Difference between revisions of "AAQ - Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Assurance"

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Revision as of 08:50, 25 July 2012

Organ für Akkreditierung und Qualitätssicherung der Schweizerischen Hochschulen

Agency's position within the national higher education system

Description of the agency

The purpose of the Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (OAQ) is to assure and promote the quality of teaching and research at the universities in Switzerland. It operates independently, and bases its work on international practices and research findings. It organizes and manages its own affairs under the terms of its bylaws and has its own budget.

The history of the agency

The OAQ began its work on 1 October 2001.

As of 2008 the OAQ has been formally recognized by the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology to carry out accreditation procedures of universities of applied sciences and their study programs.

Other quality assurance agencies authorised to operate in the country

At this moment, there are five other quality assurance agencies operating in Switzerland. They are authorised for the accreditation of study programs of the universities of applied sciences:

Legal framework

The OAQ carries out accreditation procedures for universities as stipulated in Art. 7 of the Cooperation agreement between the Federal Government and University Cantons on Matters Relating to Universities of 14 December 2000 (SR 414.205) The revised Guidelines for academic accreditation have been in force since 1 September 2007. In accordance with the Cooperation Agreement between the Federal Government and the University Cantons, accreditation may be granted to public or private institutions or programs at university level.


The procedures of all quality assessments undertaken by the OAQ (Accreditation, Evaluation, Quality Audit) follow predefined directives, which have been compiled by the OAQ (Art. 7§2 let. b UFG/LAU) and legally adopted by the relevant authorities. The procedures must be conducted according to constitutional prerequisites (procedural guarantee of equal and fair treatment) and cannot be influenced by any other party.

Quality assurance procedures

Main procedures (brief description)

Consequences of quality assurance and accreditation decisions

In Switzerland, unlike in other European countries, the accreditation system for universities operates on a voluntary basis. For the universities of applied sciences the accreditation of their study programs is mandatory.

Validity of the decision(s)

Unconditional accreditation is valid for seven years.

Publication policy

The OAQ publishes all university accreditation decisions as well as the reports of the experts and the final reports and also a list of all procedures it has carried out on its website. Negative decisions of accreditation procedures are not published.

Appeal system

All procedures conducted by the OAQ include an appeal procedure that is legally defined and published.

International activities

Member of international quality assurance networks / organisations

External reviews, compliance with ESG

  • 2011

OAQ is listed on the European Quality Assurance Register.

Accreditation procedures in another jurisdiction

Yes. Germany (System- und Programmakkreditierungen).

Agreements concerning the recognition of accreditation results with

Austrian Accreditation Council (ÖAR), Commision des Titres d'Ingénieurs (CTI), Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO)

See also