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Institutional and Programme Reviews

We would like to express our admiration and sincere thanks to the members of the panel. We are impressed with the insight and depth of the findings and the recommendations based on them. It was a challenging but above all inspiring two visits that have left us with a very useful and well argumented X-ray vision on how we are doing things here in Rotterdam and how we could improve. We see the report as a major stimulant to continue our work, improve on some issues and prepare for a next review. We look forward to showing the panel what has been achieved by then. It was a wonderful job, done by wonderful colleagues.

Jeroen Chabot – Dean Willem de Kooning Academie (The Netherlands)

Started in 2005 (under the aegis of ELIA until 2015) EQ-Arts has piloted, tested and carried out more than 30 Institutional and Programme ‘critical friend’ reviews in Arts Academies and Faculties in the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria and Estonia.

  • EQ-Arts offers both institutional, and/or programme reviews to test how Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes are embedded at all levels
  • EQ-Arts has developed a review methodology from the bottom-up that is specifically suited to higher arts education
  • The EQ-Arts methodology nurtures trust and mutual respect between Experts and Institutional Staff
  • This non-confrontational approach is informed by national and transnational expertise and insight
  • EQ-Arts tailors each Review to the specific needs of the reviewed institution and/or its disciplines, subjects and programmes.

Review Process

A tested, sound and developed process appropriate for all the disciplines of higher arts education that is the product of over ten years of experience and uses highly qualified and experienced peers;

Employs four basic questions:

  1. What is the institution/subject trying to achieve?
  2. How is the institution/subject trying to achieve it?
  3. How does the institution/subject know it works?
  4. How does the institution/subject go about making changes and improvements?

Two-visit Review Process

A flexible Review Process normally involves an Expert team of four peer reviewers visiting the institution for two and half working days for each visit. Both the Preliminary and Main visits are based on a similar pattern but focus on two different levels of concern.

Experts meet various groups relevant to the aims of each visit invited from:

  • Senior managers
  • Staff at all levels, academic and administrative
  • Students
  • Graduates
  • Employers

Preliminary Visit

  • Establishes the norms, values and context of the institution as a whole
  • Creates self-awareness and a detached overview for staff and institutional management
  • Provides a model for institutions and staff to focus on their aims and objectives and the specific vision of the institution as a whole
  • Asks the question - ‘what is the institution trying to achieve’
  • Explores the wider issues that affect the institutions operations and needs - ‘how is the institution trying to achieve it’

Main Visit

  • Explores the working relationships and structures within the institution
  • Explores how programmes function and operate
  • Looks at existing and planned Quality Assurance and Enhancement process – ‘how does the institution/subject know it works’
  • Analyses management and communication processes – ‘how does the institution/subject go about making changes and improvements’


The EQ-Arts panel of experts will produce a comprehensive Review Report fully owned by the institution that explains the thoroughness of the process employed by EQ-Arts in collaboration with the institution.

The Report will highlight good practice and areas for further development and contain appropriate recommendations related to:

  • Institutional, faculty and programme management processes
  • Quality Assurance and Enhancement developments and methods
  • Staff development processes
  • Programme development
  • Programme organisation
  • Learning and teaching processes

The Institution owns the final Review Report and can use it to support the institution’s relationships with:

  • The process of statutory accreditation, validation or another Quality review
  • Potential International or national partners
  • Ministries of education and other governmental departments
  • National agencies
  • Cultural bodies
  • As an internal policy document and long-term plan


As a result of engaging in the EQ-Arts two-visit Review process institutions and staff will find that they have an improved confidence and understanding of:

  • How to establish manage and develop a quality educational environment
  • How to ensure the quality of the students learning experience
  • How to develop and embed Quality Assurance and Enhancement to meet European measures.
  • The value and function of  Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes
  • How to write a  Self-Evaluation Document (SED)

Follow-up Evaluation Visits

Institutions can request an EQ-Arts follow-up evaluation visit to assess progress and provide further advice following a reasonable time span. This visit will use the Final report of the EQ-Arts two visit Review process outlined above as a starting point.