The ‘quality’ of a study programme (SP) is first of all the level of fulfilment of the ‘quality requirements’, i.e. of the needs and requirements of all those who have interest in the educational service offered by the SP, while ‘quality assurance’ (QA) refers to the activities (processes) in the framework of management for quality aimed at ensuring trust in meeting the requirements for quality to all interested parties.
To assure its quality a SP should:
• establish outcomes of the learning process which meet the needs and expectations of society and labour market, ensuring personal development and employment;
• implement academic strategies suitable for achieving the declared aims;
• document learning objectives, educational process, learning context, results and management system in order to provide evidence of its quality.
Therefore a clear documentation of the SP characteristics is an essential aspect of the QA of SPs and a necessary condition to promote and implement improvement strategies.
The documentation system to be defined and implemented should make all the information and data necessary to assure the quality of SPs available.
Information and data should fulfil specific characteristics, directly connected with the specific objectives of the project.
a) In order to promote a reform of higher education in the PCs in line with the Bologna process, the documentation system should make reference to quality requirements of SPs consistent with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) for internal QA, which have become a reference in PCs too.
b) Information and data should enhance the quality and increase the comparability of SPs in and among PCs and with SPs of EU, in order to enhance mutual trust in their quality. To this end documentation will be prepared according to drawing-up modes (extension, language, reading format), which should be homogeneous at national (and international) level.
c) The documentation system should be able to promote modernisation of higher education and to increase transparency of SPs in the PCs. This requires that the informative documentation be easily accessible on the net, have a simple structure and be drawn up in a short and essential form, in order to optimize all aspects related to the interaction with all the IPs.
Target groups and sectors that will be addressed by DoQuP project are at least:
• partner universities, which can leverage a tool to integrate the regular academic planning and monitoring activities with an added QA perspective;
• academic staff of SPs with academic planning and quality management responsibilities;
• administrative staff responsible for the management of SP results.
On the other side, target groups and sectors that will benefit from the project are at least:
• Ministries of Education of the PCs and governmental departments involved in the promotion of QA of the national higher education;
• academic evaluation bodies (including evaluation agencies and external evaluators), because quality assessment (self and external assessment) of SPs requires updated and reliable information and data on the organisation, management and results of a SP;
• students, in the selection of their own academic path, and job market, to get reliable information on the knowledge and capacities acquired by SP graduates.