The 10th Annual International Symposium on University Rankings and Quality Assurance 2018

The 10th Annual International Symposium on University Rankings and Quality Assurance 2018

Due to the growing internationalisation of higher education, in the last decades Global Rankings and Quality Assurance (QA) have exponentially increased their relevance as a means to determine the prominence and value of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the EU and worldwide. These two categories of tools, operated by distinct actors, utilise very different quality approaches to reach equally different objectives.

Encouraging cooperation in QA of higher education, in order to guarantee a broader compliance with standards and support quality enhancement, is one of the main priorities of the Bologna Process. Since 2005, a shared framework for Quality Assurance at European level has been constituted by the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG),last revised in 2015. All the external QA agencies complying with this framework are listed in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR), currently listing 46 agencies entitled to perform evaluations across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), which is composed of 48 member countries – including all EU Member States – and the European Commission. Notwithstanding this, peculiarities and barriers at national level still hamper the establishment of a broader and truly European QA market. On the other hand, University Rankings, whose number has greatly grown in the last years, have the stated purpose of identifying academic excellences. Despite the efforts aimed at improving the indicators utilised, some methodological limitations persist. In this context, the U-Multirank, funded since its launch by the European Commission, may be indicated as a positive example, thanks to its exceptionally comprehensive set of indicators.

Aside from these external assessment mechanisms, quality remains a primary responsibility of higher education institutions, which have the responsibility to establish their own evaluation mechanisms. To this end, promoting a solid internal ‘quality culture’ is fundamental to develop effective institutional assessment strategies. And equally crucial is finding renewed approaches to better take into account the opinions and expectations of relevant stakeholders, primarily those of students.

This international symposium, now in its tenth year, aims at providing delegates with an updated framework on the various quality assessment systems in place across the EHEA. It will also allow participants to review different quality approaches, examining their benefits and critical points, as well as to engage in a timely debate on possible ways of improvement with relevant stakeholders at macro-regional level. 

Delegates will:

  • Gain insights into the European framework for Quality Assurance
  • Debate about the prospects of QA systems and cross-border QA
  • Examine the values and faults of Global Rankings
  • Explore the connections and dissimilarities between Quality Approaches
  • Discuss methods to facilitate stakeholders’ participation in the assessment process
  • Build constructive partnerships and meet delegates to inspire cross-border collaboration in higher education
  • Share best practice from the implementation of internal quality systems
To view our brochure, including the full event programme, click here.

Do feel free to circulate this information to relevant colleagues within your organisation.

In the meantime, to ensure your organisation is represented, please book online or complete and return the registration form at your earliest convenience in order to secure your delegate place(s).


Kind regards, 

Conference Team 
Public Policy Exchange 
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3137 8630
Fax: +44 (0) 20 3137 1459
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