Course date

29 June - 3 July, 2020
14 February, 2020
Course Director(s): 

Pusa Nastase

Yehuda Elkana Center for Higher Education, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Matyas Szabo

Yehuda Elkana Center for Higher Education, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Jacques Lanares (to be confirmed)

University of Lausanne, Switzerland

In the context of diversification of higher education systems and their sustainability, and the development of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), quality assurance, quality enhancement and the evaluation of university teaching and learning has been on the higher education policy agendas in Europe for the past twenty or so years. European transnational organizations, including the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE), the European University Association (EUA), the European Association for International Education (EAIE) and others have put quality high in their agendas and produced several handbooks, guidelines and policy papers, such as OECDs Enhancing Higher Education System Performance,  Benchmarking higher education system performance: Conceptual framework and data, or the publications of EUA in cooperation with ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), ESU (the European Students’ Union) and EURASHE.

With the aim to promote institutional quality cultures, the European policy actors encourage higher education institutions to participate in European and national-level policy discussions on internal and external quality assurance systems, and support universities to develop internal quality assurance and enhancement mechanisms. Quality of university education is also considered to be one of the most important indicators of the development of any given national higher education system.

This Summer University course intends to help universities develop their own internal quality assurance and enhancement processes – including institutional self-studies, program-reviews, faculty and course evaluations, quality of management and student services – and coordinate their efforts to ensure that the outcomes and processes of university teaching meet local and international standards simultaneously.

The course will discuss the challenges of and best practices in fulfilling the many purposes of quality assurance at university level, such as accountability, efficiency, control, evaluation, accreditation, measurement and quality improvement.

This one-week course will cover the following topics:

Day 1: Overview of quality in higher education

  • Definitions of quality from various points of view: as excellence, as perfection or consistency, as fitness for purpose, as value for money, as value-added and transformation and empowerment of a student
  • Purposes of quality assurance, processes, related concepts: accountability, control, evaluation, measurement and quality improvement
  • Internal and external quality assurance (differences, similarities, mechanisms)
  • Enhancement-led quality assurance

Day 2: National and European policies and international standards and guidelines of quality assurance and enhancement

  • Quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area
  • European frameworks, European transnational organizations and agencies of quality assurance
  • Quality assurance standard and guidelines for universities
  • Rankings and benchmarking in higher education
  • National quality assurance policies, bodies, and processes of institutional accreditation

Day 3: Institutional approaches to quality assurance

  • Types of institutional procedures of quality assurance and quality enhancement: outcomes-based self-studies, internal and external program reviews, enhancement-led peer-reviews
  • Discussion of existing case studies: best practices, challenges, experiences

Day 4: Quality of research and teaching

  • Faculty evaluation: productivity, quality of publications, services
  • Evaluation of learning spaces
  • Course evaluation (peer-reviews, student questionnaires)
  • Evaluation of teaching, classroom practices (classroom observations, feedback mechanisms)
  • Evaluation and students’ assessment

Day 5: Quality of university management, governance, services, student support

  • Quality cultures, hidden values of universities
  • Aligning management practices to the quality assurance culture
  • Quality management systems, strategies of quality enhancement, transparency, integrity
  • Auditing

By the end of the summer course, participants will become familiar with European and international best practices of quality assurance and enhancement at university level, and be able to design tailor-made quality assurance mechanisms for their own institutions.