International cooperation on quality assurance in higher education

The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) plays an active role in international cooperation on the evaluation of higher education, in particular in Europe.

Many students either study or work outside their native countries. The primary aim of the Bologna Process is to create greater mobility for students and graduates applying for jobs in Europe. For this reason it is important for higher education programmes in different countries to be comparable and to maintain stable standards.

Cooperation in several different organisations

Cooperation mainly takes place within the framework of ENQA (The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) and the Nordic NOQA network (Nordic Quality Assurance Network in Higher Education), but also in INQAAHE (International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education).

To ENQA's website

To NOQA's website

To INQAAHE's website

ENQA membership

UKÄ is a member of the European organisation ENQA. ENQA is a member organisation for national quality assurance agencies in the European area for higher education. To join ENQA, a quality assurance agency must meet ENQA’s requirements. These requirements are based on ESG’s principles for external quality assurance of HEIs’ operations and on the principles to which the quality assurance agencies are to adhere.

To meet ENQA’s requirements, the reviews carried out by a quality assurance agency are to include monitoring and enhancement of the quality work of higher education institutions. ESG also require that the quality assurance agency is autonomous and acts independently. Autonomy is important for ensuring that processes and decisions are based on objective grounds. This refers to both organisational and operative autonomy and autonomy in taking formal decisions. Quality assurance agencies of ENQA are subject to an external review at least once every five years to ensure that they comply with ESG.

In December 2020, ENQA's Board decided on membership for UKÄ, after an independent expert group reviewed how UKÄ as a quality assurance agency meets the requirements set out in the ESG.

Read Board letter - membership approved Pdf, 149.1 kB. Pdf, 149 kB.

Read the External review report Pdf, 557.6 kB. Pdf, 558 kB.

Read the report: UKÄ Self-Assessment Report for ENQA Agency Review 2020 Pdf, 3.3 MB. Pdf, 3 MB.

Read the Terms of Reference for ENQA Agency Review of UKÄ Pdf, 598.8 kB. Pdf, 599 kB.

Read the report Follow-up report - The Swedish Higher Education Authority's (UKÄ) response to ENQA's recommendations Pdf, 373 kB.

Mutual criteria

ENQA has been assigned, within the framework of the Bologna Process, the task of developing mutually acceptable criteria and methods for quality assurance.

At a Ministerial conference in Bergen, Norway, in May 2005 the participating countries agreed to adopt the standards and guidelines, drafted by ENQA, in consultation and co-operation with the EUA (European University Association), ESU (European Students Union) and EURASHE (European Association of Institutions in Higher Education).

Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)




Accreditation and evaluation agencies in the other Nordic countries

Denmark: The Danish Accreditation Institution

Denmark: EVA, the Danish Evaluation Institute

Norway: NOKUT, The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education

Finland: FINEEC, The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre

Iceland: The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture

Iceland: The Icelandic Centre for Research, Rannis

This page was last updated 5 January 2024