Workshop at KIMEP University in Kazakhstan

Professor Dr. Fink (left) and FIBAA Special Representative Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt (right)

In October 2018 FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink and FIBAA’s Special Representative Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt conducted a workshop at KIMEP University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Entitled “The Quality of Study Programmes: FIBAA Assessment Guide for Accreditation of Programmes in Management Studies, Economics, Law and Social Sciences”, the highly acclaimed workshop provided an overview of FIBAAA’s international accreditation methods with a special focus on employability and international outlook. “As an internationally operating accreditation agency, FIBAA provides extensive knowledge of quality assurance and quality enhancement of higher education programmes and institutions. Furthermore, we have gained profound experience in the Russian-speaking, Central Asian and Asia-Pacific higher education areas,” explains Professor Dr. Fink the workshop’s benefits. The workshop was followed by an intense exchange between FIBAA and top representatives of KIMEP, such as Vice-President Professor Dr. Gilbert Linne. FIBAA and KIMEP University share a successful history of close cooperation as 26 study programmes including several of the university’s Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programmes have been accredited in 2018 with FIBAA’s Quality Seal. FIBAA and KIMEP University are determined to continue their collaboration in the future.

KIMEP Vice-President Professor Dr. Gilbert Linne (to the left of Professor Dr. Fink), Professor
Dr. Fink and Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt (Special Representative FIBAA) surrounded by leading
representatives of KIMEP University and workshop participants.

The impact of employability on accreditation: FIBAA co-organises workshop with AACSB in Paris

FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Fink (centre) with Dr. Stephanie
Morgan (Kingston University) and Adam Thomas (ZHAW)

In October 2018 FIBAA Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink co-organised a workshop for Quality Assurance Professionals at the annual European, Middle East and Asia conference of Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in Paris. The Quality Assurance Professionals Workshop addressed board members and quality management stakeholders of leading international Business Schools. The thought-provoking workshop sessions were facilitated by Professor Dr. Fink, Dr. Stephanie Morgan from Kingston University’s Business School (United Kingdom) and Adam Thomas from Switzerland-based Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Professor Dr. Fink’s presentation on The Impact of Employability on Accreditation Stakeholders contained specific case examples on the issue of employability from the perspectives of experienced quality assurance professionals. The participants had the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge and to present their own innovative solutions.

“Employability counts as a major quality feature in FIBAA’s accreditation procedure. This aspect of quality is a significant advantage for students looking for a job, for the labour market as well as for future employers,” remarked Professor Dr. Fink. “I consider it as one of FIBAA’s central tasks to showcase as to how higher education decision-makers and quality managers can implement employability in their curricula, daily operations, and quality enhancement efforts.”

“The inspiring exchange of ideas underscores the significance of employability in the field of international quality assurance and quality enhancement,” Professor Dr. Fink summed up the successful workshop cooperation with AACSB.

Enhancing International Accreditation: FIBAA at the II Central Asian International Forum on Quality Assurance in Education in Kazakhstan

FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Fink in conversation with ENQA president Dr. Grolimund

In October 2018 FIBAA Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink was invited to speak at the II Central Asian International Forum on Quality Assurance in Education that was held in Astana, Kazakhstan. The event was organised by the Independent Agency for Accreditation and Rating (IAAR) in cooperation with the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan- Elbasy. IAAR is an independent Kazakh agency for institutional and programme accreditation as well as quality rating within the sector of higher education. IAAR and FIBAA have already cooperated as part of a joint Memorandum of Understanding. The event was attended by international and national experts of higher education. Keynote speeches were given by Karl Dittrich, president of The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR), by Dr. Christoph Grolimund, president of The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and director of the Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Assurance, by Professor Dr. Rakhman Alshanov, President of the Association of Higher Educational Institutions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as numerous national and international HEI representatives and heads of international accreditation agencies.

Professor Dr. Fink’s presentation on The Impact of Employability on International Accreditation of Study Programmes sparked great interest and received much attention in subsequent discussions. The forum served as an important networking platform for Central Asian and European experts on the potential of international accreditation.

FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Fink and high-profile guests of the II Central Asian International
Forum on Quality Assurance in Education

Workshop by the German Federal Deans Conference and FIBAA: Professor Dr. Fink talks about experiences with the new accreditation law

Left to right: Prof. Dr. Ziegler (BDK), Prof. Dr. Hölter (Dean TH Köln), Prof. Dr. Fink (CEO FIBAA), Mr. Thönnissen (director of the culture and science ministry of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia), Prof. Dr. Stegemerten (Vice President UAS Niederrhein) and Prof. Dr. Kirsch (Dean UAS Niederrhein)

On the occasion of the 4th workshop by the German Federal Dean’s Conference (BDK), FIBAA’s Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink delivered a presentation on the status of current accreditation procedures that follow the new legal regulations. Upon invitation of FIBAA, BDK and UAS Niederrhein, numerous top-ranking stakeholders from higher education and accreditation attended the event in Monchengladbach in November 2018. As Ministerial Director, Mr. Ralf Thönnissen reviewed the new accreditation law from the point of view of the Culture and Science Ministry of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Presentations on quality assurance and quality enhancement within the European higher education sector were given by ENQA president Dr. Christoph Grolimund as well as Austrian national expert for the European Higher Education Area Professor emeritus Mag. Dr. Gabriele Abermann.

The workshop convened the participants to engage in an inspiring exchange on Perspectives of Accreditation in Germany and Europe. “FIBAA places great importance on the direct dialogue with higher education institutions,” emphasised Professor Dr. Fink, “we are determined to meet their needs and provide all important information about ongoing developments towards the new accreditation system.”

The workshop was BDK’s and FIBAA’s 4th joint workshop that facilitated a vivid exchange between stakeholders. The next workshop will be held in April 2019 and will also be co-organised by Professor Dr. Fink.

FIBAA Workshop at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies in Qatar

Left to right: Dr. Jad Kawtharani (Director of the Institutional Effectiveness Department at DI), Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt (FIBAA’s Special Representative), Prof. Dr. Yasir Malley (Acting President and Provost of DI)

Upon invitation of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI), a renowned Higher Education Institution in Doha, Qatar, FIBAA’s Special Representative Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt led a two-day workshop entitled “The Quality of Study Programmes: FIBAA Assessment Guide for Accreditation of Programmes”. Doha Institute provides postgraduate programmes in Social Sciences, Humanities, Public Administration, and Development Economics. The workshop provided an overview of the international programme accreditation procedure from the European perspective of view.
Prof. Dr. Yasir Malley, acting president and provost of DI, and Dr. Jad Kawtharani, director of the institutional effectiveness department, as well as deans of programmes and faculty staff were among the leading representatives at the event. Pleasingly, top-ranking representatives of other HEIs from Qatar also took the opportunity to enquire about content-related requirements and specific procedural steps of a programme accreditation. Participants showed vivid interest in the workshop. It became apparent that the representatives of other HEIs were additionally interested in institutional accreditation procedures.
Dr. Schmidt was more than pleased with the workshop’s results and the inspirational exchanges that followed: “I am glad that our long-term experience in quality assurance and quality enhancement is met by such positive reactions and interest. Hopefully, we can expect that this great interest will remain.”

Reception of the Austrian Association of Universities of Applied Sciences at the European Forum Alpbach

Under the aegis of Prof. Dr. Heinz Fassmann, Austria’s Minister of Education, the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences in Austria (FHK) held its annual reception at the European Forum Alpbach in the Tyrol, Austria in August 2018. FHK President Mag. Raimund Ribitsch and FHK Secretary General of the FHK Mag. Kurt Koleznik (who is also a member of the FIBAA Foundation Council) welcomed numerous distinguished decision-makers from the higher education sector. FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Fink was extremely pleased to accept this kind invitation to engage in lively exchanges about European and international accreditation and quality enhancement with leading representatives of Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences.   

