European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education

Welcome to EQAR

In most European countries, higher education institutions or study programmes are subject to regular external review by a quality assurance agency. The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) is a register of such agencies, listing those that substantially comply with a common set of principles for quality assurance in Europe.


Key Considerations for Cross-Border Quality Assurance

Following up the recommendations from the RIQAA project, EQAR and the E4 Group (ENQA, ESU, EUA, EURASHE) agreed to discuss further the key issues that should be taken into consideration when planning cross-border quality assurance (QA) activities.

The key considerations have been discussed with participants at this year’s European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) in Ljubljana (Slovenia). They have been further disseminated for feedback and presented at the EQAR Members’ Dialogue in Oslo (Norway) and during the workshop of the BFUG Implementation Working Group (WG 2) in Nice.

The key considerations reaffirm that the ESG are the basis for all QA in the EHEA, and thus also for cross-border QA. They are non-biding in characted and come to support and inspire higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies that engage in, or consider engaging in, cross-border QA activities.

In addition to higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies they might serve as a useful tool also for governments when reviewing their legal frameworks with a view to allowing their institutions to make use of a suitable EQAR-registered agency in fulfilling their external QA requirements.

Read here the Key considerations for Cross-border Quality Assurance.

25 January 2017: Call for Candidates: President of EQAR 

25 January 2017: Call for Candidates: President of EQAR

EQAR is looking for a suitable individual to fill the position of President for the term 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2020. The President is elected by the EQAR General Assembly, comprising the European stakeholder organisations and currently 38 European governments, represented by their ministries responsible for higher education.

For details, please refer to the Call for Candidates.

12 December 2016: Latest decisions of Register Committee At its most recent meeting in Lyon on 2-3 December, the Register Committee reviewed a number of applications, most of them renewals, and also started discussions on a possible policy document on consultancy activities of QAAs.

12 December 2016: Latest decisions of Register Committee

Register Committee in Lyon

Newly admitted to the Register:

  • ACPUA - Aragon Agency for Quality Assurance and Strategic Foresight in Higher Education (Spain)

ACPUA is the second agency that was admitted based on the ESG 2015, following MusiQuE on 6 June 2016.

Approved renewal applications (the first renewals based on the ESG 2015):

  • AAQ - Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Assurance
  • ACQUIN - Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (Germany)
  • AI - The Danish Accreditation Institution
  • ZEvA - Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency (Germany)

See all QAAs listed on the Register

24-25 November 2016: EQAR Members' Dialogue in Oslo The sixth edition of the Members’ Dialogue was hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The event focused on two important discussions initiated by the self-evaluation of EQAR: the possible database of Higher Education Institutions/quality-assured programmes, and clarifying the strategic leadership of EQAR by changing from a rotating presidency to an elected president from mid-2017.

24-25 November 2016: EQAR Members' Dialogue in Oslo

Members' Dialogue in Oslo

Database of quality assurance results and decisions
Following up on EQAR’s Strategic Plan and current Work Plan, the EQAR Secretariat prepared a Report and Operational Model of a Database of External Quality Assurance Results. The data in the report were based on surveys sent out in 2016 to potential users, as well as a dialogue with existing initiatives. The report was presented and discussed at the EQAR Members' Dialogue. Further steps will be considered taking into account these discussions.

Within the event, members also discussed the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes, Key Consideration for Cross-Border QA and learned about the new developments in the automatic recognition of qualifications in Western Balkans, the quality assurance of transnational higher education as well as developments within the national legal frameworks for external quality assurance in Switzerland, Netherlands and the Belgium–Flemish Community.

To download presentations from the Members' Dialogue

28 June 2016: Potential database of external QA reports EQAR is currently studying the feasibility of a European database of higher education institutions and programmes that have been subject to quality assurance by EQAR-registered agencies, allowing easy access to the corresponding reports and decisions.

28 June 2016: Potential database of external QA reports

In order to establish the relevance and usefulness of such a database, EQAR  launched two surveys. One survey was public and addressed to all potential users, while the second survey addressed the registered quality assurance agencies. The survey has been closed since 1 August 2016.

Towards the end of November, EQAR will be discussing with European governments and stakeholder organisations how relevant such a database would be for the EHEA, and how it could be realised. To enrich this discussion, feedback will be needed from as many potential users as possible.

15 June 2016: First Agency Registered Based on ESG 2015 Register Committee members gathered in Lisbon on 5/6 June 2016 for their bi-annual meeting, hosted by the Lisbon School of Nursing (ESEL).

15 June 2016: First Agency Registered Based on ESG 2015

Since the adoption of the 2015 version of the ESG by ministers in Yerevan one year before, the Committee considered and approved the first application for inclusion on the Register based on the ESG 2015, by MusiQuE (Music Quality Enhancement). The Register now includes 43 quality assurance agencies.

