Study Programmes

 

Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, which establishes the organisation of official university education, defines an system of evaluation and accreditation whose objective is to monitor the effective implementation of the education and inform the society about its quality. Therefore, the Quality Agencies apply the following cyclical process to ensure external quality assurance of higher education in Spain.

  • Phase I – Verification (modification): Ex-ante evaluation of the design of new degrees (and subsequent modifications). The ACPUA has been responsible in Aragon for this process since 2017, after passing the external evaluation of ENQA and its subsequent registration in EQAR. The ACPUA also carries out the ex-ante evaluation of artistic education (Master), a process called Homologation of Artistic Education.
  • Phase II – Monitoring: Follow-up of the adequate implementation of the study plans, verifying that the commitments of the positively evaluated degree project are being respected. This process focuses on consolidating the internal quality assurance systems of universities and their continual improvement, as well as on responding to recommendations for the improvement of prior assessment reports.
  • PHASE III - Accreditation (renewal): Ex-post evaluation of the results of the implementation of the curriculum every 6 years the degrees / 4 years the masters) which includes the visit of an external panel to the university centre (with the presence of at least one student).

The current regulations consider higher artistic education equivalent to university education and in this sense establishes for the development of master's degrees the need for a prior assessment process by an assessment agency.          

The regulation of this process is established in Royal Decree 1614/2009, of 26 October, which establishes the organisation of higher artistic education regulated by Organic Law 2/2006, of 3 May, on Education.

 

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

 

Royal Decree 1393/2007 of 29 October, which establishes the organisation of official university education, establishes the guidelines, conditions and the verification and accreditation procedure to be applied by the assessment bodies determined by the Law of the Autonomous Communities to the study plans designed and implemented by the universities.

In the case of doctoral programmes, Royal Decree 99/2001 of 28 January regulates official doctoral studies.

 

SUB-COMMISSION ON EVALUATION OF DEGREES (SET)

 

The Sub-Commission for the Evaluation of Degrees (SET) is responsible for issuing all the reports related to the evaluation of Degrees. To this end, it considers the proposals for reasoned reports made by the respective experts (organised in branch commissions or ad-hoc panels) in the light of the evaluation criteria and standards included in each of the protocols (see Technical Evaluation Committees).

 

 

Evaluation reports:

All the degree evaluation reports issued by ACPUA can be found at Report Search Engine.

 

COMPLAINTS, CLAIMS AND APPEALS

 

All activities of the ACPUA are subject to the Procedure for handling appeals, complaints and claims.

ACPUA's Appeals Committee is in charge of reporting on appeals against the agency's final evaluation decisions (Director´s resolutions), ensuring the correct application of evaluation protocols, inform about complaints or claims, and provide support and advice about complaints, claims, appeals or any other issue related to the guarantees and ethics of evaluation.

 

LEGAL DOCUMENTATION: 

VERIFICATION (Amendment)

EVALUATION PROTOCOL

 

The Spanish Network of University Quality Agencies (REACU) has defined the evaluation protocol for the verification of official Degree and Master degrees that all agencies must apply for the issuance of the mandatory evaluation report prior to the verification by the Council of Universities of the new official degrees of Spanish universities.

 

For their part, Doctoral Programs have needed the definition of a specific evaluation protocol that takes into account the particularities of this level of education.

 

 

BRANCH EVALUATION COMMISSIONS

 

In accordance with the provisions of Articles 24 and 25 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, establishing the Organisation of official university education, and at the proposal of the ACPUA Evaluation, Certification and Accreditation Commission and in accordance with Article 17.b) of the Statutes of this Agency, the chairpersons and members of the branch committees are appointed for the evaluation prior to the verification (modification) of the curriculum. Each branch committee is made up of at least two academics (one of them acts as president and is part of SET), one student and one professional member who are specialists in the corresponding area. In those cases in which the specificity of the degree to be evaluated makes it necessary, the Branch Commissions will be reinforced with additional experts.

 

The Branch Committees evaluate the requests for new degrees or amendments and submit a consensual report to the Degree Evaluation Sub-Commission responsible for issuing the evaluation report.

 

NOTE: To select its evaluators and commissions, the ACPUA considers and respects the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG) developed by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and the Principles for the Selection of Experts agreed by the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA). The Procedure for the Selection of Evaluators as well as the procedure for the appointment of the ACPUA Sub-Commission for the Evaluation of Qualifications can be consulted in the attached files.

 

 

METAEVALUATION

 

The opinion and suggestions for improvement of all the participants in the process (Branch Committees, experts and those evaluated) are collected annually. On the basis of this information, CECA draws up and approves a metaevaluation report indicating the improvements to be made to the process. In a subsequent phase, the processes are modified to incorporate these improvements, after consultation with the different stakeholders.

MONITORING

EVALUATION PROTOCOL

 

The Spanish Network of University Quality Agencies (REACU) has defined the evaluation protocol for monitoring the official Degree and Master's degrees that must be applied by all agencies.

For their part, Doctoral Programs have needed the definition of a specific evaluation protocol that takes into account the particularities of this level of education.

Based on the protocols designed by REACU, the ACPUA has developed its Monitoring Programmes.

On 10 April 2015, the ACPUA Evaluation, Certification and Accreditation Commission (CECA) approved the "New guidelines for the monitoring of official Degree and Master's degrees". Once the two universities had been consulted, CECA worked at its meeting on 4 February on a draft of a new monitoring protocol, which is currently being revised and will be approved at a forthcoming meeting.

