Any degree, diploma or other certificate issued by a competent authority (e.g. a higher education institution, red.) attesting that particular learning outcomes have been achieved, normally following the successful completion of a recognised higher education programme of study.
Qualification descriptors are generic statements of the outcomes of study. They provide clear points of reference that describe the main outcomes of a qualification often with reference to national levels.
A qualifications framework provides a systematic description of the full range of qualifications within a given education system, as well as the ways in which learners can navigate between them.
The Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area is the systematic classification of higher education qualifications in the European Higher Education Area, QF-EHEA in short. QF-EHEA is based on level descriptors, the so-called Dublin descriptors.
These level descriptors are learning outcomes that refer to the following cycles: short cycle, first cycle (cf. Bachelor's level), second cycle (cf. Master's level) and third cycle (cf. Doctoral level).
The goal is to improve readability of qualifications and progression between levels. The QF-EHEA makes it possible to relate national qualifications to European level descriptors.
The quality of higher education is a multi-dimensional concept. Because every higher education provision accompanies multiple stakeholders (such as students, alumni, staff, employers, parents, ...) it is not easy to design a single definition. [...]
Quality assessment is the evaluation of the quality itself. Assessment tries to collect data, information and evidence of the quality of the higher education institution as a whole (institutional assessment) or its core activities separately (programme assessment). It goes beyond quality procedures (although it will be included) and tries to judge the quality of input, process and output.
Assessment does not necessarily lead to a formal accreditation decision. However, formal accreditation needs to be based on assessment.
Audit is the evaluation or review of procedures, processes and mechanism in a higher education institution or a part of such an institution. Not quality itself is subject of review, but procedures and mechanism to assure the quality and the processes to achieve the mission and goals.
A distinction is made between a quality audit and a management audit. A quality audit evaluates especially the procedures and processes for the assurance of the quality while a management audit looks also at general management, general policy and policy making.
A mechanism to ensure that an output (product or service) conforms to a predetermined specification.