International co-operation and mutual approval of quality assurance procedures is an essential objective of AQA and which will be continuously enhanced.
Since 2009 AQA is listed in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR). AQA is full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and of the Central and Eastern European Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (CEEN). Moreover AQA is a member of the Association for evaluation (DeGEval) since 2005.
The international orientation and networking of AQA takes place on the following levels:
- Internationality of the Scientific Steering Group
The Scientific Steering Group consists of peers from five countries (Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway, and Austria). The members of the Scientific Steering Group contribute with their experience and ensure the independence of the agency.
- Internationality of peers in evaluation procedures
AQA involves international peers in each review procedure (due to the common language mostly from Germany and Switzerland). In the course of the comprehensive preparation and steering of the review team AQA ensures the knowledge of the national educational system.
- Co-operations with international quality assurance agencies
AQA co-operates with quality assurance agencies from other countries. The partnerships take place within international networks for quality assurance agencies (ENQA; CEE network, INQAAHE) but also in a bilateral manner.
Co-operation with other agencies includes particularly:
- Co-operations in international projects
AQA co-operated in the UNESCO/CEPES project ‘International Ranking Expert Group’ (IREG) (workshops in Washington 2004 and Berlin 2006) and made use of the exchange of experiences for the enhancement of comparative methods and for the development of benchmarking procedures.
AQA participated in the UNESCO/OECD panel for the elaboration of the guidelines for quality provision in cross-border higher education, has coordinated the Austrian statement and contributed to the dissemination of the guidelines.
AQA participates and contributes to various TEMPUS-partnerships all over Europe. These include guidance in the development of internal quality management processes of universities and advice to newly established quality assurance agencies.
AQA conducts quality assurance procedures and accreditations in different european countries (i.e. Germany, Italy, Eastern- and South-Eastern-Europe).
- International conferences and study visits
AQA staff contributes to international conferences.
AQA regularly welcomes visitors from other countries and informs them about quality assurance in the Austrian higher education system.