AQAS is an independent and professional agency for external quality assurance in the field of Higher Education with a long-standing tradition and vast experiences mainly in programme and institutional accreditation in Germany and on international level. AQAS is supported by more than 80 member institutions, both higher education institutions (HEIs) and academic associations, and is service-oriented towards HEIs. AQAS was founded in 2002 and has accredited more than 5,500 study programmes at universities and universities of applied sciences so far, including numerous programmes outside of Germany. Since January 2009, AQAS has also accredited quality assurance systems of higher education institutions both in Germany and abroad.
AQAS is divided into two organisations: AQAS e. V. and AQAS ARCH GmbH. AQAS (Agency for Quality Assurance) e. V. is a non-profit oriented organisation focussed on programme and institutional accreditation in Germany. AQAS ARCH (Accreditation, Reviews and Consulting) GmbH is a fully owned subsidiary of AQAS e. V. and offers consulting and services in addition to accreditation projects.
For HEIs that wish to strengthen their internationalisation efforts, AQAS can be a partner and facilitator. AQAS is an institution involved in the creation of the European Higher Education Area. We are a full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), which represents various European organisations validating or developing quality assurance in HEIs. Therefore, AQAS is committed to act according the „European Standards and Guidelines“, approved by ENQA in 2005 and in 2015. AQAS is also a founding member of the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA). In 2004, all members signed a „Code of Good Practice“ to ensure fair and transparent accreditation procedures. AQAS is listed in the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR).
With its international commitment, AQAS contributes to the development of new methodologies in the EHEA and can therefore offer wide experience and support for smoother procedures e.g. for the accreditation of Joint Programmes. In addition, through broad experiences in external quality assurance projects in various regions and countries, AQAS also offers external quality assurance procedures and consulting to HEIs abroad.
Internationality is included in AQAS’s work on the operational level as well: In the accreditation commissions and expert panels, frequently there are international members.
The activities of AQAS in accreditation are not limited to specific academic disciplines or degrees. AQAS developed a methodology that allows carrying out accreditation procedures for study programmes in all academic disciplines as well as in interdisciplinary fields. Our methodology proved successfully in national and international accreditation procedures. We also have a large experience in accrediting teacher education programmes.