NOKUT's membership in EQAR is renewed

NOKUT's application for renewed membership in The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) has been approved.

Logo: EQAR
Logo: EQAR

NOKUT has recently been through an evaluation which looked at whether our quality assurance work meets the requirements of the European standards for quality assurance in higher education, Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

The evaluation committee concluded that NOKUT met all criteria, and they also complimented our work in several areas. On that basis NOKUT has applied for two things: renewed membership in ENQA (The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) and continued registration in EQAR (The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education), an official register of quality assurance bodies that meet the requirements of the ESG.

Approved for five new years

EQAR has now reviewed the application from NOKUT and the evaluation report, and their conclusion is that the membership in the register can be renewed for a new five-year period, until April 2028.

– It is good that we have received this confirmation from EQAR. With renewed membership in ENQA and continued registration in the official register of quality assurance bodies in Europe, we have received confirmation that NOKUT is an internationally recognized quality assurance agency. NOKUT’s work is situated in the European Higher Education Area. This means that our own quality assurance work is based on the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), says NOKUT's Chief Executive Kristin Vinje.

EQAR's assessment is that NOKUT is in full compliance with ESG on the vast majority of standards. There are however two standards they assess that NOKUT is only partially compliant with.

The first is that NOKUT's means alone do not cover all the requirements ESG sets for educational institutions' internal quality assurance. The second is due to lack of clarity on the complaints procedure about other matters than decisions, such as, for example, the way in which the processes take place. When it comes to the formal access to appeal, where the institutions have the right to complain about errors or shortcomings in the decision, NOKUT, on the other hand, has clear procedures. NOKUT also received these two feedbacks in 2018, and EQAR believes that not enough has been done in the years that have passed to agree with the evaluation committee, which concluded that the two standards are now covered.

Despite the two minor deficiencies, EQAR concludes that NOKUT as a whole is in full compliance with ESG. In the feedback to NOKUT they write: 'The Register Committee considered that NOKUT only achieved partial compliance with some standards. In its holistic judgment, the Register Committee concluded that these are specific and limited issues, but that NOKUT continues to comply substantially with the ESG as a whole.'

International cooperation is important to NOKUT

In June it became clear that NOKUT got the thumbs up from ENQA, the umbrella organization for quality assurance bodies in Europe.

– It is important that NOKUT participates actively in relevant forums with other European and international quality assurance bodies. This means that we can share experiences and contribute to the development of quality assurance in Europe. We find that many of our sister bodies in other countries are interested in how we work and would like to learn from us. We see this as a great recognition, says Vinje.

Read the Executive summary from ENQA's evaluation

Read the feedback from EQAR (pdf)

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