ENQA co-ordinated review of QQI concludes


It is a requirement of QQI’s membership of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and its listing on the European Register for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (EQAR), that QQI undergoes an external review every five years against the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

QQI underwent successful reviews previously against the ESG in 2014 and 2019 and therefore became eligible to undertake a targeted review this time. As well as ensuring that QQI continues to meet the standards in the ESG, we were also allowed to consider a particular ESG standard for enhancement purposes.

QQI selected ESG Standard 3.4 Thematic Analysis, as our target area for review. This is in line with the priority in our current Statement of Strategy 2022-24 of ‘publishing authoritative analysis and insight.’

QQI asked ENQA to act as the co-ordinating body for our review. In advance of the review QQI prepared a self-assessment report and submitted this to ENQA in November 2023.

The 4-person ENQA review team led by Ulf Hedbjörk, Senior Analyst with the Swedish Higher Education Authority accompanied by colleagues from the United Kingdom, Portugal and Romania, visited QQI between 20-23 February.

Over the course of the site visit, the team met with QQI staff, the Board of QQI, senior staff from public and private higher education institutions, academic and student members of QQI review panels, representatives from professional statutory and regulatory bodies, staff of the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, innovation and Science.

The review team presented its preliminary findings to QQI staff before departing. They commented positively on the work that QQI is doing in relation to the external quality assurance of higher education and the impact that our work has in maintaining the quality of Irish higher education.

Following their visit, the panel will prepare a draft report which will be sent to QQI in early April for a factual accuracy check, prior to its being presented to the ENQA Agency Review Committee (ARC) for their approval. 

QQI anticipates a positive response from the ENQA ARC which will reconfirm QQI’s membership of ENQA for a further five years. 

The report will then be published by ENQA and QQI and can then be sent to EQAR so that the EQAR Register Committee can consider whether QQI remains on the European Quality Assurance Register of trusted external quality assurance agencies. QQI is confident of a positive decision by EQAR.