12th European Quality Assurance Forum “Responsible QA: committing to impact” (23-25.11.17, Riga, Latvia)
Title: 12th European Quality Assurance Forum “Responsible QA: committing to impact”
Date: 23-25 November, 2017
Location: University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
Participants: rectors and vice-rectors responsible for QA, QA officers in higher education institutions, students, QA agency staff and researchers working on higher education or the QA field, representatives of European University Association (EUA), the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) and the European Students’ Union (ESU).
Participants from Ukraine:
1. Volodymyr LUGOVYY, First Vice-President, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine, HERE team member.
2. Vadym ZAKHARCHENKO, Vice-Rector, National University “Odessa Maritime Academy”, HERE team member.
There was Rector Bogdan Egorov and Vice-Rector Maryna Mardar, Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies, Ukraine among participants.
Programme and material: www.eua.be/event/eqaf-riga
Description and key information
On November 23-25, 2017, the 12th European Quality Assurance Forum “Responsible QA: committing to impact” was held at the University of Latvia (Riga). The Forum is organized by the Bologna Process Support Group – the European University Association (EUA), the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) and the European Students’ Union (ESU) in order to develop an attractive and competitive European Higher Education Area. The history of this major and largest European quality assurance collection begins in 2006, with more than 400 participants annually from Europe and beyond. The event serves as a platform for discussion, professional development, practical improvement of stakeholders – higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies, students, lecturers, researchers, executives, politicians.
About 450 representatives from 48 countries, including 41 European countries, as well as Israel, Canada, Japan and others, took part in the forum this time. Ukraine was represented by members of the Higher Education Reform Experts team: First Vice-President of the National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine V. Lugovyy and Vice-Rector of the National University “Odessa Maritime Academy” V. Zakharchenko, and, in addition, Rector and Vice-rector of the Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies B. Egorov and M. Mardar. The work of the forum took the form of successive and parallel plenary sessions, working groups, discussion of articles devoted to the quality of higher education. The working language of the forum was English.
At the first plenary meeting, the participants were congratulated by the Chairman of the EQAF Steering Committee J. Buades, the Rector of the University of Latvia I. Muižnieks, Director of the Latvian Higher Education Quality Agency A. Rauhvargers. Also, the report “Are we making a difference?” by the member of the Steering Committee O. Vettori, which deals with the theme of organizational change and transformation and the role of quality assurance, was also heard. At the second session, representatives from the doctoral students, the institutional marketing and communications department and the department for the provision and improvement of academic quality discussed issues of the institutional structures responsible for quality and communication, the field of work and the adequacy of the information provided to students’ needs and expectations. It was stressed that the labor market provides important information about the quality of higher education.
Parallel plenary sessions were devoted to issues of Perspectives on QA. The topics “Learning & teaching: consolidating the European dimension”, “QA and recognition: current practices and challenges”, “EQAR’s future strategy and insights from Register Committee decisions”, “ESG 2015: policy and practice”, “Reinforcing pillars for quality culture development: a path analytic model”, “Global perspectives on regional cooperation in QA”.
At the final plenary session the current theme “QA and ethics” was discussed. It has been emphasized that the subjects of quality assurance must always act ethically to ensure reliability and legitimacy. The session provides an overview of ethical issues in higher education and quality assurance, and identifies ways of resolving them in the future.
Six interactive working groups worked between the plenary sessions, 23 articles on various aspects of quality assurance were presented. The topics of the working groups concerned: Effective and lasting student involvement; the European Toolkit for internal quality management in competence-based higher education; Quality assurance of programmes and effective communication with employers; Tracking of universities’ graduates on the labour market using administrative data; Challenges of quality assuring professional higher education; Quality enhancement with critical collaborators.
Presented materials highlighted the specific experience of ensuring the quality of higher education in different countries: Austria, Belgium, Armenia, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Latvia, Macedonia, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the United Kingdom, Finland, Croatia, Sweden.
Participants of the forum had an opportunity to discuss with their counterparts the proposals and projects of cooperation under the EU Erasmus+ Programme, to find out other areas of cooperation, to establish professional contacts.
Materials and results of the forum will contribute to a better understanding of the pan-European tendencies and national peculiarities of ensuring the quality of higher education and their use in Ukraine. It was decided that the next forum will be held from 15 to 17 November 2018 in Vienna (Austria).