Successful Institutional Reaccreditation of WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Professor Dr. Fink (left) presents Professor Dr. Rudolf (right)
the Accreditation Seal (©WHU/ Henry Tornow)

In July 2018 FIBAA successfully executed the institutional reaccreditation of the WHU–Otto Beisheim School fo Management. The WHU was one of the first higher education institutions in Germany to be institutionally accredited by FIBBA. Hence, the re-accreditation procedure can be considered as a major milestone of both institutions’ cooperation. FIBAA’s expert team has confirmed the excellent quality of the university’s management system according to the standards of the German Accreditation Council. The university received institutional accreditation without any conditions for the second time in a row. WHU enjoys a leading status among business schools worldwide and is the top-listed German business school in major international rankings such as Financial Times or the Economist. Amongst others, the institution’s international orientation and its ensuing attractiveness for international students stand out. Furthermore, their great diversity of the programmes offered have profoundly impressed FIBAA’s experts. In earlier accreditation procedures WHU’s Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in International Business Administration and the Executive MBA programme had already been accredited by FIBAA and were awarded with FIBAA’s own Quality Seal.  The central criteria of employability and practical application have repeatedly met all expectations.

 FIBAA Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink has recently awarded the Reaccreditation Seal as part of a festive ceremony on the WHU premises.  At the bestowal ceremony, Professor Dr. Markus Rudolf, Rector of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, and Vice Rectors Professor Dr. Jürgen Weigand, Professor Dr. Michael Frenkel, and Professor Dr. Christian Andres expressed their content with the strongly positive outcomes. “I congratulate the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management for the outstanding quality of your university and all parties that were involved in this comprehensive accreditation procedure,” praised Professor Dr. Fink in her speech. She remarked that the university’s continuously improving quality management system opens future prospects for further successful collaboration of FIBAA and WHU.

Accreditation in Europe and the Middle East – Jordanian delegation visits FIBAA

The Jordanian delegation and the representatives of GIZ GmbH at FIBAA’s head office Lars Weber (Division Head of International and Institutional Procedures)

A high-level delegation from Jordan visited FIBAA as part of a study-tour, on the 29th of October 2018. The 16 delegates represented various institutions from the public and private sectors, such as the Ministry of Labour and Education, universities and vocational training institutions. The delegation headed by Mr. Eng. Hani Mohammad Ali Khleifat (Secretary-General of the Jordanian Ministry of Labor) accepted the invitation of the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ GmbH). This initiative on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development seeks to promote international cooperation for sustainable development.

Lars Weber (Division Head of International and Institutional Procedures) and Viktoria Tischanski (Project Manager Markets & Acquisition) presented a lecture on programme-level and institutional accreditation procedures in Germany and gave an overview of the European Qualification Framework, the permeability between different paths of education and the possibilities of access to higher education without university entrance qualification. The lectures were followed by an intense exchange of ideas and experiences with the participants. They were particularly interested in the national and international accreditation practice of FIBAA and the recognition system in the transition from vocational to academic education and its significance for accreditation procedures.

The Middle East is one of the key markets, where FIBAA offers its international FIBAA Quality Seal. The visit of the Jordanian delegation enabled an intensive exchange on international accreditation and quality enhancement in higher education in Europe and the Middle East.

Digitalisation of teaching in higher education: FIBAA’s expertise on recognition of prior learning

Digitalisation profoundly changes structures and processes in higher education. Since 2014, the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung (HFD) provides an independent national platform to discuss and examine the impact of digitalisation on tertiary education. In this spirit, a working group was created regarding the subject of recognition of prior digital learning. FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink actively contributed to the working group from the viewpoint of an accreditation and quality enhancement agency. Presided by Professor Dr. Helmut Hoyer, President Emeritus of FernUniversität Hagen, the working group developed criteria for recognition procedures of digital learning formats.

Regular meetings between summer 2017 and autumn 2018 were characterised by highly fruitful discussions among all stakeholders, which resulted in a concise working paper. In her capacity as a professor of business information systems and FIBAA CEO, Professor Dr. Fink shared valuable insights on the official recognition of prior digital learning from the angles of higher education institutions and accreditation agencies. “The outcome of our working group succinctly encompasses digital change in higher education, pertinent accreditation rules, and our commitment to a rigorous pursuit of quality,” comments Professor Dr. Fink. “Our working paper provides helpful guidance for higher education institutions. The criteria presented therein reflect highest international standards.”

Successful Institutional Reaccreditation of Nordakademie Elmshorn

FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Fink awarding the Institutional
Re-Accreditation Seal to the executive management of
Nordakademie University of Applied Sciences.

