About ENQA

ENQA (the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) disseminates information, experiences and good practices in the field of quality assurance (QA) in higher education to European QA agencies, public authorities and higher education institutions.

ENQA is a membership organization with the mission to promote cooperation, exchange best practices and stimulate the professional development of its members and their personnel. But, it undoubtedly also has a political role as the advocate of the quality assurance community in the power game with national governments, institutions and their organizations and the European Commission. Today, ENQA has 36 members from 21 European countries.

Memorandum by the steering group of ENQA, May 2001. ENQA was established in 1999 on the basis of a recommendation adopted by the Council of Ministers in 1998 to promote the further introduction of quality assurance methods in higher education and the European cooperation in this field.

In 2004, it was changed into the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, but its acronym stayed the same (ENQA). ENQA is a membership association having as members 48 quality assurance organizations from EHEA member states that operate in the field of higher education. ENQA membership criteria are identical with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). It represents its members at the European level and internationally as well as organizes events, conducts projects and issues publications on current quality assurance themes.

ENQA sees close parallels between its own objectives and those contained in the Bologna Declaration with regard to quality assurance. The memorandum centers entirely on the problems and procedures linked to quality assurance. Agreement with the other objectives of the Bologna process is more implicit than explicit. ENQA membership criteria require that its members should undergo an external review on a five-yearly basis. These are normally organized on a national basis, but, if this is not possible or the agency so requests, they can also be coordinated by ENQA.

In the Berlin communiqué of 19 September 2003 the Ministers of the Bologna Process signatory states invited the European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) ‘through its members, in cooperation with the EUA, EURASHE, and ESIB’, to develop ‘an agreed set of standards, procedures and guidelines on quality assurance’ and to ‘explore ways of ensuring an adequate peer review system for quality assurance and/or accreditation agencies or bodies, and to report back through the Bologna Follow-Up Group to Ministers in 2005’. The Ministers also asked ENQA to take due account ‘of the expertise of other quality assurance associations and networks.

To further introduce QA in e-learning in the European HE system, ENQA and EADTU will cooperate closely with universities and assessment and accreditation bodies.

It is therefore of direct interest to ENQA and EADTU to define and determine the elements of quality in e-learning and develop strategies and processes of assessment and accreditation. ENQA and EADTU will cooperate on the subject of quality assurance in e-learning and work towards models of e-learning quality assessment and accreditation across Europe. The European Commission has, through grant support, financed the activities of ENQA since the very beginning.

For further information please visit the official website at http://www.enqa.eu