According to the guidelines in force in the European Higher Education Area regarding external quality assurance, university quality and evaluation agencies must maintain solid and stable cooperation links with their stakeholders or interest groups: "Agencies should ensure the involvement of stakeholders in their governance and work" (ESG 3.1). Given the unique characteristics of the Spanish university space in terms of external quality assurance (since both a national agency and several agencies of some Autonomous Communities operate therein), there is no doubt that both the ANECA and the other agencies that are part of REACU are crucial interlocutors for the ACPUA. This was also considered by the ENQA evaluation panel that visited the Agency in 2016, when in its evaluation report it expressly included, with regard to compliance with ESG 3.6, the following recommendation:
“The panel recommends that ACPUA strengthens its collaboration with other Agencies to consolidate its achievements and to Foster a continuous awareness about possible limitations, areas of improvement, and necessary changes” (ENQA Agency review, p. 23).
For this reason, the ACPUA considers the establishment of cooperation networks and the development of synergies with the rest of the agencies that operate in our environment to be of vital importance. It is true that this collaboration is mainly channelled through the REACU network, especially as regards the sharing of evaluation experiences and the development of common guidelines and general application to all of us. However, in our strategic thinking, the search for bilateral agreements and the deployment of specific ACPUA actions with other agencies are also essential.
Specifically, the ACPUA is promoting the following actions:
- The joint organisation of actions and training sessions aimed at students, so that students of a regional university system can be incorporated into teaching evaluation panels that are taught in another regional university system.
- The joint celebration of workshops, conferences and technical meetings with other agencies, which allows the direct exchange of experiences and methodologies between experts from the agencies and university systems involved.
- Consultation to other agencies in our environment in the preparation and design phase of strategic programs.
Agreements with other Spanish agencies
At the same time, the ACPUA promotes an active policy of signing collaboration agreements with other agencies. Through this important instrument, the participation of the agency in national evaluation programs becomes effective (this being the usual object of the agreements signed with the national ANECA agency), the implementation of joint programs (exchange and training of evaluators; internationalization, etc.) or the realisation of tasks to manage assessment tasks from one agency to another.
- ANECA - Spanish National Agency for University Quality
- UNIBASQ - Agency for the Quality of the Basque University System
- ACSUCYL - Agency for the Quality of the University System of Castilla y León
- ACSUG - Agency for the University Quality System of Galicia
- FC madri+d - madri+d Foundation for Knowledge
- DEVA-ACC - Evaluation and Accreditation Directorate - Andalusian Agency of Knowledge
- AQU Catalunya - Agency for the Quality of the University System of Catalonia
This policy of active networking with other agencies also extends to the international sphere, especially since the registration of ACPUA in the European EQAR register. In 2015, ties were strengthened with the IQAA agency of Kazakhstan; in 2016 with the French agency HCERES and since 2017 an active cooperation in the field of evaluation and promotion of the culture of quality has been maintained with the agency AQUA of the Principality of Andorra (see ACPUA + International).