Recent trends in quality assurance in the limelight

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PORTO – A critical discussion on recent developments in quality assurance in Europe and the USA was among the main aims of the conference “Recent Trends in Quality Assurance“ that was held in Porto (Portugal) from 11 to 13 October.

The European Students’ Union (ESU), represented by Lilliya Ivanova, expressed the student perspective at the event which was organised by A3ES and Cipes. The conference provided a platform for debate on the positive and negative sides of the Quality Enhancement approach, the OECD AHELO project, the U-Map and U-Multirank initiative and the risk-management approach.

The other main speakers of the conference were Alberto Amaral, Guy Neave, Don Westerheijden, Fabrice Hénard, Anthony McClaran, Colin Raban, Murray Saunders, Bjørn Stensaker, Judith Eaton, Maria Lemaitre, Maria Rosa and Achim Hopbach.

The involvement of students and their role in quality assurance has been discussed since 2001, when student were recognised as competent and constructive partners in shaping the EHEA (Communiqué 2003). In 2003 ministers included a provision that by 2005 national quality assurance systems should include a reference for student participation at the evaluation of programmes (Communiqué 2003). Furthermore, the involvement of ESU within the so-called E4 group (ESU, ENQA, EURASHE, EUA) has been a key catalyst in promoting student participation.