Delegation of African Vice-Rectors for Quality Assurance visits FIBAA

An international delegation from francophone Africa visited FIBAA as part of an executive training stay, on the 14th of December 2017. The trip took place under the auspices of the CAMES - Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l'Enseignement Supérieur (African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education), whose General Secretary, Professor Dr. Ing. Bertrand Mbatchi acted as group leader. Delegation members included vice-rectors with responsibility for quality assurance and quality management from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, and Togo. They followed the invitation of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Saarland University.

Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, Managing Director of FIBAA, presented a lecture on External Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The Case of Accreditation Agencies – Current state, structures and operations, which examined quality assurance and quality development in Europe and especially in Germany. Professor Dr. Fink’s lecture was followed by an intense exchange of ideas and experiences with the participants, who were particularly interested in the accreditation practice of FIBAA. The joint event showed very clearly the importance of accreditation and quality management for francophone African universities.



First picture: Managing Director Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink (FIBAA), Professor Dr. Bertrand Mbatchi (General Secretary CAMES), Dr. Johannes Abele (Head of the International Office, Saarland University)  



8th ENQA General Assembly

Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink attendet the 8th ENQA General Assembly in Sevres, France. © ENQA


The General Assembly of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) took place from 26th to 27th of October 2017 at the Center International d'Études Pédagogiques in Sevres, France. Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, Managing Director of FIBAA, attended the Annual General Meeting.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Cristóbal Cobo, Director of the Ceibal Foundation in Uruguay, and associate researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. He talked about the challenges faced by higher education institutions (HEI), including digitalization and the advancing globalization that are forcing a reaction from the higher education sector. "As an agency, it is important to us to participate in the quality assurance process of European HEIs and to help develop standards. That is why FIBAA focuses intensively on this change of the HEI landscape" says Professor Dr. Fink. "In the future, digitization in particular will play an increasingly important role in teaching and learning internationally. Today, we already offer a variety of workshops on this topic. However, FIBAA will broaden its scope in this field." The focus was on various discussion forums and reflections on the preparation for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Ministerial Conference, from 23rd of May to 25th 2018, in Paris.

The next members' forum will take place from 19th to 20th of April 2018 in Zaragoza, Spain. You find further information on ENQA´s upcoming events here.

Moscow: FIBAA at the annual forum of the Russian expert guild


On 18th November 2017, at the invitation of the National Center for Public Accreditation (NCPA), FIBAA's partner agency in Russia, Jana Bekker participated in the annual forum of the Russian Expert Guild for Professional Education in Moscow. In her speech, Jana Bekker introduced the numerous participants of the event, including representatives of Russian HEIs, research centers, student organizations and the State Duma, with the quality criteria of FIBAA in programme accreditation. The Expert Guild is the largest and oldest independent expert pool in Russia, currently connecting over a thousand quality assurance experts from higher education. "The participation of FIBAA in the forum has become a good tradition: we have been there for the fourth time. This shows both the reliable cooperation with our colleagues from the NCPA and the good connections between FIBAA and the academic expert community in Russia, " reports Jana Bekker.



Kazakhstan: Special Representative as Keynote Speaker


On 14th of November 2017, Jana Bekker, Special Representative in International Relations, represented FIBAA as keynote speaker at the workshop "Quality assurance of education and modernization of educational programs in the context of the National Framework of Qualifications" in Astana, Kazakhstan. The event, organized by the consulting firm GDSI (Ireland) in collaboration with the World Bank and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the People of the Republic of Kazakhstan, dealt with the establishment of the National Qualification System in Kazakhstan. As the only European agency, FIBAA was invited. Jana Bekker spoke in front of a high caliber audience of representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, HEI management, analytical centers and trade associations of Kazakhstan on how FIBAA promotes the transition of Kazakh HEIs towards competence-based learning. Her presentation met with great interest from the participants. “FIBAA is one of only three foreign agencies that have been officially re-registered in Kazakhstan in 2017 and the only one that has done so in the first round of selection. We are delighted to receive this recognition and are very happy to support both the HEIs and its authorities of the country in their quality policy and analysis”, says Jana Bekker.

Vietnam: STEM Higher Education for Mekong Delta Development

Dr. Ulrich Schmidt and participants of the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City.


