The European framework for quality assurance was developed and established by the main stakeholder organisations in the field, gathered in the E4 Group: EUA, European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), European Students’ Union (ESU) and European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE).
The E4 Group launched the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) in 2008 at the request of European ministers of education in Bergen (2005) and London (2007), in a move designed to improve the quality of European higher education and to promote greater student mobility. EQAR is the first legal entity created in the context of the Bologna Process and, in addition to the E4, has a number of Bologna signatory countries, BUSINESSEUROPE and Education International as members.
As a founding member of EQAR, EUA is a member of its Executive Board and of the General Assembly and nominates two members of the Register Committee.
EQAR's role is to provide clear and reliable information on credible and legitimate quality assurance agencies operating in Europe. It provides a public register of quality assurance agencies that substantially comply with the Standards and Guidelines for European Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG), with decisions on inclusion taken by the independent Register Committee on the basis of an external review of the agency against the ESG.
EQAR's objectives are to:
- help increase trust in and recognition of quality assured higher education institutions and their qualifications;
- provide a basis for governments to recognise agencies from the Register and their findings or decisions;
- provide a means for higher education institutions to choose any agency from the Register;
- reduce opportunities for “accreditation mills” to gain credibility.
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