We maintain a number of close relationships in Europe through partnerships including:
- The European Higher Education Area (EHEA)
- The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)
- The European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR).
This ensures that QAA Members can continue to benefit as much as possible from engagement with the rest of Europe, such as with student and staff mobility, portability of qualifications, research partnerships and other European programmes. We want to ensure the UK can still influence the policy-making processes in European higher education by continuing to have a seat at the table wherever possible.
Our Chief Executive and the Director for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were part of the UK Ministerial delegations that joined the EHEA Ministerial meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to debate and agree the Communique for the next three years.
The Communique commits all signatory countries to a series of actions relating to quality assurance, enhancement and recognition of academic qualifications, and periods of study within the EHEA so that students, staff and graduates are able to move freely to study, teach and conduct research.
The EHEA establishes a series of working groups to take these actions forward. QAA is represented on some of these including the Quality Forum and the Credit and Qualifications National Correspondents Group.
QAA plays a key role in ENQA and EQAR. We are on the EQAR register and our Chief Executive is a member of the ENQA Board. This ensures we are highly influential in representing the views of UK higher education in key areas such as the revision of the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG). Our close engagement with ENQA and EQAR continues to be a priority to ensure that the ESG and its application are as flexible as possible, and that the different approaches to applying the ESG across the UK are understood.
We liaise regularly with other European quality agencies to share practice and collaborate. Approaches to quality in the UK are highly regarded by other agencies, who regularly ask QAA for advice and support.
We continue our work on the Quality Beyond Boundaries Group with representatives from quality agencies in seven sending and receiving countries. Discussions and activities in 2020-21 have focused on responses to quality assurance during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.