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European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education

External review

The applicant itself has to identify a suitable review coordinator that has the necessary professional capacity and is independent from the applicant.

An assessment of the level of compliance with the ESG should be clearly defined as one purpose of the external review and the fact that the review report will be used for an application for (renewal of) inclusion on EQAR. This will help to avoid misunderstandings during the review process. In some cases a review of an agency might have other, additional purposes, such as an independent overall assessment of the applicant’s performance. Such a review with additional purposes might as well be used for an application to EQAR, as long as compliance with the ESG is addressed.

The review panel must consist of at least four persons that include at least one student and one academic staff member involved in education and research. The review panel should be fully independent from the applicant and should possess the knowledge, expertise and experience required to review the applicant’s compliance with the ESG

During the site visit, the external review panel is expected to interview all relevant stakeholders of the applicant agency, including students and staff, as well as external stakeholders, such as employers and external partners of an institution.

The self-evaluation and review reports should clearly address each relevant ESG (standards 2.1 to 2.7 and 3.1 to 3.7) and reflect on the agency’s compliance with it. In reviews that will be used for renewal of an agency's registration, it is expected that the review report explicitly addresses the issues that were flagged when the agency was admitted to the Register.

In order to ensure that these reviews are a sufficient and robust basis for the Register Committee's decisions, it is vital that reviewed agency and coordinators are aware of the Use and Interpretation of the ESG and ensure that the panel undertaking a review takes them into account in preparing the review

Further guidance on the preparation of the external review against the ESG can be found in the Guide for Applicants and Registered Agencies, Chapter 5.