European Standards and Guidelines

Higher education, research and innovation play a crucial role in supporting social cohesion, economic growth and global competitiveness. The focus of the ESG is on quality assurance related to learning and teaching in higher education, including the learning environment and relevant links to research and innovation. The new Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) were adopted in 2015 by 48 European Ministers responsible for higher education. The Ministers following a proposal prepared by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) in co-operation with the European Students’ Union (ESU), the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) and the European University Association (EUA). Since 2005, considerable progress has been made in quality assurance as well as in other Bologna action lines such as qualification frameworks, recognition and the promotion of the use of learning outcomes, all these contributing to a paradigm shift towards student-centered learning and teaching. The ESG are a set of standards and guidelines for internal and external quality assurance in higher education. The ESG are not standards for quality, nor do they prescribe how the quality assurance processes are implemented, but they provide guidance, covering the areas which are vital for successful quality provision and learning environments in higher education.