Initiated by the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH), Vietnam, Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt, Special Representative of FIBAA, has been invited by the Institute of Science-Innovation-Technology (ISAT), the Association of Vietnam Universities and Colleges, to contribute to the international scientific conference “STEM Higher Education for Mekong 150 participants of different Vietnamese Higher Education Institutes attended the conference.

Mr. Schmidt chaired the panel session “Quality Assurance of STEM Programs: Accountability and enhancement”. In line with the objectives of the conference and in order to clarify and establish lines of accountability and enhancement, he focused his contribution on general information on criteria and standards in quality assurance, based on his experience and FIBAA assessment guides.

Due to a special request by the organizers, Mr. Schmidt additionally conducted a workshop “International Accreditation”, which has been attended by representatives of about 13 Vietnamese HEIs, who were interested in particular in advantages, criteria and procedure of international programme accreditation. Maybe, the workshop encourages some participants to follow this track.

On this opportunity invited by UEH Mr. Schmidt, on behalf of the Managing Director of FIBAA, Ms. Prof. Dr. Fink, delivered the respective FIBAA Quality Seals for four recently successfully accredited study programmes of UEH.

International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education: FIBAA Special Representative as Keynote Speaker

At  the invitation of the Khyber Medical University in Peshawar, Pakistan, Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt will attend the 1st International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education on the 18th to 19th of December 2017. As keynote speaker, he will talk about self-assessment reports in facilitating accreditation procedures. Around 400 participants are expected, mainly from HEIs in Pakistan. It is another opportunity for FIBAA to present its international criteria and standards to a broad international audience. The conference programme with its contributions is an evidence for the interest in looking beyond the national framework and discussing the “Impact of Quality Enhancement Practices” with international experts.

Contract signed with an university in Oman: FIBAA continues to expands is activities in the Middle East

Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink (l.), Managing Director of FIBAA., and Dr. Sufian Eltayeb Mohamed (r.), Head of the Accreditation & Quality Assurance Unit and Assistant Professor of Public Law at the College of Law of the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), subscribe the contract for the accreditation of a Bachelor´s degree programme at the SQU.


FIBAA welcomed Dr. Sufian Eltayeb Mohamed, Head of the Accreditation & Quality Assurance Unit and Assistant Professor of Public Law at the College of Law of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Oman, on the 24th of October 2017. "We are very honoured that Dr. Mohamed visited us in our head office to sign a contract for the accreditation of a Bachelor's Programme at the College of Law of the SQU. This shows that the SQU leadership particularly values the work of FIBAA" said Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, Managing Director of FIBAA.

The SQU was founded in 1986 and is still Oman's only public research university. Over 15.000 students attend the nine faculties of the SQU, covering all major academic disciplines. The College of Law comprises the branches of public and private law, some of whose courses are held in English.

"We are looking forward to working closely with SQU. As a result, Oman is one of our promising target markets, and I am confident that we will continue to expand our activities in the Middle East" said Professor Dr. Fink.

Cooperation of FIBAA and AACSB: Quality Assurance Professionals Workshop

Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink (CEO FIBAA), Professor Dr. Timothy S. Mescon (Executive Vice President and Chief Officer for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for AACSB International), Professor Dr. Isabelle Fagnot (Director Quality, Accreditations & Rankings, Audencia Business School Nantes), Professor Dr. Björn Kjellander (Director of Accreditation and Quality, Jönköping Business School)


The AACSB Europe, Middle East and Africa Annual Conference took place from 16th to 19th of October 2017  in St. Julian's, Malta. Following the conference FIBAA and AACSB conjointly offered a Quality Assurance Professionals Workshop. Professor Dr. Kerstin  Fink, CEO of FIBAA, together with Professor Dr. Timothy S. Mescon, Vice President and Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at AACSB, welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of the role of Quality Assurance Professionals (QAPs). The topic attracted great interest. Consequently, the workshop was sold out very quickly. Professor Dr. Fink and Dr. Mescon spoke in front of a high-calibre audience consisting of representatives from major international business schools.

