Education ministers to discuss quality assurance at universities in May summit

The European Association for Quality Assurance is proposing a European register of quality assurance agencies to ensure better mutual recognition of degrees across Europe.

ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance) has spelled out details of a European Register Committee to decide on admissions to a European register of quality assurance agencies covering public, private and thematic agencies operating or planning to operate in Europe.

The committee would comprise nine members nominated by EURASHE (the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education), ESIB (the National Union of Students in Europe), EUA (European University Association), ENQA and organisations representing European employers, unions and professional organisations plus government representatives. It would meet twice a year.

One of its first tasks will be to set up an independent and credible appeals system for those who have been refused or cannot accept a place on the register.

Quality assurance, which is currently the preserve of national agencies, will be one of the core issues at the upcoming summit of European education ministers in Bergen, Norway, on 19-20 May. Education comes under the subsidiarity principle so the EU plays second fiddle to national governments in this area.

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