Thematic analysis (in coordination with REACU)
What in the European language of quality is called thematic analysis (that is, second-order studies, beyond accreditations or certifications, and which agencies undertake based on the data or results obtained in their evaluations) constitutes one of the areas of activity that the agency wants to strengthen. Even more if you take into account that compliance with this standard usually presents difficulties to all agencies -including ACPUA- that have either been submitted or are undergoing evaluation international according to the new ESG.
For the reasons stated above, at the meeting of the Spanish Network of University Quality Agencies REACU, held on November 13th, 2017, the decision was made to make joint reports that responded to the guidelines established for Criterion 3.4 of the Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), approved by the EHEA Conference of Ministers of Education, on May 15th, 2015. For this purpose, a working group (Working Group 1) was created, which coordinates ACSUCYL and of which ACPUA, UNIBASQ, ANECA and AQU are part.
The carrying out of joint thematic analyses aims to develop these lines of analysis:
a) Results obtained by the agencies in the evaluations for the first renewal of programmes, paying special attention to the recommendations set out in the reports (and in particular those concerning teaching staff, learning outcomes and/or material and service resources).
b) Data resulting from the reports on the IQAS of universities and centers.
c) State of public information and levels of transparency, especially in relation to effective monitoring and information to students.
d) Sustainability of certain programmes.
Based on the agreements adopted at the REACU meeting of February 26th 2019 (information in attached files), joint progress is expected in the following lines of analysis:
• Academic staff. Criteria that must necessarily be overcome to obtain a favorable evaluation.
• Internal Quality Assurance System (SGIC). Criteria whose certification is a requirement to achieve institutional accreditation.
The ACPUA and the change management in the university system of Aragon: From recommendations to good practices
Main conclusions of the study:
- The ACPUA's external evaluation activity has been issuing numerous recommendations and identifying good practices
- As the implementation of the degrees has progressed, the number of good practices detected has approached the number of recommendations issued.
- Some of the global recommendations made to the University have been taken into account in its educational programming and in the deployment of its quality systems.
- The ACPUA has de facto become a facilitator of the changes in the University System of Aragon.
See presentation paper of the study (International Congress on Learning, Innovation and Competitiveness (CINAIC) 2014)
These results were presented in two forums in 2014: at the International Congress on Learning, Innovation and Competitiveness (CINAIC) and in the UZ Teaching Innovation Conferences.
Presentation and debate in ACPUA: the thematic analysis of the Belgian agency AEQES
Last 10th of April 2019, and within the framework of ACPUA seminars on QA in Higher Education, Caty Duykaerts, Vice President of ENQA and Director of the AEQES (Agence pour l'Évaluation de la Qualité de l'Enseignement Supérieur) explained the activities, methodologies, publications and results conducted and obtained by her agency regarding thematic analysis (ESG 3.4). To the presentation, -followed an interesting and lively debate- in which not only the Vice Chancellor for Academic Policy of the University of Zaragoza and other professors and students of this university and the Public University of Navarra participated, but also directors and technicians of several Spanish QA agencies, such as ACSUCYL, Unibasq, Madrimasd Knowledge Foundation or AVAP.
Coming soon ...
With the approval of the new ACPUA Strategic Plan, thematic analyses are being systematically developed within strategic line 4 (L4 "Vision prospectiva: Promoting excellence, strategic evaluations and thematic analyses"). The ACPUA is launching, together with external experts, in the following analysis:
- Guide for the Management of Transversal Competences According to the SDG, in the Higher Education Area (Spanish).
- Renewal of Accreditation 2014: Good Practices.
- Connection between the results of the evaluations and the university rankings.
- Comparison of findings between similar programmes in Aragon.
- Analysis of 40 PhD programmes follow-up reports for the Aragon Higher Education System doctorate improvement.
- Renewal of Accreditation 2015: Good Practices.
- Technical Analysis for the Government of Aragon on the results of the evaluations carried out on the University System of Aragon (English).
- Findings on the programmes renewal accreditation on the University System of Aragon in 2015.
These studies as they are completed are published in our collection
Collection 'ACPUA Learns'