On 4 March, EI took part in the official launch of the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR)in Brussels.
A milestone in the cooperation among European countries in the assurance of the quality of higher education within the context of the Bologna Process reforms, EQAR was the result of a decision taken at the Ministerial Conference on the Bologna Process held earlier in May 2007. The mandate to work on the register was given to the ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE.
EQAR is an important step for more objective information about trustworthy quality assurance agencies working in the "Bologna area" and beyond. The purpose of the register is to allow all stakeholders and the general public open access to objective information about trustworthy quality assurance agencies that are working in line with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG). It will therefore enhance confidence in higher education in the EHEA and beyond, and facilitate the mutual recognition of quality assurance and accreditation decisions.
The register will be voluntary, self-financing, independent and transparent. Applications for inclusion on the register should be evaluated on the basis of substantial compliance with the ESG, evidenced through an independent review process endorsed by national authorities, where this endorsement is required by those authorities.
Together with 19 BFUG governments and Business Europe, Education International was admitted as a member. The Founding Assembly approved the Register Committee which comprises 11 independent quality assurance experts who will decide upon applications. It is anticipated that agencies will be able to apply for inclusion from summer 2008.
Further information can be found in the EQAR information document.