"It is very important for FIBAA to pass on our knowledge of the role higher education professionals within quality assurance and quality enhancement. Therefore, this joint workshop offered the right framework to highlight this significant issue. AACSB is one of the most eminent international accreditation organizations. We share a focus on business schools. Our collaboration aptly demonstrates FIBAA’s strong international reputation" said Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink. On the occasion of this event, FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Fink and Dr. Dan LeClair, Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at AACSB International, deliberated possible future projects and cooperation.

Focus Curricula: 92. German Federal Deans‘ Conference in Business Studies

The participants of the 92nd Federal Deans‘ Conference in Business Studies on Economics at the campus of the OTH Amberg-Weiden.


At the invitation of Professor Dr. Rainer Ziegler, Managing Director of the BundesDekanekonferenz (Federal Deans‘ Conference, BDK), and Professor Dr. Wolfgang Renninger, Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration of the Technical University of Applied Science OTH Amberg-Weiden, FIBAA took part in the 92nd BundesDekaneKonferenz, from 18th to 20th of October 2017. The conference focused addressed digital curriculum development for business management degrees. A focus was on the challenges faced by higher education institutions (HEI) in the wake of the digitalization of business and society. It was intensively discussed how digitalization can be implemented in curricula and modules and which digital competencies must be developed and mediated in the sense of ensuring employability in business studies. Further topics were the curriculum development towards responsible management as well as the digital HEI and knowledge management.The conference took place at the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule OTH in Amberg-Weiden.

FIBAA is a long-term partner of the German Federal Deans’ Conference for Business Studies, which assembles deans and professors of business administration and economics at HEIs. Participants include numerous partners, customers and experts of FIBAA, as well as renowned international and regional business representatives.

Picture: (l. to r.) Professor Dr. Rainer Ziegler (Managing Director of the Federal Deans‘ Conference  Dr. Elisabeth Kübler (Division Manager Markets & Acquisition and Expert Management at FIBAA), Professor Dr. Wolfgang Renninger (Dean of the Faculty of Management of OTH Amberg-Weiden)



Outstanding Quality: EBS University receives FIBAA Premium Seal

EBS President Professor Dr. Markus Ogorek (left) and Vice Dean Professor Dr. Matthias Weller (right) at the ceremonial handover of FIBAA´s Premium Seal by Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink. © EBS Universität


FIBAA awarded its Premium Seal to the law degree programmes "LL.B. Rechtswissenschaft "and "Rechtswissenschaftlichen Studiengangs zur Vorbereitung auf die Erste Prüfung" at the EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht in Wiesbaden. The agency thus confirmed the excellent study and teaching quality of the bachelor programmes in a multi-stage accreditation procedure.

“EBS proved again that they offer excellent study programmes. All stakeholders have done a great job for many years," says Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, FIBAA Chief Executive Officer. During a festive ceremonial act on the 11 October 2017 Professor Dr. Fink handed the FIBAA Premium seal personally over to the President of EBS University Professor Dr. Markus Ogorek, who states "I would like to thank all my colleagues who are doing an outstanding job and thus make the high quality of our study programmes at all possible. However, we will not rest on our success and steadily develop our teaching and learning concept."

In 2016 FIBAA awarded its Premium Seal to EBS´master´s programme "MSc Automotive Management". Up until 2023, also the two law degree programmes now hold the FIBAA Premium Seal. The EBS is one of only 14 German HEIs that carry this award.

Optimization of Quality Management in Central America - FIBAA informs Accreditation Agencies and Universities

The German Rectors´ Conference (HRK) invited Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, CEO of FIBAA, as sole representative of a German agency to participate in the Regional Workshop of Central American Higher Education Quality Evaluation and Accreditation Bodies. The conference took place in Panama City from the 4th till the 6th of September 2017. Professor Dr. Fink delivered two highly praised lectures on "The German Experience of Collaboration with Foreign Quality and Certification Agencies" and "The Use of Qualifications Frameworks as a Reference for Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation".

The presentations were attended by twelve regional accreditation agencies from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, representatives of the Consejo Superior Universitario Centroamericano (CSUCA), of the Panamanian Rector's Conference and representatives from all federal Panamanian Universities.

"It was exciting to see how concentrated all the participants were. I realized a great interest of the Central American University’s representatives in German and European quality management. This issue is a major challenge for the HEIs and the Central American accreditation systems, therefore, within the upcoming years there will be a lot of change in this field. I am delighted to support all Central American Universities in their endeavours, and share some of FIBAA´s longstanding expertise," says Professor Dr. Fink.

