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European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education

Database of External Quality Assurance Results - DEQAR

The main aim of the DEQAR project is the development of a database that will enhance access to reports and decisions on higher education institutions/programmes externally reviewed against the ESG, by an EQAR-registered agency.

The database is expected to enable a broad range of users, including but not limited to:

  • Recognition information centres (ENIC-NARICs)
  • Recognition officers in higher education institutions
  • Students
  • Quality assurance agencies
  • Ministry representatives and other national authorities

to satisfy their information needs and support different types of decisions (e.g. recognition of degrees, mobility of students, portability of grants/loans). A first public preview version of the database will be available in May 2018.

Through this database EQAR will contribute to the transparency of external quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area.

Background  The Database of External Quality Assurance Reports (DEQAR) project was selected for EU co-funding under Erasmus+ Key Action 3 - European Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects.

Background

In 2016 EQAR carried out a feasibility study on the Database, including surveys of potential users and registered agencies, as well as desk research of existing database initiatives. The resulting Report and Operational Model were presented to EQAR members (European governments and stakeholder organisations), most of whom had received positive feedback from their national stakeholders and considered that the database would enhance accessibility of external quality assurance results.

While all EQAR-registered agencies publish the reports and decisions from their external quality assurance on their own websites, users frequently face difficulties accessing such information, especially from other countries than the one they are familiar with. The results of the study showed that most EQAR-registered agencies could supply the information that is most relevant to users into a central European database.

Once set-up, the Database will allow users to identify whether a higher education institution has been subject to external quality assurance in line with the ESG, by an EQAR-registered agency (at institutional level, or one or more of its programmes) and to easily access the corresponding external QA report(s).

Project Partners Coordinated by EQAR, the project partners include a number of EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies, the key European stakeholder organisations and a research partner:

Project Partners

Stakeholders & users will be involved in ensuring relevance of the database and links with the end users:

  • ENQA - The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education
  • ESU- European Students Union
  • EUA - European University Association
  • EURASHE - European Association of Institutions in Higher Education
  • EI - Education International
  • CIMEA - Centro di Informazione sulla Mobilità e le Equivalenze (italian ENIC-NARIC)

A Research Centre will be responsible for piloting studies in the use of the database:

  • University of Ghent - The Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG)

17 QA agencies1 as well as GAC and HRK. They will have as main responsibility the technical implementation of the database:

  • A3ES - Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education (PT)
  • ACPUA - Aragon Agency for Quality Assurance and Strategic Foresight in Higher Education (ES)
  • ACSUG - Agency for Quality Assurance in the Galician University System (ES)
  • ANECA - National Agency for the Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ES)
  • AQU - Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (ES)
  • ARACIS – Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (RO)
  • ASHE - Agency for Science and Higher Education (HR)
  • ASIIN e.V. (DE)
  • BAC - British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education (UK)
  • EKKA - Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education (EE)
  • fmid - Fundación para el Conocimiento Madrimasd (ES)
  • HCERES - High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (FR)
  • PKA - Polish Accreditation Committee (PL)
  • NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (BE-FL )
  • SQAA - Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency (SI)
  • Unibasq - Agency for Quality of the Basque University System (ES)
  • GAC - German Accreditation Council (DE)
  • HRK - Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (DE)

Associate Partners:

Associate partners (do not benefit from the EU grant and may come from non-EU countries):

ECA will contribute experience and expertise from Qrossroads:

  • ECA - European Consortium for Accreditation (BE)

Registered QA agencies from non-eligible countries will be involved in the technical implementation of the database:

  • AKKORK - The Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance and Career Development (RU)
  • KAA - Kosovo Accreditation Agency XK3
  • NCPA - National Center for Public Accreditation (RU)

1 All interested EQAR-registered QA agencies from Erasmus+ Programme countries (max. 38) were invited to sign up.
2 NVAO participates in the DEQAR project for its activities in Flanders only.
3 Temporary code used for Kosovo. All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo

Timeline 

November 2017 – December 2017:

  • Project kick off on 1 November 2017.
  • Finalising subcontract with IT developers’ team.
  • Preparations for the development of the technical specifications for the database as well as the common data schema.

Timeline

January 2018 – March 2018:

  • Development and finalising of the technical specifications and the initial database prototype.

April 2018 – September 2018:

  • Testing of the operational back-end and data collection software.
  • Publication of the public beta version of the user interface.

October 2018 :

  • Launch of the final, refined user interface.
  • Promotion of the database among relevant user groups via promotion materials and stands at conferences, fairs and other events.

October 2018 – March 2019: 

  • Development of interactive, real-time and personalised infographics on quality assurance of higher education in Europe.

April 2019:

  • Publication of first pilot study on the DEQAR project.

October 2019:

  • Publication of good practice examples as well as testimonials of users of the database.
  • Final conference with stakeholders and publication of second pilot study.