Quality in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation: AEQES
n the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the decree of 31 March 2004 "defining higher education, promoting its integration into the European space of higher education and refinancing the universities imposed an in-depth reform of higher education, largely exceeding a "simple" adaptation to the Bologna process that had been defined by Europe. The most visible change introduced by the reform took place, as in many other countries, in changes in the structure of studies. In 2013, the so-called "Landscape" decree continued in this sense.
As part of the European harmonisation of higher education, the French community acquired, by Decree on 14 November 2002, an assessment body: the Agency for the Assessment of the Quality of Higher Education (AEQES).
The Agency has for main missions to independently plan assessment procedures on the quality of higher education in the French Community - regardless of the institutions concerned (universities, university colleges, higher arts schools, upper institutes of architecture, social promotion schools) - and to organise the monitoring of the performed assessments. This does not lead to accreditation of the institutions or courses, nor does it lead to a ranking system. The objective is to progressively improve education by highlighting good practices, deficiencies and problems to be resolved, and by generating proposals to address to political leaders for the purpose of improving overall quality.
The assessments of higher education are based on three inseparable phases: auto-assessment, external assessment by peers and publication of an action plan.