Beside Professor Dr. Fink (in picture, right), Maria Kelo (in picture, left), Director of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), and Elizabeth Colucci (in picture, middle) of the European Universities Association (EUA) attended the conference.

Already in March 2017, a delegation from Central America visited FIBAA in Bonn.

BDA: education 2030

At the beginning of July 2017, the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA), member of the FIBAA Foundation Council, and the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (sdw) hosted a conference on "Bildung 2030 im Blick". In their mission statement the BDA outlines a modern and future-oriented education system from the daycare center through school, training with vocational school, higher Education institutions to lifelong learning. Prof. Dr. Kerstin Fink, Managing Director of FIBAA, was invited to the conference, because FIBAA as quality assurance agency for HEIs makes an important contribution to this project. The conference focused on digitalization and demographic change. The question "What should our future look like and what do we have to do today?" was discussed with various representatives from different professional fields. Ingo Kramer, the president of the BDA and chairman of the sdw, is convinced: "Good education policy is not only the basis for economic success and social prosperity. It is also the most effective and sustainable social policy." FIBAA supports the BDA and sdw in their plans.



Recognition by EQAR

EQAR re-registered FIBAA for a further 5 years and expressed its confidence in the agency to continue its support for HEIs in Europe in the implementation of their quality strategies: "This shows once again that FIBAA is internationally recognized as a quality assurance agency. An important aspect of our work is our many years of experience and our extensive network of well-known experts, "says Prof. Dr. Kerstin Fink, FIBAA Managing Director.



APQN-Conference Moscow: New strong partners in Russia and Kazakhstan

In May 2017, Prof. Dr. Kerstin Fink, Managing Director of FIBAA, and Jana Bekker, Special Representative for International Relations, attended the annual international conference of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) in Moscow. The conference, titled "New Horizons: Dissolving Boundaries for a Quality Region," attracted a total of 114 participants from 27 countries.




FIBAA, represented the European view on international quality assurance. Therefore, Professor Kerstin Fink, informed in her lecture "Accreditation of Joint Study Programs: from Obstacles to Solutions", about recent developments in the quality assurance of joint courses in the European Higher Education Sector. "Many questions and a lively discussion afterwards show me that there is great interest not only in this topic, but also in further exchange with our agency. This is a good basis for further cooperation and joint projects with representatives of this important region, "says Professor Kerstin Fink. The conference also provided the opportunity to meet with FIBAA's partner agencies IAAR (Kazakhstan), AKKORK (Russia) and NCPA (Russia). They supported this year's APQN conference in Moscow, which was organized at the highest level. Also new strong partners were gained.



Professor Kerstin Fink signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the internationally recognized certification company "Russian Register". "We are very pleased with the numerous active discussions with our existing, new and potential partners. Our cooperation and the related exchange of expertise is advantageous for our agency, HEIs in both our countries as well as the supraregional networking of Asia and Europe in the field of education quality, " says Jana Bekker and Professor Kerstin Fink.

ENQA: Quality assurance mandate

FIBAA has received renewal of its ENQA membership for another five years. "ENQA's renewal of of our membership is both a praise for our work as a quality assurance agency and a mandate to continue to secure and improve the quality standards of HEIs in Europe," says Prof. Dr. Kerstin Fink, Managing Director of FIBAA.

Visit from Lebanon - MoU signed

In May 2017 the president of the Lebanese Beirut Arab University (BAU) Prof. Dr. Amr Galal El-Adawi together with Prof. Dr. Ibithal El-Bastawissi, Faculty of Archictural Engineering Dean, Dr. Omar I. Houri, Secretary General, Prof. Mohamed Saad Raslan, Professor of Structural Engineering Dean for Academic Development and Quality visited FIBAA in BonnAlready during your visit to Lebanon at the beginning of the year on the occasion of the successful and outstanding accreditation of programmes of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Dr. Kerstin Fink, Managing Director of FIBAA, spoke about possible co-operation. These were now manifested in a Memorandum of Understanding.

