AQAS e.V. Mission statement
We understand ourselves as an institution supported by higher education institutions and academic associations. We are devoted to quality assurance and quality development of both academic studies and teaching in higher education institutions. Our main task is the quality assessment of degree programmes and of academic institutions.
Accreditation procedures advance the diversity of degree programmes, assure quality and create transparency. Consequently, they contribute to their international comparability and recognition and provide future students with reliable information. Through accreditation procedures we assess academic quality and labour market orientation. This applies to a broad variety of degree programmes and to different types of higher education institutions. Thus, we advance the further development of higher education and contribute to an improvement of quality.
AQAS e.V. is one of the institutions involved in the creation of the European Higher Education Area and makes a contribution to the development of reliable and comparable systems of quality assurance in both national and international contexts.
Resulting from our Mission statement we believe that:
- The responsibility for the quality of a study programme or an institution lies with the Higher Education Institution while we take responsibility for the quality of the external review process.
- An external review procedure enables the Higher Education Institution to demonstrate the fulfilment of defined standards, while it also contributes to the further development of quality.
How does AQAS e.V. support Higher Education Institutions?
AQAS e.V. offers information and support to the Higher Education Institution at all steps of an accreditation procedure. We offer free consultation concerning the accreditation process at the AQAS office in Cologne before starting a procedure. To give guidance during a procedure, AQAS e.V. provides for example guidelines for preparing an application for programme accreditation or for an institutional accreditation. The agencies give continuous feedback during all steps of a procedure.
Panels of experts are individually chosen for each accreditation procedure. The experts are nominated by the respective AQAS accreditation commission. Together with the Higher Education Institution AQAS defines the profile of each panel of experts and prepares the experts for their tasks. For a better preparation we provide the Higher Education Institution with preliminary statements of the experts before a site visit takes place. A consultant will accompany the panel of experts during their site visit and prepare the group for their task. A consultant will also help in the process of report writing. The report is sent to the HEI for comments before it is forwarded to the respective accreditation commission. Once the accreditation procedure is finished, AQAS informs the HEI about the results. If required, appeal procedures are in place at all stages in the procedure.
AQAS e.V. strictly differentiates content-related consulting from accreditation. For an accreditation procedure this implies that AQAS only provides procedural consultation concerning the accreditation process. Content-related consulting, on the other hand, is not part of the services of AQAS e.V.