AQAS congratulates its membership universities, RWTH University Aachen, the University of Bonn and the Free University Berlin (in an university association), to be under the selected universities in the framework of the “Excellence Strategy” programme, under the “Universities of Excellence” funding line. “On one hand”, states AQAS-Chairman Prof. Dr Eberhard Menzel, “the selection of these universities contributes to the fortification of the German academic landscape on an international level, on the other hand it can be seen as sign of excellent internal and external quality assurance of these universities”.
This week, AQAS joined a training session for a delegation from Huaihua University, China in Berlin. The delegation visits Germany to learn about the German higher education system and to exchange in a dialogue about innovative teaching methods. Dr. Dorothee Groeger, consultant at AQAS, contributed to the visit by providing an overview of external quality assurance procedures in Germany and worldwide.
AQAS welcomes the mutual exchange about higher education with universities worldwide and hopes that the delegation returns home safely with manifold impressions and new perspectives.
UNESCO and DAAD provided an online and face to face course for staff working in quality assurance at universities and at external QA organisations from six Southern African countries. Ms. Doris Herrmann, Managing Director at AQAS, felt honoured to be one of the senior experts who functioned as facilitators during the IIEP online course as well as during the conference and training which took place in Botswana.
Ms. Herrmann appreciated the high-level discussions between the African and European senior experts with the participants of the course. It became obvious that although some of the aspects discussed were specific for African Higher Education systems, many challenges are similar in all parts of the world. Some of the questions discussed were: How should the continental African Standards and Guidelines be aligned with regional QA criteria? Which cornerstones are important for implementing national external QA systems? Which benefits and disadvantages do the qualitative versus quantitative QA approaches have?
All participants who successfully completed the training received their certificates in a ceremony at the end of the course. The participants considered the training to be helpful for their everyday business: “We did learn a lot and benefitted immensely. We look forward to further courses and collaboration in the near future. The experience we had during the said event was awesome.
Being one of the pioneers of the European Approach, the University of Eastern Finland and the consortium partner universities have considered suitable EQAR-registered agencies throughout Europe to accredit the Erasmus Mundus joint degree programme “European Forestry”. The procedure which has included international experts and the positive decision by the AQAS Standing Commission show the efficiency and applicability of this new tool on European level. We want to congratulate the consortium of the programme on this very good result!
The first AQAS accreditation in the United Arab Emirates was awarded last week to AL Ain University of Science and Technology for the programmes of the College of Communication and Media. The certificate was handed as part of a ceremony in presence of the Rector, Chancellor, Deans as well as councilors to the minister of education. This accreditation underlines the achievements of the College and AAU in upgrading the scientific level of its education. Once more congratulations to the College and AAU!
In last week’s meeting the Standing Commission decided positively on the accreditation status of the Bachelor study programme “Mass Communication and Media” (with the specializations in journalism, advertising and public relations) offered by the Al-Ain University of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates. With this decision the Standing Commission confirms the essential compliance of the study programme with the requirements of the AQAS criteria and thus with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). Our congratulations go to the management of Al-Ain University, Professor Ghaleb El Refae, AAU’s president and Dr Noor Atatreh, Chancellor of the university, and Professor Abdulrahman Dheyab Abdullah, dean of the College of Communication and Media, for this great achievement.
Supporting societal engagement of higher education will be the theme of EQAF 2019 that will take place from 21-23 November in Berlin. The European Quality Assurance Forum is the largest conference on quality assurance in Higher Education in Europe and the call for contribution is out now. Taking place in Germany the forum offers a great chance for German institutions and AQAS member organizations to present their societal engagement. Details of the call can be found here.
In January a group of experts and two of our consultants visited both campuses of Al Ain University of Science and Technology (United Arab Emirates). Discussing the quality of education in the Department of Communication and Media the group held several meetings with AAU representatives including the President and Dean, the heads of programmes, teaching staff and the students of the college. Students of the college produced this short video showing the welcome ceremony and discussions during the visit at AAU.
AQAS membership is growing: the number of member institutions increased to 94 as proclaimed during the meeting of the general assembly of AQAS. The general assembly represents all member institutions of AQAS and meets annually. AQAS welcomes, among others, the first international member institution, Istanbul Gelişim University (IGU). Vice rector of IGU, Prof. Nail Öztaş, gave an informative talk during the meeting about quality assurance procedures at foreign universities with a case example of IGU. He provided valuable insights into accreditation procedures as a quality assurance tool from the point of view of the university leadership.
Furthermore, the general assembly carried out one of its responsibilities by electing parts of the Management Board of AQAS: Prof. Dr. Adriaan Dorresteijn (Justus Liebig-Universität Gießen) was elected treasurer; Prof. Dr. Sylvia Heuchemer (Technische Hochschule Köln) was re-elected as auditor for the official examination of AQAS’ business and financial records. AQAS is delighted to welcome a new member to the Management Board: Prof. Prof. Dr. Stefan Herzig, rector of the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, was newly elected by the general assembly.
After the managing directors had reported about recent developments in the national accreditation system, Colin Tück, Director of the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) provided a view from the outside by outlining the perspectives of EQAR on the German accreditation system. His talk constituted the closing session to a successful assembly meeting.
(Professor Nail Öztaş)