8 March 2021
Unite! is developing standards for quality assurance at European universities
Following a two-day virtual inspection, the EUniQ Commission presented its evaluation report in a workshop on 8th March. Unite! received positive and helpful feedback and has already started to implement the recommendations made by the commission.

Unite! was one of four European university alliances to participate in the EUniQ pilot evaluation of European UniversitiesTask Force 2 – Quality Management (QM), coordinated by Matthias Adam and Miglena Amirpur from TU Darmstadt, have been working on a joint quality management system for Unite! since early 2020. The Unite! quality management links closely the overarching strategic goals with the specific activities. It makes use of the member universities’ existing quality management systems and makes sure that Unite! creates added value for all partners: “The quality management helps to achieve our ambitious goals in Unite! as we aim to build a European University alliance of a new quality.”, says Matthias Adam.

Unite! was also selected as one of four European university alliances (alongside EUTOPIA, Una Europa and YUFE) for the EUniQ pilot evaluation. The aim of the EUniQ project is to develop and test a Framework for the Quality Assurance of European Universities. Three independent experts, supported by process coordinators from two European quality assurance agencies, carried out the pilot evaluation and have now published their evaluation report following a two-day virtual inspection in November last year. The report stated:

"During the visit the panel could observe a strong commitment to the idea, objectives and activities of the future, fully developed Unite!. The activities that will lead to the compliance with the criteria of a fully developed European University have started to develop. Because the partners of Unite! have a long‐standing co‐operation in education, research and student exchange and partnerships in numerous EU research projects, the panel is of an opinion that Unite! ambitious goals and plans, if materialised through various action lines, will create an added value and take this co‐operation to a new level." Read the full Unite! Quality Assurance evaluation.

Unite! is encouraged that it is on the right path and is already implementing the recommendations made by the commission: The QM Manual (QMM) that has been developed will now be introduced into the Unite! Community and the other Task Forces (TFs), where it will be discussed and examined to check its feasibility. “The aim is for the QMM to be general enough yet at the same time applicable, understandable and compatible for all areas. This will require feedback from the individual TFs”, according to Miglena Amirpur. In addition, the quality objectives within the TFs will be operationalised and QM processes will be set up as soon as any activities are developed. “This is important so that we can develop our joint vision of an inter-university campus across the seven partner universities that comprises numerous individual programmes and activities that are not disconnected from the quality standards established by our partners”, says Andreas Winkler, Secretary General of the Unite! Alliance.

The next milestone is to adopt the QMM as an official document and present it as such at the fourth Unite! Dialogue in Autumn 2021.