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EQ-Arts pursues EQAR Registration - What are the benefits for ELIA Members?

21 June 2018

While EQ-Arts is working on their EQAR registration, the agency's CEO and former ELIA President, John Butler, gave us some insight on what this means for, not only EQ-Arts as a quality assurance agency, but also for ELIA Member institutions. 

EQ-Arts is working on its EQAR registration? Could you explain what this means?

 Achieving this status would mean that EQ-Arts is added to the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR), the official list of trusted quality assurance agencies in the European Higher Education Area that comply with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG). 

Why is it so important for EQ-Arts to have this status? 

As an independent, international, arts specific quality agency we would be able to carry out formal cross-border programme assessment and institutional accreditation across Europe and beyond. Engaging our trained arts education peers, EQ-Arts is committed to embracing an enhancement-led approach to Quality Assurance. As peers rooted in Higher Arts Education ourselves, we “speak the same language” and share the same passion in our commitment to value and promote cultural, artistic, and pedagogical diversity.

What would this status bring for ELIA members? 

Through EQ-Arts evolution it was ELIA’s members who firstly framed and moulded the Tuning documents for Fine Art, Design, Theatre and Film and then defined the principles and methodologies EQ-Arts has adopted and implemented. We have listened to, and been guided by, the ELIA members and other arts networks such as Cumulus (Design) and Cilect (Film). In response to this support, we offer ELIA members rigorous and supportive, enhancement-led services from formal assessment and accreditation to consultancy on any aspect of the learning process, as well as a reduction on the normal cost of these activities.

Are there any other arts sector-specific agencies? 

The only other international quality agency working in the arts sector is our sister agency MusiQuE, which grew out of the Association of European Conservatoires (AEC) and with whom we share the same principles. We have mapped our Standards & Guidelines to collaborate on formal reviews and accreditation. We are currently in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding, which will lead to greater collaboration between the two leading European higher arts education arts sector quality agencies.

Would EQ-Arts be able to do formal accreditations in every country?

 EQ-Arts can carry out formal accreditation with any national quality agency that invites us to collaborate with them on programme or institutional reviews. It is also able to carry out independent accreditation in countries where the Minister of Education (or equivalent) have endorsed the use of cross-border accreditation with external international, independent quality agencies (usually on the EQAR Register). 
You can check the current situation in your country here.

If a national government does not allow any EQAR registered agency to perform an assessment, could EQ-Arts still be of value to arts institutions in that country? 

EQ-Arts has from its outset carried out ‘critical friend’ programme and institutional reviews, following the same Principles and Standards and offers this to institutions, often to help prepare them for formal assessments within their national context. We also offer consultancy, usually involving one or two trained experts visiting the institution to help in developing any aspect of the learning and teaching process. All activities result in a site visit and an oral and/or written feedback report. Institutions can also encourage their national agencies to employ international experts referred by EQ Arts in their assessments. Examples of our review and consultancy reports are available on our website www.eq-arts.org

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