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SEFI DEBATE 2017
“Engineering Accreditation: a force for quality or unnecessary oversight?”

30 November 2017 – 16:00-18:00
European School Net (EUN), Rue de Trèves 61, 1040 Brussels

BACKGROUND
In 2012, SEFI released a position paper (PP) on engineering accreditation.
In this PP, SEFI stated that there is “naturally a strong link between accreditation and Quality Assurance (QA)”. This PP refrains from expressing opinions about QA methodologies, believing that they have to remain part of the flexibility of each higher engineering institution (HEI)  and of each accrediting body. However, SEFI strongly supported that, “whatever methods are used for QA, the evaluation of a study programme must include an evaluation of its Learning Outcomes. This approach maintains the autonomy of each HEI as far as the corresponding organisation of studies.”

In April 2017, the 9th European Convention for Engineering Deans, Department Heads and Directors (ECED 2017) was organised by SEFI and CESAER in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich. The ECED 2017 Communiqué was titled the “Munich Message” and opened a debate around challenges that Engineering Deans, Department Heads and Directors face. Among the statements forming the “Munich Message” was that the “subject of accreditation processes is the quality management system at the institutional level and not the specific contents of the programmes. Formats, processes and structures of education are under complete and exclusive authority of the universities. This is a prerequisite for innovative engineering education.”

OUR DEBATE
SEFI believes that there is value in exploring these points further, and that a debate format could be both an instructive and a constructive format that would allow different perspectives on institutional autonomy, quality processes, and transparency.

Debaters will be representatives from SEFI member institutions, active members and Chair from SEFI WG on QA and Accreditation and representatives from ENAEE (European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education).

The rapporteurs will be Prof. Pieter de Vries (TU Delft, SEFI Board member), Prof. Luis Manuel
Sanchez Ruiz (UPV, SEFI Vice President) and Prof. Yolande Berbers (KU Leuven, SEFI Vice President).

The debate will be moderated by Prof. John Mitchell (UCL, SEFI Board member).

Each speaker will be invited to make a 10-minute presentation addressing the topic and clarifying whether his/her perspective is one of force for quality or unnecessary oversight and his/her supporting arguments. Audience participation will then follow.

Participation will be limited to 30 attendees to ensure a good format for debating.
Coffee and cakes will be served at the event.

You may register by email at klara.ferdova@sefi.be or by phone + 32 2 502 36 09 until 28 November.