Sharing Practice in Enhancing and Assuring Quality – SPEAQ
|Duration||01 October 2011 – 30 September 2013|
|Co- financed by||European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP)
Sub-programme Erasmus – Action Erasmus Multilateral Projects
This two years project wants to support sharing of practice in quality assurance across disciplines and institutions and enhance understanding of the ways in which quality is experienced and interpreted within the university. Indeed, the project wants to develop strategies for connecting the three main groups involved in quality in university: teachers, students and quality managers.
The project sets out to address a real concern that quality assurance can become ritualised rather than embedded in learning and teaching practice.
The general aim of this project is to connect three key quality circles: teacher, student and quality manager in order to share and enhance quality assurance practice in higher education.
Within this general aim, the specific objectives of the project are to:
1. Create an interactive workshop to facilitate discussion between teachers (and teaching related staff), quality managers and students in order to share practice and to explore new ways in which quality assurance can be carried out within the university context
2. Collect data on stakeholder views of quality assurance and enhancement within their higher education experiences to elaborate and inform the nature of the three quality circles under consideration in this project
3. Evaluate, through small development projects, how new approaches can be implemented in practice
4. Provide examples, guides and activities to support others in replicating this project which will enhance and extend the resources in the LanQua Toolkit. This is the outcome of the “Language Network for Quality Assurance” project, led by the University of Southampton in 2007-2010, which explored issues of quality in the context of the discipline of languages
5. Disseminate the project outcomes and raise the profile of practice-based approaches to quality assurance through presentation of evidence via major EU channels such as ENQA, EUA and ESU
6. Contribute to the debate on quality assurance in higher education through publication in an academic journal, e.g. Quality in Higher Education, and presentations at key quality conferences.
SPEAQ objectives will be achieved through in-depth projects carried out in universities in nine different national contexts. These projects will collect data through student focus groups, interviews with quality managers and meetings with subject teaching teams. They will develop a practice-sharing workshop and they will initiate and evaluate small development projects exploring new approaches to quality assurance practice.
SPEAQ outcomes will be:
1. Materials to support institutions in developing a more inclusive approach to quality assurance
2. Data on student and staff perspectives on quality assurance
3. Case studies from institutional quality projects
4. An updated version of the LanQua Toolkit in English, French, German and Spanish. As above mentioned, LanQua toolkit is the outcome of the “Language Network for Quality Assurance” project, led by the University of Southampton in 2007-2010, which explored issues of quality in the context of the discipline of languages
5. A journal article about the project findings
6. Presentations at two major EU quality conferences
These outcomes will seed new ideas on how to approach quality assurance within the institution providing evidence of how bringing together stakeholders in the quality process can lead to a wider and more meaningful interpretation of quality assurance. These outcomes will be practical and replicable strategies to support universities foster a more inclusive approach to quality assurance and the results of the development projects will allow others to learn from and to replicate this work as well as contribute to a quality dialogue which involves interactions between the players at all levels.
SPEAQ will be building on the work of the University of Southampton led LanQua project (Language Network for Quality Assurance) which explored issues of quality in the context of the discipline of languages. Indeed, SPEAQ partners were all involved in LanQua (with the exception of ESU) and therefore have a clear understanding and shared ownership of its outcomes. ESU has been involved in the SPEAQ consortium due to its considerable experience in managing and delivering EU funded projects and its current engagment in a complementary project (QUEST project) which is “defining students’ view of quality of higher education and publishing the student concept of quality in higher education.”
Next to ESU, the project partners are:
University of Innsbruck, Austria
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
University of Deusto, Spain
University of Jyväskylä, Finland
University of Szeged, Hungary
University of Trento, Italy
University of Aveiro, Portugal
Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
Project partner meeting 1, UK, January 2012
SPEAQ Workshop, April 2012
Project partner meeting 2, Austria, May 2012
Project partner meeting 3, Portugal, May 2013
Local dissemination seminars/workshops, UK, Austria, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Belgium, September 2013
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein