Quality Assurance in Joint Study Programs

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1 Welcome to the first STEERING-webinar on Quality Assurance in Joint Study Programs June 10, 2015

2 Outline of the webinar Introduction (10 min.) Status quo concerning QA of JSP in DE (15 min.) The European Approach (15 min.) Panel discussion (20 min.) Open discussion with participants (45-60 min.)

3 The STEERING-Project Click here for further info Coordinated by the DAAD on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Co-funded by BMBF and European Commission through Erasmus+ Key Action 3: Policy Support Aims at assisting German Higher Education Institutions in the ongoing implementation of European Higher Education Reform matters. Core element: Network of 20 international Higher Education Experts from 12 European countries. Project s Philosophy: Peer Learning (not Peer Review) 3

4 Background & rationale Launched in 1999 by the Ministers of Education and university leaders of 29 countries, it has further developed into a major international reform encompassing 48 countries Latest member: Belarus (2015 on condition to implement reforms to make its higher education system and practice compatible with those of other EHEA countries) the Bologna Process aimed to create a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by 2010; The Bologna Process does not aim to harmonize national educational systems but rather to provide tools to connect them. All actors are involved in the Bologna Follow Up Group (BFUG) 4

5 Background & rationale Comparable three cycle degree system for undergraduates (Bachelor degrees) and graduates (Master and PhD degrees) specified in Dublin descriptors Qualifications Frameworks based on learning outcomes have become a central part of the European Higher Education Area European Credit Transfer and accumulation System ECTS and the Diploma Supplement) Mobility of students and lecturers in exchange programs 5

6 Background & rationale Joint Study Programs have been on the top of the reform agenda from the beginning of the Bologna Process (focus on Joint Degree Programs). The 2015 Yerevan Communique emphasises that A common degree structure and credit system, common quality assurance standards and guidelines, cooperation for mobility and joint programmes and degrees are the foundations of the EHEA. In a globalized and competitive Higher Education Market, Joint Study Programs are an important asset for attracting high-performing students and researchers. Due to demanding admittance requirements, many joint programs tend to be elite programs. At the same time, the implementation of joint programs is still hampered by serious problems, amongst others around issues of recognition and quality assurance. A European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes has been developed to ease external quality assurance of these programs. 6

7 Working Definitions 1 Joint Study Program: offered in collaboration of two or more higher education institutions (in the same country or) in different countries. does not necessarily lead to a joint degree. After completion of a joint program a graduate may be awarded: a single national qualification, a double (or other multiple) qualification or a joint qualification. Joint Degree one joint diploma issued by the institutions offering the study program in question May be accompanied by one or more national diploma Double/ Multiple Degree Two/ more than two national diploma 7

8 Working Definitions 2 Quality assurance ESG 2015: Quality assurance in higher education is based on the institutions responsibility for the quality of their programs and other provisions. Internal Quality Assurance: Policies and processes for the design and approval of study programs to ensure that they meet the objectives (learning outcomes, qualifications, etc.). External Quality Assurance: External quality assurance should address the effectiveness of the internal quality assurance processes and hence, recognize and support institutional responsibility for quality assurance. 8

9 Working Definitions 3 Accreditation Program Accreditation: The program accreditation process is objected to Bachelor and Master s study programs. It is a multistage procedure based upon the principle of peer review. Accreditation decision always refers to one individual study program. System Accreditation: System accreditation is objected to the internal quality assurance system of a higher education institution in the field of teaching and learning. The system accreditation procedure is a multilevel procedure which is based upon the principle of peer review. As a result the higher education institution is allowed to accredit its own study programs. 9

10 Quality Assurance of Joint Study Programmes Status Quo in Germany 10 June 2015 Bastian Baumann Independent Higher Education Consultant and Managing Director EQAA

11 Hallmark Initial Considerations Yet, much effort for a small number of programmes and few students Internal and external quality assurance Focus of QA in different countries Institutional / system Programme

12 Initial Considerations ctd. National legislations differ substantially EQAR / Accreditation Council ESG / KMK Strukturvorgaben Geographical scope Involving countries with no EQAR listed / ENQA member agency Outside EHEA

13 First cycle: Some Numbers 232 joint study programmes (mainly doubledegree programmes) 153 of these are accredited Second cycle: 293 joint study programmes (mainly doubledegree programmes) 169 of these are accredited

14 Regulations for Accreditation Accreditation Council has specific rules for the accreditation of Joint Programmes Programme is accredited as a whole Programme is offered jointly Design Carrying out Review and development Decision-making Option 1: Accreditation by an agency that is granted operating rights in Germany Option 2: Joint Process with another agency Option 3: Results of another agency can be recognised

15 Regulations for Accreditation ctd. Options 1 and 2 require: German requirements are met for the entire programme Possibility to partially deviate from it Criteria for deviation not set in advance Resources and facilities are adequate in all locations Site-visit in at least one location Interviews with groups from all locations Reviewers need international experience Specific training Country specific knowledge

16 Regulations for Accreditation ctd. Option 2 requires in addition: Common set of criteria is established Legal limitations Reviewers are appointed in cooperation Training / criteria / background Joint self-evaluation report, addressing all relevant national characteristics and requirements Joint accreditation report Language

17 Regulations for Accreditation ctd. Option 3 requires: Agency is listed on EQAR and/or member of ENQA German requirements are substantially met Lack of definition No substantial differences in accreditation criteria and processes How can an HEI know this in advance?

18 Conclusion Several options for accreditation Still, considerable effort for HEIs Lack of clarity in advance Does the Common European Approach solve all problems?

19 Contact

20 Webinar on Quality Assurance in Joint Study Programmes (JSP) Part 3: THE EUROPEAN APPROACH June 10 th 2015 Gerard Sijben MSc.