 

EVALUATION PANELS

 

For the follow-up of the degrees of the University System of Aragon, the ACPUA appoints ad-hoc panels of experts at the proposal of the Evaluation, Certification and Accreditation Commission.

The panel of experts reviews the self-report prepared by the universities on the basis of the monitoring protocol of the ACPUA as well as the Public Information available through the websites of the universities, issuing a proposal for a report that transfers to the Sub-Commission for the Evaluation of Degrees responsible for issuing the report.

 

NOTE: To select the experts that make up these panels, the ACPUA considers and respects the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG) developed by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and the Principles for the Selection of Experts agreed by the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA). The procedure for selecting evaluators can be found in the attached files.

 

METAEVALUATION

 

The opinion and suggestions for improvement of all the participants in the process (evaluators and those evaluated) are collected annually. On the basis of this information, CECA draws up and approves a metaevaluation report indicating the improvements to be made to the process. In a subsequent phase, the processes are modified to incorporate these improvements, after consultation with the different stakeholders.

 

ACCREDITATION (Renewal)

EVALUATION PROTOCOL

The Spanish Network of University Quality Agencies (REACU) has defined the evaluation protocol for the accreditation of official Degree and Master degrees that all agencies must apply for the issuance of the mandatory evaluation report prior to the renewal of the accreditation by the Council of Universities of the new official degrees of Spanish universities.

For their part, Doctoral Programs have needed the definition of a specific evaluation protocol that takes into account the particularities of this level of education.

The University System of Aragon enters the second semester of 2018 in the "second round" of renewal of the accreditation of master's degrees that were accredited in the 2014 campaign. To carry out this process, the ACPUA Evaluation, Certification and Accreditation Commission has approved guidelines aimed at streamlining and simplifying the process.

 

EVALUATION PANELS

The evaluation panels are appointed ad-hoc according to the degrees to be evaluated applying the Procedure for the selection of ACPUA evaluators. They consist of at least two academics (one of whom will act as chairperson), one student and one technical secretary.

 

The panel of experts reviews the documentation associated with each degree (accreditation dossier) beforehand, carrying out a pre-evaluation. Subsequently, it makes a visit to the degrees to be evaluated, interviewing all the groups involved: degree managers, professors, students, graduates, PAS, internship employers, etc. Finally, the chairman of the panel prepares, with the technical support of the secretary, a report of the visit for each degree evaluated, which must be approved by the panel as a whole.

This visit report, together with all the previous information available, will be submitted to the Sub-Commission for the Evaluation of Degrees (SET), which will prepare the proposed report for each degree evaluated, that will be sent to the university. This proposal may either be favourable to the renewal of the accreditation or contain aspects that must necessarily be clarified in order to obtain a report in favourable terms.

 

NOTE: To select its evaluators and commissions, the ACPUA considers and respects the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG) developed by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and the Principles for the Selection of Experts agreed by the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA). The Procedure for the Selection of Evaluators as well as the procedure for the appointment of the ACPUA Sub-Commission for the Evaluation of Qualifications can be consulted in the attached files.

 

METAEVALUATION

The opinion and suggestions for improvement of all the participants in the process (evaluators and those evaluated) are collected annually. On the basis of this information, CECA draws up and approves a metaevaluation report indicating the improvements to be made to the process. In a subsequent phase, the processes are modified to incorporate these improvements, after consultation with the different stakeholders.

APPROVAL

EVALUATION PROTOCOL

 

In the case of Higher Degrees in Artistic Education, the regulations establish both the denomination and the basic contents of the different specialities (Music, Dance, Drama, Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Goods, Design and Plastic Arts), including them in level 2 of the Spanish Framework of Qualifications for Higher Education (MECES) as equivalent to the university degree. The extensive regulation of these degrees does not require the need for an ex-ante evaluation by evaluation agencies.

For Master's degrees in Artistic Education there is no catalogue of denominations and curriculum, so art. 13 of the aforementioned Royal Decree builds an ex-ante evaluation system similar to that of university teaching. In this way, there is an evaluation by the corresponding evaluation agency and a subsequent report by the Consejo Superior de Enseñanzas Artísticas (Higher Council of Artistic Education), mandatory procedures for the approval of the aforementioned degrees that will acquire level 3 of the MECES.

 

PANEL OF EXPERTS

 

The evaluation panels are appointed ad-hoc for each of the degrees to be evaluated applying the Procedure for the selection of ACPUA evaluators. They are made up of at least two academics.

The panel of experts is responsible for reviewing the report and assessing the appropriateness of the different sections to the evaluation criteria contained in the ACPUA evaluation protocol. The evaluation criteria are basically similar to those applied to university education, since the master's degrees are located at level 2 of the MECES, to which certain specific requirements indicated by the regulations governing artistic courses are added. Their report proposals are sent to the centre so that they can present the appropriate allegations and modifications to the report in a process with a maximum of three iterations.

 

NOTE: To select its evaluators and commissions, the ACPUA considers and respects the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG) developed by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and the Principles for the Selection of Experts agreed by the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA). The Procedure for the Selection of Evaluators as well as the procedure for the appointment of the ACPUA Sub-Commission for the Evaluation of Qualifications can be consulted in the attached files.

 

METAEVALUATION

 

At the end of the evaluation process, the opinion and suggestions for improvement of all the participants in the process (evaluators and those evaluated) are collected. On the basis of this information, CECA draws up and approves a metaevaluation report indicating the improvements to be made to the process. In a subsequent phase, the processes are modified to incorporate these improvements, after consultation with the different stakeholders.

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