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

October 19, 2017 11:06

Tempus Public Foundation (TPF) with the cooperation of 8 Hungarian higher education institutions and the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference attended the „Salao do Estudante 2017” education fair organized in three cities in Brazil – Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

June 28, 2017 14:03
The Hungarian delegation met the Kazakh minister of education and science

10 universities accompanied with the Ministry of Human Resources and Tempus Public Foundation took part in International Educational Fair 2017 in Astana and Almaty between the 23-27th June 2017 attracting many local students.

June 22, 2017 09:20
Call for scholarship applications
The scholarship is intended for individuals studying in the Stipendium Hungaricum Hungarian
Language University Preparatory Programme and wish to improve their command of Hungarian
language and broaden their knowledge of the culture of Hungary.