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On 4 March, the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) was formally launched in a move designed to improve the quality of European higher education and to promote greater student mobility. Under the mandate of Education Ministers from the 46 countries taking part in the Bologna Process, the new register has been established by the “E4 Group” comprising the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Students Union (ESU), the European University Association (EUA) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE).
The new register (EQAR) aims to provide clear and objective information about trustworthy quality assurance agencies that are working in Europe. It will present a means for higher education institutions (where national regulations permit) to choose between different agencies on the register.
Inclusion in the EQAR, which is voluntary, will be based on compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance adopted by European Education Ministers in 2005. A Committee – composed of independent experts nominated by the E4 Group, BusinessEurope, Education International, together with five government observers – will be responsible for admissions to the register. The register will be accepting applications from the summer of 2008 and information will be publicly accessible through a web-based tool.