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Recently, a new support document has been published that is designed to help higher education institutions, Quality Assurance (QA) agencies and other stakeholders that engage in or consider engaging in cross-border QA activities within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
EURASHE, ENQA, ESU, EUA and EQAR, in the collaborative publication, call attention to “key issues that should be taken into consideration to ensure the success of cross-border QA activities”.
As a consequence of EHEA development though the Bologna Process, of increasing cross-border exchanges and cooperation in higher education, the quality assurance also evolved towards inter-countries collaboration.
In 2015, in Yerevan, the ministers of EHEA countries committed to allowing “higher education institutions to use a suitable EQAR registered agency for their external quality assurance process, respecting the national arrangements for the decision making on QA outcomes”.
Strengthen the institutions’ internationalisation policies and develop their collaboration with other foreign institutions, help improve the recognition of their qualifications, learning opportunities to improve their own processes and methodologies, possibility to expand their national and international profile and gain prestige are among the benefits of the cross-border QA1.
The Key Considerations publication is based on and complements the ”What is the rationale for engaging in cross-border QA? Which QA agency is fit for purpose for this specific case? What sort of preparations support successful cross-border QA? How are the peer-review experts selected and trained? What are the complaints, appeals and follow-up processes?
These are some of the questions the cross-border QA experts and education institutions have to find answers and solutions. Only that the authors stressed that all the questions formulated in the Key Considerations for Cross-Border Quality Assurance in the EHEA publication should be considered before engaging in cross-border QA.