Students’ perspectives on the quality of education surveyed
BRUSSELS – Following three years of hard work, the QUEST (Quest for Quality for Students) project is in its final stretch. By the end of October, the European Students’ Union (ESU) will hold a closing event in Brussels for the QUEST project where it will present an overview of the main outcomes from the research and debate with higher education stakeholders and policy-makers how those findings can contribute to educational policies in Europe. QUEST has been one of two major research projects run by ESU, the other one being SAGE (Student Advancement of Graduate Employability).
Since a consultation conference was held in Malta in December 2012, the work of the partners to the QUEST project (ESU, fzs, ARACIS and sparqs) has been focused on the achievement and consolidation of the project objectives. The research team has aimed at providing a relevant contribution to the European higher education arena that can be useful long after the project itself has ended.
A milestone in examining students’ perspectives
QUEST is an achievement in reaching an understanding of what students think of the quality of higher education and their needs for information. It also empowers a meaningful participation of students in quality assurance and enhancement activities. The research activities make a clearer picture of the students’ perceptions on quality and their needs regarding information provisions.
The hope is that those findings will be taken on board by higher education institutions, quality assurance agencies, policy makers and other stakeholders. On the other hand, the capacity building pillar of the project has developed practical capacity building tools to strengthen and empower students and students’ unions for participating in quality enhancement and assurance processes, providing also the capacity to multiply their knowledge and support European cooperation in quality assurance at national levels.
Survey findings presented next week
“We are proud to see that what at the beginning seemed to be very ambitious plans, are now a reality. QUEST has been able to perform a pan-European analysis on the students’ perceptions on the quality of higher education. The aim is to shed light on this field and to map interesting patterns that pave the way for further investigation,” says Fernando Miguel Galan Palomares, ESU’s Vice-Chairperson and main coordinator of the project.
At the end of next week, ESU will present the findings of a large survey examining responses from thousands of students on quality assurance. Those findings describe a multi-faceted picture of the students’ view on quality of higher education, much more complex than it was thought to be, and which should be considered when developing new strategies and policies for European systems for higher education systems.
Read more about the QUEST project here.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.