European and American subject-specific quality assurance to collaborate

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Posted on 7 August 2013

In the follow-up to the successful international conference about subject-based external quality assurance and accreditation held in Brussels in May 2013, the European Alliance for Subject-Specific and Professional Accreditation and Quality Assurance (EASPA) and its US-counterpart Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) have signed a co-operation agreement on 31July 2013.

EASPA assembles ten European and international networks concerned with subject-based quality assurance in higher education, ranging from the natural sciences in the fields of physics, mathematics, biology and geology, over food sciences, engineering and computer sciences to social sciences and humanities in the fields of business adminsitration, tourism and hospitaly as well as music.

EASPA was founded in November 2011 with the twofold objective of assisting the community of disciplinary, field-specific European networks of quality assurance and facilitating the mobility of students and graduates. By specifying European reference points such as the Dublin Descriptors and Qualification Frameworks to the necessities of the various disciplines, the networks add a content dimension to the tools and structural elements of the Bologna process, intending to make them more relevant and easily applicable.

European and US partners agreed on their shared aims of promoting and fostering higher education as well as facilitating collaboration among degree programmes, higher education institutions, and accreditation organizations.

With the collaboration agreement, EASPA and ASPA will strengthen the ties between subject-specific quality assurance organistions by sharing good practices in the field of disciplinary education, by communicating the value of accreditation as a means of enhancing educational and professional quality and by developing a network to foster accreditation and collaboration in Europe and the United States.

The intended activities include sharing knowledge and information in order to learn from each other, participation in workshops and meetings and collaboration in joint initiatives beneficial for subject-specific accreditation.

Several tools such as disciplinary learning outcomes and quality labels complementary to national evaluation and accreditation are elaborated with the goal of facilitating the recognition of higher education degrees in the United States and in the European Higher Education Area by the relevant authorities, thereby allowing for greater mobility of degree holders.

To this intent, EASPA members are working on further developping existing learning outcome frameworks and developping new ones in areas not yet covered.

The full protocoll agreement and further information can be obtained from the EASPA website:

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