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)
Today AQAS representatives met with colleagues of the Consejo Nacional de Educación (CNED) in Santiago de Chile. As cooperation between Chilenen and German universities is growing cooperation is also required in the field of quality assurance. As both countries faced legal changes in the field of external QA lately, we discussed new opportunities in the field of accreditation of teacher education, institutional reviews as well as expert training.
AQAS is happy to announce a strategic partnership with the newly founded accreditation agency AAC in Curaçao. Dr. Aignald Panneflek, the president of the Academic Board of AAC, and the CEO of AQAS, Doris Herrmann, signed a memorandum of understanding in Willemstad. Both agencies agreed to offer joint accreditation procedures in South and Middle America in the future. Such a combined process will offer institutions the opportunity to acquire a double accreditation on the basis of a single procedure. All the respective frameworks and standards intended to safeguard the quality of the accreditation process will of course be fully considered in a joint process. Universities could therefore safe effort and costs incurred by two separate accreditation procedures.
Only happy faces were seen when Professor Eberhard Menzel, the president of the board of AQAS, handed over the certificates for the accreditation of two programmes offered by the University of Ghana.
The Master programme „Seed Science and Technology“ and the PhD programme „Plant Breeding“ have been founded in cooperation with the World Bank and are part of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project (ACE). The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) started the programmes in 2008 and 2015, respectively and decided to approach AQAS with the request to carry out an accreditation procedure which is based on the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). AQAS invited a panel of experts consisting of specialists from Germany, Ghana and Spain to assess the programmes on the basis of the internationally recognized criteria.
The panel came to the conclusion for the Master programme that „[t]hrough the excellent combination of seed technology and seed business and management issues, the programme covers a well-chosen area that is scientifically up to date and has a high relevance and attractiveness for the labour market in West Africa, and by extension to the entire African continent“. Furthermore, the experts were impressed by the „outstanding“ success of the PhD programme.
The director of WACCI, Professor Eric Danquah, emphasized that the aim of this accreditation procedure was not to gain a certificate of international recognition but to improve the quality of the education for the benefit of the young generation in Ghana. WACCI is striving to be the best centre for crop improvement in Africa and an accreditation is an important step to support this goal.
Professor Menzel pointed out that […]
AQAS e.V. welcomes its first international member institution, Istanbul Gelişim University (IGU). The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of IGU, Abdulkadir Gayretli, and AQAS Chairman Prof. Dr. Eberhard Menzel signed a membership agreement as part of a visit by IGU representatives to AQAS in Cologne. Against the background of an increasing demand for international accreditation outside Germany, AQAS‘ member institutions decided several years ago on offering international clients the chance of joining AQAS as a member. IGU is non-profit higher education institution in Turkey running Bachelor- and Master programmes in a vast area of subjects, such as economics, administrative and social sciences, fine arts as well as engineering and architecture. In 2017, AQAS accredited several programmes of IGU on the basis of the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) in which the experts welcomed the approach of IGU to align its programmes with international standards. On signing the agreement, Prof. Menzel gave the following statement: „I am pleased that the wish of IGU for a deeper and long-lasting cooperation has been fulfilled by their membership with AQAS“.
Prof. Dr. Eberhard Menzel, Chairman of AQAS, and Abdulkadir Gayretli, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Istanbul Gelişim University
AQAS staff meets with representatives of Istanbul Gelişim University
In March 2018 the private Istanbul Gelisim University (IGU) celebrated the successful international accreditation of nearly 40 Bachelor programmes across a range of academic disciplines. The accreditation – based on the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) aims to support the internationalization of IGU´s educational offers and shows the competitiveness of the institution. The certificate ceremony concluded a long process in which international expert panels visited the different departments of IGU and discussed the quality of its programmes as well as the learning and teaching experience of students. During the ceremony AQAS Chairman Prof. Dr. Eberhard Menzel highlighted the great achievement of IGU as a relatively new Higher Education Institution in Turkey and expressed the expectation that this alignment with European standards will facilitate the future cooperation with German institutions.