In order to achieve its objectives, the project has assessed the role of national quality assurance agencies in evaluating/accrediting CBHE and identify the main obstacles and challenges. The project has analysed and compared examples of good practices from countries with extensive CBHE provision experience. It has also looked into what extent specific criteria and procedures are in place for CBHE as compared to those used in quality assurance of education delivered in-country in order to create a set of principles for European CBHE, compatible with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.
Collection and analysis of examples of good practice and information through online surveys addressed to:
- QA agencies in Europe
Aim: to map the role of national quality assurance agencies, the criteria and processes used in the evaluation of cross-border education; to detect the use and impact of international guidelines on national quality assurance practices of CBHE; to collect information on good practices and challenges.
- QA agencies members of ANQAHE and APQN
Aim: to collect information on the “host country” context and perspective; collect information on good practice of cooperation with European agencies or institutions for the quality assurance and recognition of education delivered by foreign providers/leading to a foreign qualification; detecting needs, concerns and legal conditions for accreditation/quality assurance of imported higher education and recognition requirements.
- CBHE providers in Europe
Aim: investigate their views on the current criteria, standards and procedures in place and their usefulness; collect information on the support needs of HEIs by quality assurance agencies)
The surveys will contain both closed questions (to enable comparison and production of data) as well as open questions, in particular to identify challenges and good practice.
Preparation of country reports and identification of case examples and good practice based on desk research in four European core provider countries (France, Germany, Spain, the UK), as well as Australia. The reports consider in detail the role and processes adopted for cross-border education by quality assurance agencies. National authorities were involved in the preparation of the country reports, in particular insofar as questions related to national requirements, accreditation, funding and so on are concerned.
Semi-structured phone interviews (with European and Australian HEIs, quality assurance agencies and national authorities) to provide additional qualitative information for the country reports, enable identification of good practice examples, and to collect perceptions on the state of quality assurance of CBHE in the given country.
In order to validate the findings gathered through the first two phases, to collect further perspectives and support the development of the final project outcomes, three regional events were organised during the project lifespan:
- European Expert Forum representing all relevant stakeholders from a range of European countries
- Gulf States Regional Forum
- Asian Regional Forum
The two regional forums, in the Gulf Region and in East Asia, disseminated information on the status of quality assurance of CBHE in Europe and reinforced collaborative links and dialogue between agencies in Europe and in the host regions.
The project outcomes and outputs were disseminated at the final conference, which gathered participants among practitioners of quality assurance, providers of CBHE, policy makers, and stakeholders. Overall, the conference gathered participants from 38 countries worldwide.