QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) IN EUROPE (2005-2015) FROM INTERNAL AND INSTITUTIONAL TO EXTERNAL AND INTERNATIONAL
Lucien Bollaert (ECA, NVAO)
This article highlights the developmental processes in external quality assurance requirements between the launch of the European Standards and Guidelines in Quality Assurance (ESG in 2005 and the forthcoming Ministerial Bologna Conference in Yerevan (Armenia) in 2015. In mid-way, i.e. in 2010, the EHEA has officially been accomplished, at least as far as structures and legislations are concerned. Yet it has become clear that there are still a lot of challenges, both in politics and within the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and this also concerns quality assurance matters (QA). These challenges seem to be accelerated by the economic crisis, and they seem to have tarnished the trust in higher education (HE) and to have replaced trust by transparency based on proof of quality in each case. The latest evolutions of QA in Europe are identified along four axes, which are the unit level of QA, the learning outcomes, quality culture, and the standards. These four lines are related to the maturity of QA within the HEI and to the quality policy of the (inter)national system.