The JOQAR Dissemination Conference “Quality Assurance and Recognition of Joint Programmes: The Art and the Passion”  took place in Madrid on 20-21 June 2013 at Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA).

image-JOQAR-dissemination-conferenceToday, quality assurance and recognition of joint programmes still is a major challenge. The JOQAR Dissemination Conference provided higher education institutions, recognition authorities, quality assurance and accreditation agencies, and policy makers with the latest update on the solutions developed by the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA) in the framework of the JOQAR project. The JOQAR project was co-funded by the European Commission and is the acronym of: Joint programmes – Quality Assurance and Recognition of degrees awarded.

The participants from quality assurance and accreditation agencies discovered and discussed the following instruments for quality assurance of joint programmes:

  • MULTRA – Mutual Recognition Agreement of Accreditation Results regarding Joint Programmes. The purpose of the MULTRA is to simplify the accreditation and external QA of joint programmes and to provide an efficient way to expand mutual recognition to more countries, even beyond Europe. The agency CNA from Colombia signed MULTRA during the conference.
  • Until now joint programmes had to undergo multiple national accreditation procedures. A Single accreditation procedure has been designed and tested in the framework of JOQAR project. A common assessment methodology and framework were elaborated by the participating European accreditation and QA agencies and tested in pilot procedures of 4 Erasmus Mundus programmes. The resulting panel assessment reports were published online. The outcomes of these pilots, notably the revised framework and methodology, but also the lessons learnt from this experience were shared with the participants.

The participants from higher education institutions and recognition authorities got familiar with Guidelines and Good Practices on awarding joint degrees and issuing joint diploma supplements. These guidelines as well as guidelines for fair recognition by the competent authorities have been elaborated in close cooperation with ENIC-NARICs.

Furthermore, a number of on-line database driven tools have been designed to bring together the information on quality assurance and recognition of joint programmes in a user-friendly and interactive manner:


  • Joint Programmes Portal – this is an electronic database hosted in ECApedia containing all the information that is relevant regarding QA and recognition of joint programmes.
  • Qrossroads database, which contains information regarding quality assured and accredited higher education has been updated with the information on all Erasmus Mundus programmes.

In addition, the participants got a thorough introduction to the role and the benefits of the Coordination point, which will be established to assist higher education institutions and QA and accreditation agencies regarding external QA procedures of joint programmes. Additionally the coordination point will provide relevant information on internal & external QA of joint programmes and the recognition of their degrees.

The choice of the venue – Círculo de Bellas Artes multidisciplinary center with one of the most active cultural programmes in Madrid – is by no means a coincidence! As of 1880, it has played a major international role in the field of cultural creation and promotion.

As the design of joint programmes can be considered an act of creation and the successful handling of its quality assurance and recognition issues is an art in itself, the organising agency ANECA could not have chosen a better place to welcome you for our conference.

The motto of the conference was: “Let the arts inspire our ideas and creations!”