Exchange on Quality Standards in the Offer of Postgraduate Virtual Academic Courses in the European Union and Latin America and Caribbean

This document is based on a virtual meeting of Higher Education and Postgraduate Institutions from the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean entitled “Exchange on quality standards in the offer of virtual postgraduate academic courses in the European Union (EU), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)”, co-organised by the EU-LAC Foundation and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), on 8th April 2021, in the framework of the preparation of the XXVII Ibero-American Summit.

The objective of this meeting, held with representatives of universities, higher education associations, quality assurance networks and other relevant actors in the field of accreditation, was to address the question of how to ensure recognised quality standards in online master’s and PhD programmes offered by European, Latin American and Caribbean universities. The dialogue focussed on the following questions:

  • the most important challenges that the participating entities have been experiencing in your efforts to guarantee the quality of investigation and virtual teaching in the context of the pandemic;
  • the methodologies and tools that have recently been established or updated in the EU and LAC regions in order to safeguard the quality standards of distance education and online courses;
  • the need to converge around a common reference framework of (minimum) quality standards for distance education and the next steps of a roadmap towards such a framework;
  • the construction of an international quality assurance regime.

Interventions during the meeting were made by Dr Adrián Bonilla (EU-LAC Foundation) – opening remarks, and Dr Rebeca Grynspan (Ibero-American General Secretariat – SEGIB) – closing remarks, Dr Ricardo Mairal (European Association of Distance Teaching Universities – EADTU), Dr Hugo Juri (National University of Córdoba), Dr Miguel Ángel Castro (Ibero- American Postgraduate University Association – AUIP), Dr Antonio López (University of Santiago de Compostela), Dr Stephan Gift (The University of the West Indies - UWI), Dr Josep Planell (Interuniversity Development Centre – CINDA), Dr Melchor Sánchez Mendiola (National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM), Dr Alexander Hasgall (European University Association – EUA), Dr Néstor Pan (Ibero-American System for Quality Assurance of Higher Education – SIACES), Dr María Pilar Delgado Hito (University of Barcelona) and Dr Antonio Serrano González (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education – ENQA). The meeting was also attended by Dr María Lurdes Correia Fernandes (University of Porto) and Dr Carmen Vargas Macias (University of Seville).

The meeting was moderated by Dr Félix García Lausín (Ibero-American General Secretariat - SEGIB) and Dr Anna Barrera Vivero (EU-LAC Foundation).