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How the higher education institution publishes information on degree pr ogram mes

Part II: Agency reports

II.1 National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of

1.6. How the higher education institution publishes information on degree pr ogram mes

The higher education institution must have mechanisms in place to ensure that updated information on degrees and programmes is published periodically.

The higher education institution must:

1.6.1. Have mechanisms in place to obtain information on the running of degrees and programmes.

1.6.2. Determine the established procedure for informing stakeholders (including the different levels of the higher education institution’s organisational structure) about:

• The programmes it offers.

• Goals and planning of degrees.

• Student admission and guidance policies.

• Teaching, learning and assessment and evaluation methodologies (including work experience).

• Mobility.

• Appeals, complaints and suggestions.

• Recruitment, evaluation, promotion and recognition of academic staff and administration and service staff.

• Services and the use of physical resources.

• Teaching outcomes (in terms of learning, graduate employment/

labour market outcomes and the satisfaction of the various stakeholders).

1.6.3. Define how the monitoring, periodic review and continuous en hance - ment of public information provided to stakeholders are carried out.

1.6.4. Determine the procedures for regulating and guaranteeing decision- making processes associated with the publishing of information on the programmes and degrees offered by the higher education institution.

Quality Audit in Europe 2013

4 Audit procedure

The institution can ask the agency for a preliminary meeting (including a visit) to check the level of implementation of the internal quality assurance system.

Alternatively, they can request a direct audit process to evaluate their internal quality assurance systems.

The guidelines assembled in the forthcoming ANECA guide will involve a variable number of site visits, depending on how many institutions within the same university are asking for certification.

The stages that ANECA considers as standard are:

• Self-assessment/evaluation report

• Peer review/site visit

• Peer report

• Certification/publication of the report (in progress)

• Follow-up (in progress)

During the implementation phase of the internal quality assurance systems defined by the universities, the agency will assess the implementation of the systems and the recommendations contained in the assessment reports prepared during the design phase of the said systems.

This phase is currently being tested as a pilot project.

In order to prepare for the site visit, ANECA’s audit team will plan the places they wish to visit and people they wish to interview, in cooperation with the university.

Follow-up visits will only be mandatory in the audit programme if the university cannot demonstrate a high level of internal quality assurance system implementation. Otherwise, an annual self-assessment report will be sufficient.

To select auditors, ANECA will create a database of experts in audit- ing internal quality assurance systems with experience in audit processes, all of whom will have to pass specific auditing training given by the agency.

The national and international evaluators will be selected by the agencies following a number of criteria, in order to guarantee a high degree of objectivity and impartiality in the reports they draft.

José Antonio Pérez de La Calle, Esther Balboa

The auditors will be selected by the agencies that develop the pro- gramme, ensuring that there are no conflicts of interest between the evalu- ators and the universities whose internal quality assurance systems are being evaluated.

5 External assessment / effects and impact

Periodically, ANECA and the other agencies involved in the audit process will carry out meta-evaluation processes, basically consisting of self- evaluation, with the support of the universities. They will also carry out cross-evaluations with other agencies, in order to check that the results are homogeneous.

The information collected during these activities will be made avail - able for external panels of evaluators, and will also be used by the agency to improve its own processes.

ANECA believes that universities appreciate the way that ANECA ‘takes care’ of them by asking how the methodology could be improved, providing support during the process and asking about the added value of the process they undergo.

It is still too soon to have a clear idea about the impact of the audit pro- gramme, but ANECA hopes that a positive result will be visible in three to five years.

6 Current and future challenges and developments

Currently, the main challenge for the Spanish audit programme is the progressive implementation of internal quality assurance systems in Spanish universities. A good level of participation has been achieved in the design phase, but naturally that is not enough. ANECA is now trying to develop a model to certify implementation, considering not only the benefits of any internal quality assurance system, but also those arising from interaction with quality assessment in study programme assessment, in order to avoid repeated evaluation of the same issues.

The first task for the Agency at this moment in time is therefore to finish, publish and promote the new guide related to the certification of the

Quality Audit in Europe 2013

implementation stage, and then begin the pilot project to evaluate the imple- mentation of the internal quality assurance systems.

Finally, in the future ANECA anticipates that a new context will be created, where universities and agencies all over Europe can easily share their data, and learn from each other´s best practices. The QAN is, of course, a good example of that.

II.2 Agency for Quality Assurance and