Kwaliteit gebaat bij mislukkingen

Nieuws | de redactie
10 september 2009 | Mislukkingen en risicodurf moeten meer ruimte krijgen in de kwaliteitszorg van het hoger onderwijs. Zij zijn onmisbaar als stimulansen voor creativiteit en innovatie, stellen de Europese universiteiten.

The report “Improving quality, enhancing creativity: changeprocess in European higher education institutions” is based on atwo-year EC-funded project, that EUA has carried out with partnersACQUIN (the Accreditation, Certification and Quality AssuranceInstitute, Germany), the Higher Education Academy (UK) and theNational University of Ireland, Maynooth.

The project brought together 29 higher education institutions andQuality Assurance (QA) Agencies from 18 different countries toexplore what kind of quality assurance processes in teaching andlearning (external and internal) can actually support creativityand innovation. In the past, there have been concerns that QAprocesses can actually inhibit creativity within highereducation.

The new report contains seven recommendations for universities andagencies:

•    QA processes must allow space for risk takingand failure, whilst at the same time enabling institutions toidentify and rectify a failure when it occurs
•    To ensure that quality assurance is contextsensitive (e.g taking account of different disciplines, culturesand national context)
•    QA should be inclusive – engaging the wholeuniversity community (academics and students) and should not justbe the responsibility of a ‘QA unit’
•    Effective quality assurance is based on asuccessful partnership between agencies and institutions, whichshould leave space for ’trust and self-reflection’
•    Sharing QA ‘experiences’ is essential, and theauthors recommend the creation of platforms for dialogue bothbetween departments, institutions and even at European level (Theseplatforms should not however be based solely on copying goodpractices, but stimulating critical analysis)
•    QA processes must support institutions’capacity to change and to reach strategic goals
•    Agencies and institutions need to ensureengagement of all key actors in QA processes.

A full copy of the report and an executive summary can bedownloaded from the EUA website:

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