AAQ - Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Assurance
Organ für Akkreditierung und Qualitätssicherung der Schweizerischen Hochschulen
- 1 Agency's position within the national higher education system
- 2 Quality assurance procedures
- 3 International activities
- 4 See also
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.
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:
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)
- Quality Audits
- Programme Accreditation for Universities
- Programme Accreditation for Universities of Applied Sciences
- Institutional Accreditation for Universities of Applied Sciences
- Evaluation of postgraduate education programmes
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.
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.
All procedures conducted by the OAQ include an appeal procedure that is legally defined and published.
Member of international quality assurance networks / organisations
External reviews, compliance with ESG
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