The Bologna Process, which led to the establishment of an “European Higher Education Area”, made it also necessary that institutions providing degree programmes in this continent develop a culture of quality. Otherwise, there was danger that University education in Europe was not recognized (and trusted) worldwide.
But, not only recognition led to promote quality in teaching. In fact, two other trends helped that quality be taken as a priority by European higher education institutions. One is the growing imperative for those schools to internationalise, that is, to integrate an international and intercultural dimension to teaching and research, in order to enhance their academic excellence and their contribution to societies.
The second trend is the growth of the so-called “market-driven activities”, fuelled by increased demand for higher education worldwide, declining public funding, the diversification of higher education providers and new methods of delivery. This second trend in particular, and the complex issues it raises, has provided much impetus for quality in higher education in Europe to develop. It aims to protect the interest of students and facilitate their mobility.
In accordance with the European University Association (EUA), for Europe to remain competitive it must rely on quality and develop strategy education goals built on enhancing research, human resources and skills to deliver the new products and services that Europe must offer.
It is worth mentioning also that the European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) was established in 2006 with the objective to promote quality in higher education and to foster a dialogue that bridges national boundaries in Europe. It holds regular seminars on this issue, mainly within the EU, the next one is scheduled to take place at the Tallinn University (Estonia) from 22 to 24 November 2012. It will be followed by a number of seminars and workshops for quality managers in the spring of 2013.
On this issue, we believe that it is important to mention also an important study that was carried out by the German Rector’s Conference and published in December 2011: Good Teaching- Concepts and Good Practice in Higher Education. We mention it because, like we defend also at ISPD, quality education is mainly based on outstanding teaching. Teaching carried out by experts on the different fields of study, like we do. And based on innovative methods of study, both academic and practical followed by regular evaluations.
The growing number of students who have registered to follow our programmes of study at ISPD over the years are an indication that our quality of teaching is widely appreciated as a tool to train the professionals of the future.