From October 2012 to September 2013, EUA implemented the project entitled ‘Promoting quality culture in higher education institutions’ (PQC), in partnership with the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Lisbon and the University of Zagreb.
Background and concept
The PQC project followed up and built on EUA's earlier project 'Examining quality culture in higher education institutions' (EQC, 2009-2012). Research conducted within the framework of that project showed that while the majority of HEIs in Europe have built up quality assurance (QA) systems, those in charge of managing quality at universities feel the need for further capacity building in how to incentivise all stakeholders (students, academic and administrative staff) to take on the responsibility for quality, i.e. how to put Part 1 of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) into practice and build quality cultures.
The PQC project contributed to fulfilling this need by developing and implementing a series of trainings with a practical approach to strengthening quality cultures and providing quality managers with the opportunity to exchange experiences and build connections for future cooperation at European level. Moreover, PQC exploited the inputs gained from the universities themselves through the trainings to devise a workshop for the staff of the European quality assurance agencies. In this way it communicated to the agencies how they can support HEIs in developing quality cultures through the external QA procedures which they design and carry out.
The objectives of the project were:
- to build capacity of quality managers from HEIs across Europe to develop such internal quality assurance systems that are embedded in the institutional strategies and cultures;
- to promote European cooperation and sharing of good practices in the field;
- to raise awareness regarding the importance of internal QA and in particular quality culture;
- to advocate for the true implementation of the ESGs, i.e. the primary responsibility for quality lying with the HEIs and the responsibility to support HEIs in that process lying with the QA agencies.
Activities and timeline
The partners sought to achieve the project objectives through the following activities:
- presentation of the project at the European Quality Assurance Forum 2012 (November 2012);
- three two-day trainings for quality managers at European HEIs, in Zagreb, Duisburg and Lisbon (April-June 2013);
- workshop for QA agencies’ staff, raising awareness regarding the importance of internal QA and in particular quality culture (September 2013).
The presentations from the trainings for quality managers at HEIs are available below.
8-10 April 2013, Lisbon, Portugal
22-24 May 2013, Zagreb, Croatia
26-28 June 2013, Essen, Germany
Workshop for QA agencies’ staff, 12-13 September 2013, Brussels, Belgium
For further information on the PQC project, please contact Tia Loukkola. Click here to download the PQC leaflet.
With the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union