In most European countries, higher education institutions or study programmes are subject to regular external review by a quality assurance agency. The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) is a register of such agencies, listing those agencies that have demonstrated their substantial compliance with a common set of principles for quality assurance in Europe.
These principles are laid down in the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance.
EQAR aims to provide the public with clear and reliable information on quality assurance agencies operating in Europe, and the register is therefore web-based and freely accessible.
As of November 18th 2010, 24 quality assurance agencies, active in 23 European countries, feature on the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR). Five new agencies have been added after their applications were approved by the Register Committee on 13 November:
- ACSUCYL – Quality Assurance Agency for the University System of Castilla y León (Spain)
- ACSUG – Agency for Quality Assurance in the Galician University System (Spain)
- CTI – Engineering Degrees Commission (France)
- FINHEEC – Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (Finland)
- The Accreditation Institution (Denmark)
To be included, quality assurance agencies have to evidence in an independent external review that they comply substantially with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG).
“We are glad about the keen interest of quality assurance agencies. From a survey we are conducting amongst agencies we can see that international reputation is the top motivation for becoming registered on EQAR, next to better international recognition of qualifications awarded by higher education institutions that have been quality reviewed by the agency”, says Kjell Frønsdal, Chair of the EQAR Register Committee.
A judge of the Gulating Court of Appeal (Bergen, Norway), Mr Frønsdal has chaired EQAR’s independent decision-making body since 1 July 2010. The Register Committee comprises of quality assurance experts nominated by the key European stakeholder organisations in higher education.
Strategic plan 2013-2017
The final version of the EQAR Strategic Plan for the years 2013-2017 is now available for public and is published as part of the Annual Report 2012.
The Strategic Plan as well as the Annual Report 2012 were adopted at EQAR's 7th General Assembly, held at Dublin Castle on 13 March 2013.
The 2015 EQAR annual report gathers the contribution to Policy Developments in the EHEA.
The EQAR Register Committee's regular reports give a comprehensive account of its criteria and procedures. They also give an elaborate account of the decision-making process of the Register Committee.
The Registrer Committee published in 2015 a guide helping the transition to the ESG: "Use and interpretation of the ESG".
The European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) is established by the E4 Group (ENQA, EUA, Eurashe, ESU) and was operationnal in 2008. The European ministers in charge of higher education mandated the E4 Group to establish the EQAR at their summit in London (May 2007).
Survey on potential database of external QA reports
EQAR is currently studying the feasibility of a European database of higher education institutions and programmes that have been subject to quality assurance by EQAR-registered agencies, allowing easy access to the corresponding reports and decisions.