NCFHE launches the National Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher Education

Publication Date: Jul 01, 2015
The National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) has launched the National Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher Education​. This was the key deliverable of the ESF 1.227 Project ‘Making Quality Visible’ which was concluded today during a conference.
During the launch of the National Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher EducationThe Project ‘Making Quality Visible’ that is co-financed through the European Social Fund, was led by the NCFHE. Its main aim was to foster a national culture of quality in further and higher education provision. Other partners where the University of Malta, the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology, the Institute for Tourism Studies, the Directorate for Lifelong Learning, the Employment and Training Corporation, and ACQUIN, an established Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency based in Germany (Full speech​).
Mr Martin Scicluna, Chairman of the NCFHE said that this was the first quality assurance framework in Europe that combined Quality Assurance for Vocational and Tertiary Education provision. He explained that the Framework as a whole aimed to provide guidance to educational institutions that embark on the processes of Internal and External Quality Assurance in order to enhance the learning outcomes provided through their educational programmes. He also said that this framework further fulfilled the NCFHE’s role as the competent authority for licensing, accreditation and quality assurance of further and higher education in Malta.
Present for this conference were also Hon. Evarist Bartolo,Minister for Education & Employment; Ms Edel Cassar, Chief Executive Officer of the NCFHE; as well as representatives from the project partners, student evaluators and educational institutions.
Another key deliverable of the Project, Making Quality Visible, was the Manual of Procedures for External Quality Assurance​ which set out the procedures for the implementation of external quality audits. In addition, thanks to the project, 30 student evaluators with vocational and tertiary education backgrounds, 40 peer experts, and 4 NCFHE members of staff were trained in various aspects related to external quality audits. This training was held in connection with the first three pilot external audits, which were conducted with the University of Malta, MCAST and ITS during April and May 2015.
NCFHE was also recognised for these efforts on an international level, and in July 2014 it was accepted as an affiliate member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the first step towards full membership in 2017.