.
AAQ carries out accreditation procedures based on the HEdA. Furthermore, the Swiss laws on medical, psychology and health professions assign to the AAQ the role of accreditation body for basic education and advanced professional training in medicine, for advanced professional training in the psychology professions (e.g. psychotherapy) and for basic education in the health professions such as physiotherapy, ergotherapy, etc.
Since 2011 AAQ carries out system accreditation in Germany according to the German legislation and is entitled to conduct Quality Audits in Austria according to the Austrian legislation.
Furthermore, the AAQ is authorized to deliver the EUR-ACE label to accredited engineering higher education programmes. Finally, tailor-made national and international evaluations can also be carried out with specific mandates.
AAQ has been a member of ENQA since 2006 (taking into consideration the registry on EQAR of the predecessor, the OAQ) and is applying for ENQA renewal of membership.
AAQ has been registered on the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) since 2011 (taking into consideration the registry on EQAR of the predecessor, the OAQ) and is applying for renewal of EQAR registration.
This review will evaluate the extent to which AAQ fulfils the requirements of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). Consequently, the review will provide information to the Board of ENQA to aid its consideration of whether membership of AAQ should be reconfirmed and to EQAR to support AAQ application to the register.
The panel is composed of the following members:
- Bernard Coulie, Full Professor and Honorary Rector, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium – Chair, academic (EUA nominee)
- Vanessa Duclos, Accreditation Manager, Directorate for Quality, Accreditation & Ranking, em Lyon Business School, France, former employee of ANECA in charge of the International Projects of the MENA and Euro Mediterranean Area, Spain – Secretary, quality assurance expert (ENQA nominee)
- Michele Wera, Policy advisor and secretary to NVAO’s Executive Board, Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders, The Netherlands – Panel member, quality assurance professional (ENQA nominee)
- Philipp Schulz, Student, Master’s degree in Business Administration and Engineering (specialization Civil Engineering), RWTH Aachen University, Germany – Student (ESU nominee, member of the European Students’ Union Quality Assurance Student Experts Pool)
You can read AAQ’s self-assessment report on their website here.
This review is being coordinated by Anaïs Gourdin.