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QAA hosts Western Balkan quality agencies in Scotland

Date: March 27 - 2024

A delegation of quality agencies from the Western Balkans visited QAA in Scotland last week to learn more about our approach to quality assurance and enhancement. The visit was hosted in partnership with Heriot-Watt University on their Edinburgh campus.

The delegation included representatives from the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Kosovo Accreditation Agency; the National Centre for Recognition of Diplomas (NARIC) Kosovo; the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education in Montenegro; the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC); and the Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe (ERI SEE).

Across the two-day visit, delegates and QAA colleagues discussed a range of topics, including internal quality assurance processes, approach to thematic analysis, management of quality review and our experience of review by the European Association for Quality Assurance (ENQA). Heriot-Watt University also presented to the delegation on their approach to quality assurance and enhancement, and how this interacts with external quality review.

Speaking about the visit, QAA’s Deputy CEO, Alastair Delaney said: 'This was an excellent opportunity for QAA to strengthen relationships with our partner quality agencies across Europe. Hosting study visits like this one help to underpin trust in the quality of UK education and cements QAA and the UK’s commitment to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).'

Ms Tina Šarić, ERI SEE Director, said on behalf of the participants: 'We very much appreciate the willingness of QAA and Heriot-Watt University to host our delegation. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about the enhancement-led process that is integrated into the work of QAA but also in the higher education community, and to observe how this approach regulates and governs all the related activities. Also, the effective and all-encompassing partnership relationship between QAA and stakeholders, with their joint commitment to quality, that was presented to us, is something we very much want to explore further in our contexts. The study visit was a great source of learning and inspiration for us!'

The study visit was funded by ERI SEE, RCC and ENQA.