Students are rarely asked about their views on quality in relation to higher education reforms. This ongoing ESU project tries to change this by implementing a Quest for Quality for Students (QUEST).
We are looking for a Project Manager

The European Students’ Union is looking for a creative and dynamic tea read more

A joint vision for Secondary and Higher Education for All in Europe

BRUSSELS - Together, Education International (EI), the Organising Bure read more

ESU strongly condemns Turkey’s purge of the academic community

BRUSSELS – Following the failed coup attempt, the Turkish authorities  read more

Call for Communications Intern

The European Students’ Union is looking for a creative and dynamic tea read more

ESU stands in solidarity with UK students in expressing disappointment over Brexit outcome

The European Students Union (ESU) would like to express our sincerest  read more


"Lack of true student involvement"

At the moment, there are several policy instruments in place in Europe that support improving the quality of higher education on an ongoing basis. However, according to the European Students' Union (ESU), true involvement of students is still clearly lacking in this area. The recently started ESU project dubbed 'QUEST' intends to change this situation.

As part of the project, ESU has created an interactive website for use of students, student representatives and other stakeholders in quality assurance and enhancement of higher education. All deliverables of the project are also available on this website. Please click here to visit the website.

The QUEST project in brief

ESU launched the QUEST project in 2010 and it will deliver its final results in 2013. It aims at defining a concept of quality that gives a better answer to the learner-centred high quality model of higher education students in Europe. This idea of developing a student based concept for quality can change the field for quality assurance by transcending the discussion surrounding the topic and information provisions to reflect the views of students as the main benefactors rather than simply as any other actor. ESU organised a consultation conference on the QUEST project held in Malta from 29 November to 1 December 2012. A report explaining the outcomes and discussions of that meeting can be accessed here.


The QUEST project is co-financed with help from the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme.


The project "Quest for Quality for Students-QUEST” stresses that students should also be able to control the sources of information that they use to make their choices. Thus, ESU has aimed at increasing the transparency of the process. If Europe is seriously committed to increase students' mobility, it needs to back it up with a clear policy that is drawn directly from the students' perspectives.

Change perceptions

The main innovation of the project, being a pan-European survey on students' opinions, will definitely change perceptions of policy makers and contribute strongly to building a common European Higher Education Area by promoting availability of new modes of information and more evidence based policy making.

Project aims and objectives

The main aim of the project is to identify students’ views on quality of higher education in a pan-European perspective. This aim is subdivided into four objectives:

- to identify what information students think is important that higher education institutions provide to them and compare this to existing modes of information provisions. Create student centred models of information provisions that are meaningful and based on the identified students’ needs;

- to compare and see how the students’ views on the already existing and implicit transparency tools, like quality assurance (with European Standards and Guidelines and UNESCO/OECD guidelines and EQAR and Qrossroads) as well as various information databases, complement the findings. To identify the strengths and weaknesses of those and identify how quality defined through students' eyes could be reached and assured;

- to develop practical capacity building tools to strengthen and empower meaningful participation of students in quality enhancement and assurance processes;

 - to provide ESU and student unions with the capacity to multiply the knowledge and support European cooperation in quality assurance at national levels and to strengthen ESU’s networks of student experts on quality assurance.

Main target groups

The main target groups of the QUEST project are students, in particular student representatives in national and local student unions (about 300 representatives), national associations of students and student leaderships, academics, especially quality assurance staff at higher education institutions, and stakeholders in higher education: organisations/associations working on quality assurance, higher education institutions (HEI), associations, experts on quality issues and policy-makers.

Project Partners:

The QUEST project is carried out by ESIB (ESU) together with three other partners that you can read more information about below:

1. The Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Aracis (Romania). Aracis is a quality assurance agency established in 2006, as the lawful successor of the National Countil for Academic Evaluation and Accreditation.

2. National Union of Students Scotland - student participation in quality Scotland - sparqs (UK). Sparqs is a national development agency that assists universities, colleges and students' associations to define, share, improve and create practices and cultures that successfully embed partnerships between students and their institutions that will enhance the quality of the learning experience.

3.  Freie Zusammenschluss von StudentInnenschaften – fzs (Germany). The free association of local student union bodies (fzs) is the non-partisan umbrella organisation of student representatives in Germany. With about 80 member student unions, fzs represents approximately one million students in Germany.

