Universities have responded to the challenge and the opportunity afforded by greater universal access to higher education by internationalising their courses, which has led them to diversify their mission and to innovate teaching and learning methods. Given such a context, quality assurance agencies play a central role in helping university institutions to respond to these changes, ensuring international recognition of the degrees awarded to students. One key objective of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is to contribute towards a common understanding of quality assurance in teaching and learning in any country and amongst all those involved. The common standards and guidelines established by the Conference of Ministers for Education of the EHEA for quality assurance (ESG) are the key to developing harmonised and comparable systems that evidence their quality on the international stage, increasing transparency, creating mutual trust and securing the recognition of qualifications, training programmes and universities.
The ESG provide a benchmark not only for internal and external quality assurance systems in higher education but also for the quality assurance of the agencies themselves, since they are the standards and guidelines applied by the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR)
The Quality Assurance Agency for the University System in Castilla y Leon(ACSUCYL) forms part of the EQAR register, after having successfully undergone an external review in accordance with these international standards, backed by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) . With the support of this international backing, ACSUCYL'S assessment, accreditation and certification programmes extend to higher education institutions anywhere.
ACSUCYL'S international dimension is further boosted through strategic alliances with other higher education agencies and institutions worldwide, aimed at sharing knowledge and “know-how”. These objectives are specifically reflected in:
The Quality Assurance Agency for the University System in Castilla y Leon(ACSUCYL) is the external assessment body for higher education in Castilla y León, and whose mission is the assessment, accreditation and certification of quality in universities in Castilla y León , as well as research and higher education centres in the context of the European Higher Education Area. As such, it aims to:
ACSUCYL’s mission is to ensure ongoing improvement in quality in higher education and to provide information concerning the outcomes to emerge from its action that will prove useful to stakeholders.
The Agency's vision is to become a benchmark in the area of quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area through the value of our action and its actual contribution to improving higher education.
The values that define how ACSUCYL works are:
Within the framework of autonomous community Organic Law 6/2001 of December 21, on Universities , Law 3/2003, of March 28, on Universities of Castilla y León created ACSUCYL as a public body governed by private law affiliated to the regional ministry responsible for universities, with the duties and powers detailed in article 36 of said regulations.
The organic structure and operational status of the Agency are set out in Decreto 15/2015, de 19 de febrero, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento de la Agencia para la Calidad del Sistema Universitario de Castilla y León.
ACSUCYL'S structure distinguishes between the bodies who undertake the tasks related governing, managing and representing, or advising and consulting, and those bodies whose responsibility it is to carry out with total autonomy and independence the tasks related to assessment, certification and accreditation inherent to the Agency:
In order to carry out the tasks assigned to them correctly, the assessment committees may seek the advice of experts who may act individually or jointly, setting up committees of experts.
Those interested in cooperating with ACSUCYL may register as experts .
In particular, in order to ensure that international standards are complied with in its actions, ACSUCYL has available:
In order to ensure the proper execution of the processes carried out by the Agency, a Quality Committee , has been set up designed to make sure that the commitments undertaken in the internal quality assurance system are met.