In the future, FIBAA and BAU want to support each other in the Middle East and North Africa region.Lars Weber, Division Manager International, and Professor Fink are confident: "Now for FIBAA as well as for BAU a very exciting time starts. First, we are planning a joint workshop and an international conference in Beirut. The main topic of the events will be Critical Thinking with regard to Quality Assurance from the perspective of different stakeholders. I am looking forward to work more closely together, and I am sure that both FIBAA and BAU will benefit from the cooperation."

Press report of the Beirut Arab University



Successful re-registration of FIBAA in Kazakhstan

In its meeting on February 15th 2017, the Republican Accreditation Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan has again recognized FIBAA as an accreditation body in Kazakhstan. This was also confirmed by the Decree of the Ministry of Education and Science № 112 of March, 14th 2017. FIBAA is thus registered in Register 1 of the recognized accreditation agencies for another period of five years. Jana Bekker, FIBAA Special Representative: "Of course, we very much welcome this decision. FIBAA has been working successfully with higher education institutions in Kazakhstan for already five years. We are currently in charge of several accreditation procedures in Kazakhstan, and we are looking forward to supporting the HEIs in the Republic in quality assurance and quality development also in the future. I would like to thank all of my colleagues, who have accompanied the registration procedure." The managing director of FIBAA Prof. Dr. Kerstin Fink is very pleased about the re-accreditation in Kazakhstan as well as about a successful cooperation with the HEIs in the republic.

Bienvenidos a la FIBAA – HEI representatives from Central America visit Bonn

A delegation from Central America visited FIBAA in Bonn on 28th of March 2017. The HEI representatives came to Germany at the invitation of the HRK as part of the Central American  HICA programme. In addition to their visit at FIBAA, they also attended the Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

In all, 29 HEI representatives from six different countries exchanged views on the various accreditation processes in an open atmosphere. Prof. Dr. Kerstin Fink, Managing Director of FIBAA, presented the German accreditation procedure, which attracted a lot of interest from the visitors. The HEI representatives noted many differences, such as the topic of financing. They had a lively discussion and the various systems were compared. All representatives agreed, however, that accreditation or quality audits of universities and study courses should be introduced as standard in their countries. Estefanía Guzmán, Project Manager at FIBAA; because of her Colombian heritage, supervised the guests. She summarized: "It was a very nice day with stimulating discussions, where the Latin and the German culture came closer!"

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Fink visits Lebanon — successfull Accreditation of three programmes

The Faculty of Law and Political Science of the Beirut Arab University (BAU), Lebanon, celebrated the recognition of the International Accreditation for its courses of BA, MA and PhD by the FIBAA. On the occasion of the handing over of certificates by the managing director of FIBAA, Prof. Dr. Fink, the HEI organized a ceremony dinner under the patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers H.E. Saad Hariri. Many prominent figures such as the Great Mufti of Lebanon Sheikh Abdul-Latif Derian, former Prime Ministers of the Republic, Ambassadors of the US, Algeria, Yemen, Iraq, Tunisia and Morocco as well as representatives of the Ambassadors of Indonesia and Palestine, were also invited.




All programmes were accredited without conditions. In her speech, Prof. Dr. Fink emphasized the high quality of the programmes. The FIBAA experts praised the international orientation of the courses, as well as qualified and dedicated teaching staff of the programmes, of which many have an international background . Prof. Dr. Fink also visited the Campus in Beirut as well as BAU Debbieh. Both buildings are at the forefront of technology and very modern. Top conditions for students and teachers. Another highlight is the new building of the HEI, with its spectacular auditorium. "I really appreciate the fact that FIBAA got this opportunity. The positive result of our evaluation has confirmed that the efforts of Beirut Arab University to meet European and international standards are remarkable, " stated Prof. Dr. Fink during her stay.

In order to gain an overall impression, Prof. Dr. Fink also visited the Director-General for Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, Prof. Ahmad Al-Jammal. He is very involved in the further development of the HEI sector in Lebanon and, therefore, anticipates the importance of accreditations in the future. Already in 2015 FIBAA successfully carried out programme accreditations at BAU. The President of the HEI appreciates FIBAA as an agency. He is convinced that accreditations are essential for the HEI´s international recognition, therefore, he is very interested in expanding the cooperation between FIBAA, BAU, the Middle East and North Africa.


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