QUEST in the media and reports

- Click here to access all publications of the QUEST project

- Click here to access all press articles published about QUEST

Past events

31 October 2013, Brussels, Belgium - QUEST Final Conference

29 November - 1 December 2012, Valletta, Malta - QUEST Consultation Conference

4 - 8 July 2012, Bucharest, Romania - QUEST Workshop 3

8 - 12 February 2012, Brussels, Belgium - QUEST Workshop 2

13 - 16 July 2011, Edinburgh, UK - QUEST Workshop 1


32nd European Students' Convention
30th September - 2nd October
Bratislava, Slovakia
The 32nd European Students' Convention will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia, from 30th September to 2nd October 2016.
RSS Feed

Popular Tags


“Rights and duties of a student in Poland – Training the Trainers Conference”

Fri 19 Aug 2016

The 3rd National Conference „Rights and duties of a student – training the trainers” is being held on 25th – 28th of Aug (read more)

Call for Project Officer

Wed 17 Aug 2016

The European Students’ Union is looking for a creative and dynamic team player to fill the position of Project Officer a (read more)

We are looking for a Project Manager

Sat 13 Aug 2016

The European Students’ Union is looking for a creative and dynamic team player to fill the position of Project Manager a (read more)

A joint vision for Secondary and Higher Education for All in Europe

Tue 26 Jul 2016

BRUSSELS - Together, Education International (EI), the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU), and (read more)



Bologna With Student Eyes 2012

ESU's Bologna With Student Eyes Report 2012 provides an independent analysis of Bologna implementation, and a critical appraisal of the state of play ten years after the reform programme's launch.



BM70: Student representation in working groups for new law on higer education

ESU fully supports the Serbian Student Union (SKONUS) in their efforts to achieve student representations in all working groups responsible for drafting the new Law of Higher Education in Serbia. We strongly believe that students should be considered as partners, or even key stakeholder when discussing all issues of higher education.

BM70: Labour market measures affecting students

During the last decade, students’ social profile has changed a lot. Democratisation of higher education (HE) allowed economically disadvantaged people to access higher education institutions (HEI). However, social protection systems (grants, health insurance etc…) did not follow proportionally.

BM70: German Federal Constitutional Court about Quality Assurance

As of 17th March, the German Federal Constitutional Court decided the actual implementation of the German Quality Assurance System contradicts the constitution and therefore changes have to be made till end of 2017.

BM70: Freedom dies with security

Since the terrorist attacks that have taken place in Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016, we could observe a great feeling of insecurity and fear. Governments all over Europe and beyond started to use the situation to expand and enforce security measures and therefore restrict personal freedom of citizens. In the name of counterterrorism, they lowered public scrutiny of security authorities and strengthened intelligence agencies.

BM70: European Students urge the Spanish Government to establish a grant system based on equality

The European Students have reported several times before on the attacks of the Spanish Government to the equality of its Higher Education System and to the access to education. The most significant attack has been the increase in tuition fees and the cuts of the Spanish Student Grant System, removing access to financial support as a right.

BM70: European Students stand behind Colombian students’ and defend their right to speech

During the 1st of May demonstrations in Medellin Colombia, 4 student activists were detained by the national police when returning home from the march. The arrest was conducted in unclear circumstances and with apparent abuses of the minimum judicial guarantees.

BM70: ESU welcomes Council of Europe Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture

ESU very much welcomes the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture developed by the Council of Europe. This new educational tool will be key in helping people teach, learn and measure democratic values. We believe that by setting out a number of key attributes – whether values, attitudes, skills or knowledge/understanding – and explaining how these can be defined and measured we can better promote citizenship education.

BM70: Autonomy and Independence of the student movement in Slovenia is under attack

In April 2016, one of the Slovenian parliamentary parties has proposed changes to the law on Student Community without any previous notice or consultation with the representatives of students in Slovenia. ESU and its’ member unions believe that changes to the basic law that deals with the framework of the student movement in Slovenia without any consultation with the students is unacceptable.

BM70: An equitable grant system for all students

ESU stands up for a socially equitable and inclusive higher education system. It is crucial that everyone who is striving for a higher education also has the financial possibility to achieve this goal, regardless of their individual financial situation.

BM70: Bergen Declaration – uniting for a global student voice

The Bergen Declaration was drafted and agreed on by the participating NUSes from all over the World during the Global Student Voice seminar in Bergen. The declaration will be translated in the following weeks, and made available to endorsements from each of your individual unions.