Since the beginning of the Erasmus programme the number of bilateral agreements between higher education institutions has increased massively. In recent years, however, the focus in setting up such agreements has shifted more and more from quantity to quality, from “partners” to “partnerships”. The question now is: how can we objectively monitor the quality of our partnerships?
Within Flanders this question recently led to the development of a prototype of an Online Quality Assessment Tool for International Cooperation (eQuATIC). This tool measures and exposes strengths and weaknesses in international cooperation and partnerships. The main principle of eQuATIC is the use of quantified indicators based on already available data taken from various data sources. By converting quantitative and descriptive data into figures, cooperation with partners at different levels can easily be analysed and improved.
The main objective of the project is to generalise the use of the eQuATIC prototype in order to apply it for assessing quality of partnerships amongst Higher Education Institutions (HEI). Upscaling the use of eQuATIC on a European scale will lead to better monitoring of quality of international cooperation and will contribute to more successful partnerships and therefore a more efficient European Higher Education Area.
Moreover the project partners aim to foster a debate about quality assurance in internationalisation and stimulate data-informed decision making.