21 A brief introduction Educationalist: Consultant in education and internationalisation Institute of Marketing and Management (CE-SB&RM-IBMS) Project leader reframing Dutch Framework Competencies IBMS (Focus on Learning Outcomes) Previously: programme manager IBMS (distinctive feature in internationalisation NVAO 2010) 21

22 Fontys: Located in the South of the Netherlands One of largest in the Netherlands (50.000) Main focus on Bachelor degree Several International English taught programmes (IBMS-ICT-Engineering-IM-Physiotherapy- Dance/Art) 22

23 Content: 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes 2. Practical implication opportunity 3. References 23

24 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes Joint degrees (degree programmes involving periods of study at multiple institutions) provide innovative examples of international inter-university cooperation and can be seen as pillars of future European higher education development. 24

25 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes Joint programmes are a hallmark of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). They are set up to enhance the mobility of students and staff, to facilitate mutual learning and cooperation opportunities and to create programmes of excellence. They offer a genuine European learning experience to students. Joint degrees express the jointness also in the awarding of the degree. 25

26 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes Five experimental single pilot accreditation procedures of joint programmes: Name of the programme Full partner institutions Need for Accreditations Coordinating Agency Other QA Agencies Involved Place of Site visit (s) Research Master Geosciences of Basins and Lithosphere (BASINS) VU University Amsterdam (NL ) Uni Bergen (NO ) Uni Rennes 1 (FR ) NL NVAO CTI-HAC Amsterdam, NL EM Master Journalism and Media within Globalisation (EMMA ) The University of Aarhus (DK) School of Journalism(DK) Uni Amsterdam (NL ) Uni Hamburg (DE ) Swansea Uni (UK) City Uni (UK) DE, NL ZEvA NVAO Hamburg, DE Joint European Master in International Humanitarian Action Deusto University (ES ) Uni Cathol.de Louvain (BE ), Uni Bochum (DE ) UC Dublin (IE ) Uni Groningen (NL ) Uppsala Uni (SE ) L Université Paul Cézanne (FR ) ES, DE, NL ANECA AQAS, HSV, Deusto, ES Louvain, BE Block 6-2b: workshop 12 26

27 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes Mutual recognition of accreditation of joint programmes (ECA)

28 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes The Challenge Some 4,000 joint programmes in EHEA (estimate European Commission) Joint programmes are confronted with different national QA regimes Multiple procedures, frameworks, visits, panels, reports Fragmented assessments, often neglecting crucial characteristic of programme, namely that it is offered jointly Decisions often only have an influence on national system 28

29 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes dismantle an important obstacle to the development of joint programmes facilitate integrated approaches to quality assurance of joint programmes that genuinely reflect and mirror their joint character. 29

30 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes The Solution Mandate for BFUG Ad-hoc Expert Group: Develop a policy proposal for a specific European accreditation approach for Joint programmes, which should be applied to all those Joint programmes that are subject to compulsory programme accreditation at national level. 30

31 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes European Approach: A. Application in Different Systems of External QA B. Standards for QA of Joint Programmes C. Procedure for External QA of Joint Programmes Note: B and C are in line with revised European Standards and Guidelines for QA in EHEA (ESG) 31

32 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes Application in Different Systems of External QA: If some of cooperating HEIs require programme accreditation/evaluation then HEIs should select a QA agency registered in EQAR (http://www.eqar.eu/) Agency will use Standards and Procedure to carry out a single procedure of the entire joint programme; the decision to be recognised in all countries where the programme is offered European Approach may be used by self-accrediting HEIs and countries outside of EHEA 32

33 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes Standards for QA of Joint Programmes: 1. Eligibility 2. Learning Outcomes 3. Study Programme 4. Admission and Recognition 5. Learning, Teaching and Assessment 6. Student Support 7. Resources 8. Transparency and Documentation 9. Quality Assurance 33

34 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes Procedure for External QA of JPs: 1. Self-Evaluation Report 2. Review Panel 3. Site Visit 4. Review Report 5. Formal Outcomes and Decision 6. Appeals 7. Reporting 8. Follow-Up 9. Periodicity 34

35 1. European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes Implementation of European Approach: Implementation takes time; changes in national legislations; different interpretations, challenges etc. Other challenges: remaining national rules (e.g. 300 ECTS for Ba-Ma); different accreditation periods/decisions/appeals systems/fees; information on accredited JPs; composition of panel members; recognition of joint degrees (also by employers) 35

36 2. Practical Implication - Opportunity 36

37 2. Practical Implication - Opportunity Truly Recognised Joint Degree Programmes: Joint programmes internationally fundamented and not tight by national boundaries Simplified accreditation process Possibilities to expend international cooperation Clear in expectations Challenging opportunities to develop new innovative programmes which meets today s challenges 37

38 References: https://www.eqar.eu/ European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes October 2014 (endorsed by the BFUG, subject to approval by EHEA ministers Joint Programmes from A to Z: a reference guide for practitioners (Erasmus Mundus 2015) Quality Assurance Across Borders: Internationalisation, Accreditation, Recognition (Dr. Mark Frederiks NVAO & ECA) European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes EP-Nuffic Annual Conference 12 March 2015, The Hague (Dr. Mark Frederiks NVAO & ECA) 38

39 References: Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes: ENQA Workshop Report 19 (M. Frederiks, J. Grifoll, K. Hiltunen, A. Hopbach) Making the Most of Our Potential: Consolidating the European Higher Education Area Bucharest Communiqué 2012 Yerevan Communiqué

40

41 Panel Discussion Quality Assurance in Joint Study Programs 41

42 Thank you for your attention! 42

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