Quality Board for Higher Education in Iceland

Quarterly Update on European Higher Education and Quality Assurance

The Quality Board gathers information quarterly on publications and upcoming events that are disseminated by international organisations in the Higher Education Sector. These may be of interest to those working in Higher Education, especially those working in Quality Assurance. Below, please find descriptions of these publications and events, as well as links to the relevant resources.

Higher education policies

The Higher Education Policy Institute has published a debate paper on the Social Mobility Index, a ranking method based on institutions’ success in boosting the outcomes of a high proportion of students and those institutions that push a smaller proportion of students a bigger distance. The authors then apply the methodology to obtain rankings of English higher education institutions.

Governance

The European University Association has released a report on the  governance models of the European University Alliances.  The report explores the governance set-up of the European University Alliances formed under the EU’s European Universities Initiative and presents a comparative overview of the complex governance structures of these networks. The analysis highlights several challenges that focus on the alliances’ governance sustainability and draws the attention of universities and policy makers to the conditions needed to sustain their financial capacity and ensure increased collaboration and better alignment with institutional strategic priorities.

Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik of the European University Association has in a recent article reported on the future of the European Universities Initiative. As the mid-term evaluation of the first European University Alliances comes up, stakeholders must keep a balanced approach and look at the future of the initiative in a holistic way. This means taking into account political ambitions, systemic considerations, and - first and foremost - the concerns of the universities on the ground. 

Teaching and learning

The Centre for Global Higher Education has released a report on Mapping Pedagogic Practices for and with International Students. Drawing on 45 interviews with teaching staff across the UK in multiple disciplines, institutions and career stages, the paper addresses the question ‘how do we teach international students‘ given the context of rapidly expanding international student recruitment and attention on internationalisation of the curriculum.

The Centre for Global Higher Education has released a report on rethinking student involvement in assessment. It offers a perspective on student involvement in assessment that is informed by critical theory and underpinned by a commitment to greater social justice within and through higher education.

The European University Association has released a report on approaches in learning and teaching to promoting equity and inclusion. The paper presents the results of the work of the 2020 EUA Learning & Teaching Thematic Peer Group on “Approaches in learning and teaching to promoting equity and inclusion” and outlines the main challenges identified in addressing equity and inclusivity and provides recommendations for mitigating these challenges.

Emerging themes in QA

NESET (Network of Experts working on the Social dimension of Education and Training) has published a report on Community engagement in higher education. This report argues (based on a comprehensive review of the literature) that universities play a crucial role in responding to societal needs, and can further enhance their societal impact at local, national and international levels through community engagement.

The MICROBOL project (Micro-credentials linked to the Bologna key commitments) has launched a website to supports ministries and stakeholders in exploring, within the Bologna Process, whether and how the existing Bologna tools can be used and/or need to be adapted to be applicable to microcredentials.

Consequences of COVID-19

The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) has released its first interim report on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decisions and recommendations with the greatest impact on HEIs during the coronavirus pandemic so far have been the recommendation to not take unnecessary trips, the transition to distance teaching, the ban on public gatherings, the holding of the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test and the increase in the number of available openings for students.

The European University Association has released a report on Internal Quality Assurance in times of Covid-19. This report draws on the experiences of a focus group of 39 representatives with responsibilities for internal quality assurance at EUA member institutions. It examines the key challenges faced, the role internal quality assurance played in ensuring that quality standards were maintained and how quality assurance practices supported university communities in their work. 

Events

Recordings of all sessions from the 2021 European Learning & Teaching Forum are now available. This event, hosted by the European University Association, explored how learning and teaching ensures access to the knowledge and skills needed to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals and accomplish the transformations that our societies and economies require.

DORA, the European University Association and SPARC Europe hosted a webinar on Reimagining Academic Career Assessment. The video is available now. These organisations have also together published a case-study report on the topic.

Posted on 19 Apr 2021.

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