Another busy and challenging year for Eaquals accreditation is coming to a close. We have conducted 45 inspections and advisory visits and have welcomed 9 new accredited members to the Eaquals family. 3 institutions will join Eaquals in January. There are now 146 accredited members teaching 25 languages in 37 countries and we are pleased that China is back on the Eaquals map. It has been – as ever – team work: Eaquals inspectors and the Accreditation Panel. We rely on their judgement and expertise to ensure Eaquals Standards are applied consistently and members benefit from the inspection experience. The growth of Eaquals would not have been possible without unfailing support of Anna Andor and Vivi Koszegi. Thank you all for doing an excellent job.
Review of the Accreditation Scheme
Early this year an Advisory Group was set up to conduct a comprehensive review of the current Scheme and develop its variant for Higher Education. The Advisory Group includes members of the Accreditation Panel, a representative of the Board of Trustees, a former Director of Accreditation and an experienced inspector. A considerable amount of work has been done and the reviewed Scheme as well as an outline of the Scheme for HEI will be presented at the AGM in Madrid with the view of launching Version 7.2 in Quarter 4 of 2019 and pilot the new Scheme in early 2020. No major changes will be introduced in Version 7.2 – the Quality Standards, the methodological approach, the principles and the grading scheme will be maintained. The main purpose of the review is to make the Scheme more user-friendly and easier to apply by reducing the amount of overlap between the main categories, rewording some of the indicators and including the Blended Learning appendix and other guidelines in the Manual.
The Accreditation Panel – composed of eight members – is responsible for moderation of inspection reports, and it also contributes to the development of the Inspection Scheme and inspector training. Two of its members – Lyndy Cronin and Sue Hackett will step down at this end of this month having served on the Panel for six years. Working with Lyndy and Sue has been a rewarding experience. On behalf of Eaquals I wish to thank them for the reports they have read over the years and the training sessions they have run. We all appreciate their contribution to the development of the Scheme, their unbiased views and professional integrity. Both Lyndy and Sue will continue working as Eaquals inspectors and will be involved in projects related to Eaquals accreditation.
It is a pleasure to inform you that the Eaquals Board approved the appointment of Justin Vollmer and Ute Arnold as members of the Panel and I am sure you will join me in welcoming them. They are experienced freelance inspectors who have been active in Eaquals for a number of years. Their considerable professional experience includes teacher training and academic management.