GLOBAL: Additions to quality assurance register

Seventeen quality assurance agencies have now been listed on the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education, EQAR. In addition to nine agencies that had already been placed on the register, applications from a further eight agencies were accepted earlier this month.

The new agencies are the AGAE (Spain), AHPGS (Germany), AQA (Austria), ARACIS (Romania), HETAC (Ireland), IUQB (Ireland), NEAA (Bulgaria) and the VLIR (Belgium).

EQAR was established in 2008 as part of the Bologna process. To be included, quality assurance agencies have to show they work in line with agreed European principles, set out in the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance. EQAR's Register Committee - an independent body consisting of quality assurance experts nominated by European stakeholder organisations of higher education institutions, students, quality assurance agencies and the social partners - decides on applications for inclusion.

Colin Tück, Acting Director of EQAR, said: "I am grateful that we could accept eight additional quality agencies on the register. The review process, where all applicants are carefully scrutinised, is a thorough procedure.

"This is crucial to ensure that EQAR is a meaningful and reliable information tool that allows students, institutions and the wider public to identify credible and legitimate agencies that perform quality reviews of higher education institutions and programmes in Europe."