Other topics discussed during the meeting were the eligibility process, questions of principle and the annual monitoring of registered agencies.

The Register Committee also received and considered a number of Substantive Change Reports. Registered agencies are expected to notify EQAR about changes to their legal form and status, amendments to their statutes and substantial changes in their process or methodology. Under the new Procedures for Applications, the Substantive Change Reports are also published in full.

The next Register Committee meeting will take place in the beginning of December. Review documents for initial applications must be submitted before 15 September. More about the application process.

9 June 2016: Training material on the ESG 2015 - EQUIP 

9 June 2016: Training material on the ESG 2015 - EQUIP

On 6-7 June, the EQUIP project organised its final training workshop on the ESG 2015. The workshop took place in Lisbon, directly after the Register Committee meeting.

Altogether there were five events, three workshops and two webinars, organised by the EQUIP Project in the first six months of this year. In different formats and covering various (sub) topics they addressed the changes in external quality assurance as a result of the ESG 2015, among which:

  • the implications of the new focus on learning and teaching in the ESG 2015;
  • student-centred learning;
  • admission, progression, recognition and certification in view of the ESG 2015;
  • new modes of delivery, including e-learning and dual education programmes;
  • the enhancement of programmes by connecting internal and external quality assurance.

The project now moves on to the analysis and study of implementation challenges, good practices, and proposed approaches to solving these challenges. The project partners invite all stakeholders to submit examples of good practice through the open call here.

In 2017, several focus groups will be organised by the project partners. EQAR will organise the focus group addressed to ministries, which will take place in the autumn of 2017.

A wide range of training material on the ESG 2015 is now available on the project website here. Next to the ESG 2015, a comparative analysis of the ESG 2015 and ESG 2005 is also available, as well as all contributions to the workshops and webinars: presentations and recordings. 

7 March 2016: General Assembly in Amsterdam EQAR's 10th General Assembly was held in Amsterdam on 7 March, hosted by the Dutch EU Presidency, in conjunction with the BFUG meeting on 7-8 March.

7 March 2016: General Assembly in Amsterdam

Representatives of 38 EQAR members convened to review and adopt, among others, the EQAR Self-Evaluation Report as well as a number of recommendations directly resulting from the self-evaluation process.

Apart from recommendations on how to further improve or expand current practices, two distinct objectives came out of the self-evaluation exercise and were directly taken forward into the Work Plan:

  • To study the feasibility of a database of higher education institutions and programmes that have been subject to quality assurance by registered agencies.
  • To establish or clarify the position of a president in order to raise the visibility of EQAR and to enhance stability and leadership internally.

EQAR will prepare concrete, operational proposals on both topics which will then be discussed at the Members Dialogue in Oslo in November 2016.

The General Assembly elected the following Executive Board for a two-year mandate as per 1 April 2016. According to the agreed annual rotation, the Executive Board will assume the following functions:

  • Re-elected: Tia Loukkola (EUA) - President
  • Re-elected: Fernando Galán Palomares (ESU) - Vice-President
  • Re-elected: Maria Kelo (ENQA)   - Vice-President
  • Newly elected: Johan Cloet (EURASHE) - Treasurer

EQAR Annual Report 2015 [PDF, 3MB]
Self-Evaluation Report [PDF, 2MB]

7 December 2015: Enhancing Quality through innovative Policy & Practice (EQUIP) 

7 December 2015: Enhancing Quality through innovative Policy & Practice (EQUIP)

EQAR is organising five events, with colleagues of the EQUIP project (EURASHE, ENQA, EUA, ESU, EI, UiO, CCISP), on the use of the ESG 2015 as a tool for change in European higher education in the first semester of 2016.

Free-of-charge registrations for these events are now open here.

Join us in our workshops and webinars:

  • Webinar on 17 February 2016*
  • Workshop in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 14-15 March 2016
  • Webinar on 13 April 2016**
  • Workshop in Vienna, Austria on 9-10 May 2016
  • Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal on 6-7 June 2016

During these workshops and webinars you will have the opportunity to exchange with peers and all stakeholders of higher education on the changes in the ESG 2015 and specific themes, including the importance of student-centred learning.

* To look at the status of external quality assurance in the EHEA and the challenges that quality assurance agencies may face in adapting their processes in light of the ESG 2015.

**To explore the emphasis that the ESG 2015 puts on the link between institutional quality assurance and the academic quality of higher education and the resulting focus on student-centred learning and the need to support teachers in adopting a new approach to their work.

As workshop places are limited we encourage you to register as soon as possible. Full information on the programme, speakers as well as practicalities will follow soon.

In the context of the Bologna Process EQAR has been founded by EURASHE, ENQA, EUA and ESU. / Copyright of the logos above is with the organisations.

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