The Benefits of Mutual Recognition of Accreditation and Quality Assurance Decisions (2008)
Comparability of the quality of study programmes is a prerequisite for the implementation of the Bologna process and for the mobility of students and staff. The need for close co-operation of quality assurance agencies and acceptance of national quality assurance systems has been emphasised by the ministers responsible for higher education in Europe since 2001. Twelve mutual recognition agreements were signed in December 2007 during an ECA international conference in Barcelona. This conference brought together representatives from governments, institutions, students, recognition authorities and European and international QA-agencies to discuss the benefits of mutual recognition of accreditation decisions. The conference showed that various stakeholders in higher education can benefit from mutual recognition agreements and that methods and tools of ECA can also be useful for other accreditation and QA-agencies in Europe or abroad. This report resumes the ECA project and summarizes the speeches and discussion of the dissemination conference in Barcelona.