External Quality Assurance

Partners

All of the activities of all the Partners are evaluated on a regular basis, by an external National Body, which takes into account the results of the internal evaluation. In particular, all curricula are scrutinised on a regular basis. In order to obtain the authorisation to award their degrees, the Partners have to justify the quality of their teaching staff and, in particular, the quality of their research. They also all have to show that students obtain qualified jobs after completing their degrees.

In addition, there are several ways in which the quality of the programme is checked, both inside the Partner Institutions and externally (see below).

  • External Examiners, who produce an annual report on the programme.
  • Internal review of the programme (i.e., every 4 years), including external input.
  • Internal review of the modules (i.e., every 4 years).
  • Programme review prepared by UAB Coordinator and considered by the Academic Quality & Standards Committee.
  • Periodic appraisal of academic and non-academic staff.
  • Peer observation of teaching (staff members observing/monitoring colleagues’ teaching).
  • Meetings of the JPB three times per year, which will consider QA issues, as a priority.
  • Annual operating statements from the different Partners, as to their Academic Quality and Standards Committee, or equivalent.
  • A formal course evaluation, by a high-level visiting international committee.

Potential watch bodies are being identified (NGOs, national authorities, experts), that could be associated with the evaluation process..

Students and Scholars

All students and scholars are invited to assess all aspects of the Masters Course, during and at the end of their stay. Anonymous multiple-choice questionnaires are handed out, the same for all students and, with different content, for all scholars. Further, and as a complement, face-to-face discussions are encouraged and their outcomes summarised by designated colleagues. Questionnaires and summaries of discussions, together with exams results, are analysed at one of the annual meetings of the JPB, with the assistance of representatives of administration. In the case that problems are identified, the group of local coordinators have to make suggestions, in order to improve the situation before the start of the following academic year.

Associates

Associated Institutions are committed to QA procedures of the MER MSc. Most directly involved are those acting as representatives in the JPB and UABs. Other Associated Partners are invited periodically to visit us and produce internal reports, for either individual UABs or the JPB. All of them receive the reports made by external examiners, to provide advice to the JPB.

External Quality Assessment Board

A formal MER Master course evaluation is carried out every two years by a high-level international committee (External Quality Assessment Board). The committee is organised and coordinated by an senior expert with a multidisciplinary profile and experience in global management issues in the framework of a non-scientific Intergovernmental institution.

All of these sources of information are used to identify strengths and weaknesses, as a basis for developing and further enhancing individual units and the programme, as a whole. All feedback is used carefully, to gather information on how the programme and the individual modules can be improved. External examiners are encouraged to comment on the course structure, course content, programme specifications, etc.