Working group IV on Stakeholder Involvement in Quality Assurance (finished)

One of the collateral benefits of the implementation of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education has been the wide involvement of students in external QA practices.

An example of this has been provided by the ENQA Board in involving student representatives – mainly appointed by ESU – in the expert panels of their external reviews of agencies, and has served as a stimulus for involving students in many QA agencies throughout Europe.

The reflection about how to actively involve other stakeholders as a general trend should be placed at the forefront of the external QA processes, using good practice derived from the student involvement.

Stakeholders’ involvement is mentioned in the Bucharest ministerial communiqué as one of the ministers’ commitments:
“We commit to both maintaining the public responsibility for QA and to actively involve a wide range of stakeholders in this development”.

The working group on Stakeholders’ involvement in QA practices was created to take stock of the current involvement of stakeholders across Europe and investigate how to deepen engagement, especially for those stakeholders whose involvement is weak but nevertheless important, for example employers. Indeed, the Bucharest Communiqué emphasised the need to engage with employer-related organisations.

Purpose and tasks of the working group

The main purposes of the working group were to set up a debate to identify new ways of promoting the active involvement of the different particular stakeholders related to the external quality assurance processes within the European Higher Education Area apart from higher education institutions (HEIs); as well as to map existing features of good practice from different academic and professional traditions all over Europe.

The working group focused on the different levels of involvement among students, academic staff, and representatives of the professional bodies/employers with a view to making recommendations to the Board of ENQA and to nationally-based ENQA member agencies on how both can develop and deepen this engagement.

The first phase of the work was to prepare a stocktaking document giving a reflective overview of the current situation on how and why stakeholders are involved across Europe. This exercise was useful in comparing and contrasting the ways in which quality agencies engaged various stakeholders across Europe. These inputs were useful to identify good practices that reinforce stakeholders’ involvement at the agency/national level.

On the basis of this preparatory work, national stakeholders were asked to complete a survey, the findings of which were used to inform recommendations to the ENQA Board. This survey is one of the inputs for the report on stakeholders’ involvement published in 2014.

The ultimate goal of the working group was to define ways of improving their involvement from a European perspective while being sensitive to the national requirements in the different contexts.

The final report of the working group is available here.

Members of the Group

The working group was chaired by Rafael Llavori, Head of Unit of Institutional and International Relations of the National Agency for Quality Evaluation and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA) and coordinated by Nathalie Lugano, Project Manager at the ENQA Secretariat.

Rafael Llavori, ANECA, Spain – Chair
Stephanie Bernhardi, ACQUIN, Germany
Sonia Cardoso, A3ES, Portugal
Ferdije Etemi, KAA, Kosovo
Hayley Haggins, QAA, UK
Stephanie Hering, OAQ, Switzerland
Richard Jarman, QAA, UK
Nathalie Lugano, ENQA, Belgium – Coordinator
Laurence Pinson, AERES, France
Almantas Serpatauskas, SKVC, Lithuania
Erika Soboleva, AKKORK, Russia
Maiki Udam, EKKA, Estonia
Luis Carlos Velón Sixto, ACSUG, Spain
Maria E. Weber, AQ Austria, Austria
Barbara Birke, AQ Austria, Austria
Paul Zevenbergen, NVAO, The Netherlands