Better quality in teaching and learning

Continuous improvement of the quality of teaching and learning is a core task of universities. Institutions can help each other to improve through mutual assistance and benchmarking. The Commission supports such cooperation activities via university networks and associations.

Quality assurance also has an external component as institutions are evaluated regularly by an external quality assurance agency. The reports of these evaluations are published and increasingly put on the Erasmus-supported database ‘Qrossroads’. Most Agencies are or have already applied to become members of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), which the Commission helped to create in 2000 and supports with Erasmus project grants.

Both universities and agencies must comply with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance for the Higher Education Area, adopted by Bologna Ministers in Bergen in May 2005. Agencies that comply with the standards and guidelines may apply to be listed in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR). The Register is open to agencies operating in Europe, be they national or international, public or private, general or subject-specific. The Commission is supporting the development of a series of subject-specific European quality labels, which could/may lend their standards to existing agencies or become agencies in their own right. Examples include the EUR-ACE label in engineering and the Eurobachelor, Euromaster and Eurodoctorate labels in chemistry.

The impressive progress made in European quality assurance over the last decade is the result of a fruitful interaction between Bologna Ministerial decisions, EU Council and Parliament Recommendations (1998 and 2006) and sector initiatives, assisted by Erasmus grant support. Thanks to these joint efforts, institutions are better informed about their strengths and weaknesses and students can more easily find detailed information on the quality of individual institutions or programmes.

Notwithstanding this overall positive development, the European dimension of quality assurance is still limited. There are only a few examples of institutions seeking evaluation or accreditation from foreign agencies and there exist only a few examples of governments opening up quality assurance in their country to other registered agencies. As a result, there is little comparative information, which hinders mobility and further quality improvement.

In its Report on progress in quality assurance in higher education (2009), the European Commission invited all stakeholders concerned to:

  • make the quality assurance infrastructure more efficient and transparent for users;
  • make clearer reference in the European Standards and Guidelines (ESGs) to Bologna priorities and tools such as mobility, employability, EQF, ECTS and the Diploma supplement;
  • stimulate institutions to go cross-border, for example by developing European Quality Seals and quality principles for cross-border higher education, joint and double degrees, thus avoiding the need for multiple accreditations.

Latest news

March 28, 2017 09:23

The Summer University on Hungarian Language and Culture at Eötvös Loránd University prepared a present for Spring to those who are interested in Hungarian language and culture.

March 13, 2017 13:52
Semmelweis University is among the best according to the QS world rankings

Semmelweis University has been ranked as 262nd according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking list, on the basis of which our university has achieved the best result in the field of life sciences and medicine among Hungarian higher-education institutions. The ranking position of Semmelweis University is better with 54 ranking places this year as opposed to last year’s ranking result. In the field of medical education Semmelweis University is ranked among the best 200 institutions, and it is among the best 150 in the area of pharmaceutical education according to the QS 2017 ranking.

In the field of life sciences and medicine altogether three Hungarian universities are listed: Semmelweis University is ranked as 262nd, Debrecen University is ranked as 401-450 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 451-500. Regarding the area of medical education: Semmelweis University is ranked as 151-200, Debrecen University is ranked as 201-250, the University of Pécs is ranked as 251-300 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 301-350. The rankings in the category of pharmaceutical education are as follows: Semmelweis University is ranked as 101-150, Debrecen University is ranked as 151-200 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 201-250.

This international ranking list was prepared with the consideration of four aspects: the reputation of the university in the scientific world, assessment of the employees, the frequency of the citation of the university’s scientific works and h-index citations.

Eszter Keresztes
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi

March 13, 2017 13:51
Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Tokyo Medical University

The delegation of Tokyo Medical University visited Semmelweis University on February 24-25, 2017, in the framework of which the collaboration has been reinforced on three different levels between the two institutions. Besides the Memorandum of Understanding a Sister Agreement as well as a Student Exchange Agreement were also signed by the representatives of both universities.

The members of the Japanese delegation, led by Dr. Mamoru Suzuki, President of Tokyo Medical University, were Dr. Miki Izumi, Professor of Medical Education, Ms. Aya Nagata, Coordinator of the Student Exchange Program and Dr. Mária Mernyei, Professor, who provided a lot of support in the organization of the delegation’s visit. The representatives of Tokyo Medical University were welcomed at Semmelweis University by Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector, Dr. Miklós Molnár, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. József Sándor, Scientific Advisor of the Department of Surgical Research and Techniques, Dr. Marcel Pop, Director of International Relations and Dr. Judit Vadlövő, Project Coordinator of the Directorate of International Relations.

After a warm welcome Rector Szél said that he considers this visit very important, since the agreements signed during the discussion provide an opportunity for both Japanese and Hungarian students to study abroad in the framework of a training programme. Rector Szél expressed his gratitude to H.E. Dr. Kosuge Junichi, Ambassador of Japan in Hungary, who participated in the official discussion and the signing process together with Ms. Yoshiko Okamoto, Second Secretary of Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Hungary. As Rector Szél pointed out, the presence of His Excellency at the discussion unquestionably proved the high level of Japanese-Hungarian relations.

Dr. Kosuge Junichi talked about the undergoing process of the reinforcement of Japanese-Hungarian political and economic relations, and he expressed his appreciation that this is also manifested in the academic relations.

Dr. Mamoru Suzuki, President of Tokyo Medical University, also highlighted the significance of the signing of these agreements: according to him the collaboration now has become official between the two institutions.

Dr. Miklós Molnár talked about the fact that more and more Japanese students study at Semmelweis University and he expressed his hope that Hungarian students will soon also have an opportunity to study in Japan. Dr. Molnár also said that our institution will be pleased to have Japanese professors as lecturers at Semmelweis University.

Dr. József Sándor emphasized among other things that both institutions have the same principles and purposes: a well-operating patient care system.

At the end of the discussion the leaders of both universities officially signed the Memorandum of Understanding, a Sister Agreement as well as a Student Exchange Agreement. These agreements contain regulations regarding the mutual student-, researcher- and staff exchange programme, the exchange of information between the two institutions as well as the organization of common lectures and seminars. The agreement related to the exchange of medical students provides the opportunity for the following: both universities to send and receive 2-2 graduating students for clinical training during one academic year, for maximum 8 weeks per student.

After the discussion and the official signing of the agreements the Japanese delegation visited the 1st Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, where Dr. András Matolcsy, Director, welcomed the representatives of Tokyo Medical University. The delegation also visited the Heart and Vascular Centre, where they were welcomed by Dr. György Bárczi, Senior Lecturer. Dr. Bárczi introduced the facilities and the daily work of the Centre to our Japanese guests in details.

Pálma Dobozi
Source: Directorate of International Relations
Photo: Gábor Ancsin
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi