ACE Denmark

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Agency's position within the national higher education system

Description of the agency

ACE Denmark is the accreditation operator for bachelor's, master’s and professional master’s programmes. The secretariat of the Accreditation Council is placed in ACE Denmark’s organisation. ACE Denmark is charged with a number of analysis and dissemination tasks involving the collection of national and international experience of relevance to accreditation. The accreditation operator consists of three units:

  • The Council Secretariat
  • The Administrative Unit
  • The Professional Secretariat

The history of the agency

In 2007, the Accreditation Institution (ACE Denmark and the Accreditation Council) was established as an independent institution by the Danish Parliament (the Accreditation Act - Act no. 294 of 27 March 2007). ACE Denmark is under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.

Danish higher education study programmes have been subjected to external QA since 1992. With the Accreditation Act, accreditation became the key method for external QA in Denmark within higher education.

Other quality assurance agencies authorised to operate in the country

In Denmark, the operational responsibility for accreditation processes is divided between two operators: ACE Denmark and EVA.

EVA is the accreditation operator of professional bachelor, academy profession and diploma programmes as well as the specialisation courses (adult education and continuing training). In addition, EVA undertakes evaluations, development activities and studies of early childhood education, primary and lower secondary education, upper secondary education, higher education and adult education.

Legal framework

In 2007, an act of parliament introduced the systematic accreditation of all higher education programmes in Denmark as mandatory external quality assurance (Act no. 294 of 27 March 2007). The act states that all programmes must be accredited according to criteria that are based on quality and relevance. The accreditation criteria are outlined in the Accreditation Order (Accreditation Order of 14 December 2009). Danish accreditation involves both existing study programmes and new study [[programme]s which must be accredited before they may be set up.

Quality assurance procedures

Main procedures

Accreditation

  • Target institutions:
    • Public (research) universities
  • Target programmes:
    • Bachelor's programmes
    • Master's programmes
      • new and existing programmes
      • professional master's programmes

Quality Assurance Procedures

In Denmark, the quality and relevance of a study programme are assessed on the basis of five predefined criteria:

  1. Demand for the study programme in the labour market
  2. The study programme is based on research and connected with an active research environment of high quality
  3. Academic profile of the study programme and learning outcome targets
  4. Structure and organisation of the study programme
  5. Continuous internal quality assurance of the study programme

Danish accreditation involves both existing study programmes and new study programmes which must be accredited before they may be set up.

ACE sets up an accreditation panel to perform the academic assessment of the study programme. An accreditation panel consists of a student representative, an expert and an employer. ACE has set up requirements governing the members’ impartiality. The panel has no chairman and all members are equal.

The panel’s assessment is based on a documentation report prepared by the study programme and a university visit. The university is allowed to comment on the academic assessment before the Accreditation Council makes its decision.

Consequences of quality assurance and accreditation decisions

Accreditation may result in three different decisions:

  • Positive accreditation.
  • Conditional positive accreditation. (New study programmes cannot receive conditional positive accreditation – only approval or refusal).
  • Refusal: The study programme is closed. The minister must prepare a plan for how the students can complete their education.

Validity of the decision(s)

  • Positive accreditation: The study programme is approved for up to six years.
  • Conditional positive accreditation: The study programme is given one to two years to rectify shortcomings.
  • Refusal.

Publication policy

All Council decisions and accreditation reports are made public.

International activities

Member of international quality assurance networks / organisations

The ACE Denmars is full member of:

External reviews, compliance with ESG

  • 2010.

The ACE Denmark is listed in the European Quality Assurance Register

See also

External links