13/07-16/07 QUEST QA Pool Workshop

Event date - 13/07/2011
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QUEST QA Pool Workshop

Enhancing students’ participation in quality assurance of higher education remains the priority area for the European Students’ Union and from 2010 year on is strongly institutionally backed-up with the QUEST project, ESU is implementing with partners.


Besides it’s other action lines, which mainly focus on research and policy development, necessity to work on further empowerment of students to act as experts on quality assurance has it’s exceptional role and will be mainly delivered within a series of thematic workshops. The first QUEST workshop will take place in Edinburgh, July 12-16, 2011 (arrival and departure days) and aims to bring together current and incoming members of ESU’s experts’ pool on quality assurance.


Aims and objectives of the workshop are as follows:


  1. Introducing to QUEST project, main action lines and interim outcomes;
  2. Presenting ESU work on quality assurance (MAP ESG, E4 group) and contributing the discussion over future development of ESU experts’ pool on QA;
  3. Creating a space to share practices in the field of quality assurance, covering students’ participation on all levels around Europe: from international to institutional;
  4. Exploring the role of students in quality assurance broadening of the argumentation catalogue to advocate for greater students’ participation in QA;
  5. Developing a critical awareness of international policy discourses in the context of the changing nature of higher education and its impact to quality debate on the national/ institutional level;
  6. Validating the operational part of ESU’s Strategy on Quality Assurance Experts’ pool with a particular focus on development of a long-term training program for pool members;
  7. Enabling QA experts with skills, necessary for successful performance as external reviewer;


All costs, related to participation for NUS delegates, are covered by ESU. Selected participants will be provided with all background information, regarding preparation for the workshop.


Working language of the workshop is English.


 Draft Agenda



QUEST Project, Workshop 1, Edinburgh, 12-17 July 2011


 Tuesday 12 July


Afternoon – Arrival of participants

19:30 Welcome Meal

Informal opening, getting to know each other, social activities



Wednesday 13 July


07:30 – 09:30 Breakfast

09:30 – 10.00 Welcome session

Welcome to WS1 and outline of the week ahead. Short intro to ESU and to sparqs.

10:00 – 10.45 Icebreaker and round of introductions/ expectations

Opportunity to meet everyone and find out about their experiences as student experts and/or what they hope to get out of the week.


10:45 – 11.30 Introduction to QUEST Project

Outline of the QUEST project: what it aims to achieve, what the role of the student experts is.

11.30 – 11.45 Break

11:45 – 13.00 QUEST on QA

Why students and why participation in QA? Peer-learning exercise

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 16:00 Policy continuum: from international to institutional level

Mapping exercise, presentation of the Quality Enhancement Framework in Scotland, wrap-up with the main trends on QA on the European level.

16:00 – 18:30 QA and me (with coffee break time in)

Exposition of personal experiences/ NUS experiences and best-practices; Presentation of sparqs.

From 18:30 Free time and evening meal


Thursday 14 July


9:00 – 9:15 Opening session and introduction to the second day agenda

9:15 – 11:00 Validation of ESU Strategy on Quality Assurance Experts Pool


Parallel sessions:

  1. a) QA experts’ pool for beginners: what it stands for, what are the experiences
  2. b) Experts’ pool for policy matters: how use it to mainstream ESU’s policy lines: Social dimension, Students’ centred learning
  3. c) Steering of the pool (for experienced)
  4. d) QA experts’ pool for the tailored support on the national level and sharing practices


11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 12:45 Main QA tools: ESG and the way forward (presentation)

12:45 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:00 MAP ESG and QUEST desk research

Purpose, main findings, possible policy implications and involvement of the NUSes.

15:00 – 15:15 Coffee break

15:15 – 17:00 Case studies: putting ESG in practice on three levels

Setting an internal QA mechanism, external evaluation, reviews agencies.

17:00 – 17:45 Introduction to the role play/ division of  tasks (role play to start next day)

17:45 – 18:15 Flash-evaluation

From 18:15 Free time and evening meal


Friday 15 July


9:00 – 9:30 Opening session of the day

Outline what is happening today and answer any questions and introduction to the Role play (practicalities: which room is where, timetable).

9:30 – 11:00 Role-play on students’ participation at evaluation panels

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 13:00 Role-play continues

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 14:45 Debriefing after the role-play

15:00 – 17:00 Tours of the Scottish Parliament (optional)

Two guided tours, starting at 15.20 and 15.40

17:00 – 19:00 Free time, sightseeing (optional)

19:00 Evening meal, meeting NUS Scotland


Saturday 16 July


9:00 – 9:15 Opening session of the day

9.15 – 11:00 Training and development

Session run by sparqs

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 13:00 Parallel sessions on skill-building (can be revised after evaluating expectations of the participants):

− Communication skills

− Methods of monitoring quality

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Parallel sessions on skill-building (after the rotation of participants):

− Communication skills

− Methods of monitoring quality

15.30 – 15.45 Coffee break

15:45 – 16:30 Evaluation of the workshop, wrap-up

16:30 – 17:00 Closing of the workshop

17.00 – Free time and evening meal



To find out more about QUEST and ESU work on Quality Assurance in Higher education, please contact us at


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