How to manage quality
In the course of the Bologna Process, the ”quality“ issue has become one of the most important mechanisms of governance. All European higher education institutions (HEIs) are faced with the question of whether and how research and teaching quality can be managed sustainably. Possible answers are to be discussed by a panel of the European Forum of Quality Assurance, which took place in Rome from the 15th to the 17th of November and was organised by the CHE (Centre for Higher Education Development) in cooperation with the Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning (IHF).
The results of two scientific studies – one about quality management systems in universities and Fachhochschulen by Dr. Sigrun Nickel (CHE), and an international comparative study on the Bologna Process by Dr. Johanna Witte (IHF) "Change of Degrees and Degrees of Change“ – will form the basis of the panel, called ”The changing governance of quality in German higher education seen in a European context: Institutional and political perspectives.“
The findings from these studies will be presented to an international audience and discussed. The focus will be on the development of the German accreditation system in an international context. Compared with other countries, the German higher education policy has – with respect to quality assurance - a number of special characteristics, for example, a competition-oriented home market of accreditation agencies has been established, which is privately organised but fulfils official functions, resulting in partly problematic interdependences, much to the disadvantage of HEIs. Another topic related to this is the paradigm shift from programme accreditation to system accreditation. The interesting question is how to evaluate this development in comparison with other European countries.
The CHE and IHF panel will take place as part of the “2nd European Quality Assurance Forum“ in Rome which is again being organised by the E4 group: the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Students Union (ESU), the European University Association (EUA) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE). The four-day QA forum is a platform for QA officers from all European countries as well as for guests from higher education institutions and government organisations from other continents. The focus for this forum will be on the coupling of quality assurance and strategy.