EUROPE: EUA examines university quality culture

The European University Association has launched a new project to examine the internal 'quality culture' within universities across Europe, and how this has developed within the framework of the Bologna process.

In a statement last week, the association said the quality of European higher education was at the heart of the Bologna reforms and the development of the European Higher Education Area.

As part of the reforms, European governments had committed to supporting the development of quality assurance at the university, national and European level. In 2005, education ministers from 46 countries adopted the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.

But there had been no specific study to look at the impact of the quality guidelines, how they had been adopted at the university level, and how they fitted into the overall quality culture of the institution.

Together with its partners, the German Rectors' Conference and QAA Scotland, the EUA project will analyse the development of quality culture in higher education institutions across Europe and provide an overall picture of the internal quality assurance processes in place across the 46 Bologna process countries.

It will also seek to identify and disseminate good practices that apply to internal quality assurance.

The first step of the project - supported by the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme - will be based around a survey of European universities and higher education institutions.