Study Programmes Assessment Cycle
The Spanish regulatory framework establishes the organization of official university education and defines an evaluation and accreditation system whose objective is to supervise the effective execution of education and inform society about the quality of education. The Quality Agencies are responsible for ensuring the external quality assurance of higher education in Spain through the following cyclical process that applies to Degrees, Masters, PhD Programs, Art Education and Joint Programs:
- Study Programme Initial Accreditation: Ex-ante evaluation of new programmes designs (and subsequent modifications).
- Study Programme Follow Up: Follow up of the adequate implementation of the programmes, verifying that the commitments of the programme are being respected and that they have been favourably evaluated.
- Study Programme Accreditation: Ex-post evaluation of the results of the implementation of the study plan (every 6 years for Bachelor's degrees / 4 years for Master's degrees) which includes a visit to the center by an external panel.
Once an evaluation process has been completed, the opinion and suggestions for improvement are collected from all participants in the process (SET, committee and panel reviewers and reviewed). Based on this information, the CECA introduces the appropriate improvements in the evaluation procedures after consulting with the different stakeholders.
2017 FOCUS GROUP: Dialogues with ACPUA
Once ACPUA achieved, with its enrollment in the European EQAR register, all the competencies in the evaluation of degrees, covering the entire life cycle of any official degree from an Aragonese university, the Agency considered it necessary to provide itself with a general framework of evaluation of degrees. In this context, the agency carried out an important process of reflection and review of evaluation procedures, the first step of which was the collection of feedback from all those involved in the quality of the University System of Aragon.
During the months of June and July 2017, ACPUA opened a “bottom up” dialogue in which the protagonists were all university degrees and those who work within them in “front line” in the field of quality: vice-rectors, coordinators , members of quality assurance commissions, students, teachers, etc.
Three sessions were held in Zaragoza, Teruel and Huesca, using the focus group methodology with dynamic practices in small groups, collecting the contributions of all attendees on how the quality assurance cycle of university education in Aragon could evolve and improve achieving greater efficiency and impact of its processes.