EKKA earned a positive ENQA review result
In autumn 2017, EKKA underwent an assessment by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
On the basis of a thorough Self-Evaluation Report as well as interviews conducted in Tallinn, the review panel compiled an Assessment report and the ENQA Board adopted in March 2018 the decision to renew EKKA’s ENQA membership until February 2023.
EKKA was assessed according to part 2 and 3 of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) and the results according to the assessment panel were as follows (on a scale of four: Fully compliant – substantially compliant – partially compliant – not compliant):
ESG Part 3: Standards and guidelines for quality assurance agencies
3.1: ACTIVITIES, POLICY, AND PROCESSES FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE – Fully Compliant
3.2: OFFICIAL STATUS – Fully Compliant
3.3: INDEPENDENCE – Fully Compliant
3.4: THEMATIC ANALYSIS – Substantially Compliant
3.5: RESOURCES – Fully Compliant
ESG Part 2: Standards and guidelines for external quality assurance
2.1: CONSIDERATION OF INTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE – Substantially Compliant
2.2: DESIGNING METHODOLOGIES FIT FOR PURPOSE – Fully Compliant
2.3: IMPLEMENTING PROCESSES – Fully Compliant
2.4: PEER-REVIEW EXPERTS – Fully Compliant
2.5: CRITERIA FOR OUTCOMES – Fully Compliant
2.6: REPORTING – Fully Compliant
2.7: COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS – Fully Compliant
Among other commendations, the review panel stated in the assessment report “The evident high level of cohesion, the quality of leadership and the professionalism, responsiveness, flexibility and work ethic of all EKKA employees particularly impressed the review panel” as well as “The review panel commends the leadership role of EKKA in supporting the international development of good practice in quality assurance.”
The only standard, for which according to the ENQA Board EKKA’s review outcome was not the highest possible, pertained to requirements to the internal quality assurance at higher education institutions. This shortcoming has already been eliminated in the new institutional accreditation system, which gives particular emphasis to quality culture and internal quality assurance at the higher education institution.
Furthermore, the review panel recommended a learner-centredness requirement to be introduced to the guidelines for initial assessment. Although the study programme has not yet started admissions, the assessment should look at the paradigm for learning and teaching chosen by the higher education institution. EKKA deems this a good suggestion that we intend to implement I n the future.
On top of that, the review panel recommends EKKA to provide training to members of the Higher Education Assessment Council in the field of quality assurance in higher education. As the council members bear a lot of responsibility, the review panel deems that it is EKKA’s task to support their development, taking into account their previous experience, educational background and the like.
Most of the recommendations made by the panel only reaffirms the relevance of EKKA’s chosen path for future developments. One of those would be the thematic assessments envisioned in the new assessment concept that will result in analytical reports and sharing of best practices.
A positive review result also means a renewal of EKKA membership in EQAR.