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Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Quality of the degrees

In accordance with Guideline 2: Guarantee of the quality of the training programmes, of the Internal Quality Assurance System Manual, the University has the necessary procedures and methodologies to design and undertake the new official course offer (bachelor's degree, university master's degree and doctoral degree), ensuring the quality of its teaching, extending the participation mechanisms of the different interest groups and creating review and continuous improvement mechanisms.

Following the start-up of the EHEA, a new procedure has been established for which universities create new degree proposals that have to undergo a prior assessment process, an assessment process and continuous improvement to establish consistent links between them and to foster greater efficiency in their management.

The framework for the verification, supervision, modification and accreditation of official degrees (VSMA Framework) defines this procedure. The AQU makes public all the information concerning the quality of the official programmes of the Catalan University System on its websiteEstudis Universitaris de Catalunya

  • Verification: The new degree proposals must undergo a prior assessment process: verification. During this process, the quality agencies issue a binding assessment report to the Universities Council, which is the body responsible for verification. Once the new degree has obtained a favourable report from AQU Catalunya and a positive verification ruling from the Universities Council, the Government of Catalonia has to authorize it so that it can be implemented in accordance with programming criteria. Finally, it is the Council of Ministers which establishes the official nature of the university degrees and rules that they be included in the Universities, Centres and Qualifications Register (RUCT).
  • Supervision: a tool used in the University's administration which assesses the development of teaching based on the analysis of data and indicators and, if necessary, the creation of improvement proposals that must allow the confusion observed between the design of the degrees and their regular development to be corrected.
  • Modification: as a result of the supervision process, the two types of proposed modifications to university degrees are established.

Insubstantial modifications: small changes that improve the degree and which the University can implement as a result of the supervision process. These changes are contained in the supervision reports and are part of the report on the degree which has undergone a modification process.

Substantial modifications: changes to the verified degree that involve changes to its structure, nature or objectives. Changes of this type must be carried out during the modification procedure, or, if they significantly change the nature of the degree, during a re-verification process.

  • Accreditation: Accreditation is the process through which an education programme or institution supplies a quality agency with information about its learning and achievements, which, through an external committee, independently assesses this information to issue a public judgement based on standards which specify the value and quality of the programme or institution, as set out in the standards and guidelines for the achievement of quality in the EHEA of the ENQA. For bachelor's degrees, degree accreditation must be carried out six years after the initial verification (or most recent accreditation) and, in the case of master's degrees, after four years. To maintain the accreditation, degrees must obtain a favourable report once it has been proven that the corresponding course plan is carried out in accordance with the initial project by means of an assessment, which, in any event, must include an external visit to the institution.