Assessment and Accreditation of levels of study
Since 2009, the Agency for the Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education - Agência para a Acreditação e Avaliação do Ensino Superior (A3ES), a full member of European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, was established as the competent national authority for the international recognition process of higher education provided in Portugal. As a result of its creation, all Higher Education Institutions began to submit all their programs (levels of study) to the agency’s accreditation process to comply with quality promotion and assurance.
All higher education levels of study of UAlg’s, designed to attain a degree (bachelor, masters and doctoral), were subject of analysis in the first cycle of assessment of A3ES. All accreditation decisions, as well as the corresponding assessment reports, may be accessed in each degree information in the A3ES Database (link).
From the 2017/18 academic year, the second cycle of assessment/accreditation of A3ES initiated, appropriately planned and distributed by group, and it will run until 2021/22.
Internal Quality Assurance System Certification
All higher education institutions may, on a voluntary basis, submit their Internal Quality Assurance Systems to an audit process for the purpose of certification by Agency for the Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education - Agência para a Acreditação e Avaliação do Ensino Superior (A3ES). UAlg decided, in 2017, to submit its Internal Quality Assurance System (SIGQUAlg) to A3ES certification (link), having been decided by the Management Board to certify SIGQUAlg (link).
This external recognition and certification fit the differentiation strategy envisaged by UAlg, based on its strengths, affirmation of the institution on a national and international scale and in the continuous improvement of its educational offer and of the institution as a whole.
In 2017, UAlg joined A3ES’s institutional assessment process (link). This process emerges as the natural closing of a complete assessment/accreditation cycle of the levels of study and seeks to cover the institutional and teaching dimensions. The Management Board decided to certify (link).
According to A3ES “the institutional assessment focuses on performance quality of the Higher Education Institution, as a whole and regarding each of its organizational units, in order to enable an overall and integrated view of the institution and a view of each of its autonomous organizational structures.”