FIBAA is more than pleased to announce the successful institutional reaccreditation of the Nordakademie University of Applied Sciences in Elmshorn, Germany. The accreditation seal remarks the excellent quality of this higher education institution according to the standards of the German Accreditation Council that was confirmed by the reviewing expert team. Nordakademie received institutional accreditation without any conditions for the second time in a row. In September 2018, Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, CEO of FIBAA, travelled to Elmshorn to personally bestow the seal to the academy during a festive ceremony. In her speech, she particularly praised the institution’s outstanding IT-supported quality management system. Professor Dr. Stefan Behring, President of the Nordakademie Elmshorn, Mr. Jörg Meier, chancellor of the academy, vice-chancellor Mr. Christoph Fülscher and Ms. Anja Schley (Quality Management Officer and Head of HEI Projects) attended the event. “The institutional accreditation is very special to FIBAA,” emphasised Professor Dr. Fink, “as it affirms the continuous and remarkable work of a whole university. To reaccredit Nordakademie, as the first institutionally accredited HEI by FIBAA in general, is of profound meaning for us.” The reaccreditation of Nordakademie will last for eight more years.

FIBAA in Taiwan: Memorandum of Understanding with TWAEA

Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink and Dr. Shen-li Fu at the signing ceremonyLeft to right: Lars Weber, Dr. Yu-hui Yang, Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink and Dr. Shen-li Fu at the Ministry of Education

In July 2018 FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink and Lars Weber (Division Head International and Institutional Procedures) travelled to Taiwan. The trip was taken on the occasion of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taiwan Assessment and Evaluation Association (TWAEA) to strengthen future collaboration of both agencies. TWAEA is an organisation commissioned by the national Ministry of Education, and dedicated to evaluation and provision of quality assurance as well as accreditation in the Taiwanese higher education sector. Dr. Shen-li Fu, Chairman of TWAEA, and Ms. Shu Yuan Wu, Secretary General of TWAEA, welcomed the German guests on site. Both agencies had an active exchange about European and Asian regulations and perspectives of quality assurance in tertiary education before officially signing the MoU.

Professor Dr. Fink and Mr. Weber also seized the opportunity to visit the Ministry of Education of the Chinese Republic (Taiwan). There, they were welcomed by Head of Department Dr. Yu-hui Yang who provided expert information on the Chinese-Taiwanese Higher Education system. Furthermore, profound impressions of the Taiwan higher education sector were gained during Professor Dr. Fink’s and Mr. Weber’s visits to leading Taiwanese universities.   

“The Asian-Pacific area is a key target region of FIBAA – particularly thanks to our observer status at the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN),” emphasised Professor Dr. Fink, “therefore, we are extremely pleased about the MoU and further cooperation with our Taiwanese partner. We see promising perspectives in enhancing the European-Asian cooperation in quality assurance.”




Higher Education Accreditation and Employability: a joint event of FIBAA, BDA and DIHK in Berlin

FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Kerstin FinkOn the panel from left to right Elmar Lammerskitten (FIBAA expert, Head of Global HR Development, Woco Industrietechnik GmbH), Nadja Kolibacz (FIBAA expert, Bachelor student in energy and process engineering, Technical University of Berlin), Dr. h.c. Josef Beutelmann (Member of the German Accreditation Council, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Barmenia Versicherungen), Dr. Christina Gommlich (Member of the German Accreditation Council, Senior Manager Communications & Government Relations, BASF SE), and Professor Dr. Jürgen Weigand (Chairman of the FIBAA Accreditation Committee for Programmes, Vice-Rector WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and Chair of Industrial Economics)Keynote speech by Kerstin Wagner (Head of Talent Acquisition, Deutsche Bahn AG)The panellists with the co-hosts Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink (FIBAA), Dr. Barbara Dorn (BDA) and Dr. Oliver Heikaus (DIHK)

On 2nd July 2018, FIBAA and the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA) and Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) conjointly hosted an event entitled Higher Education Accreditation and Employability on the premises of the German employers’ associations in Berlin. „FIBAA has been promoting employability in the accreditation and quality enhancement of higher education institutions (HEIs) for 25 years“, states FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink in her inauguration speech. „We implement employability on different levels, particularly as part of the quality and assessment criteria of FIBAA’s Quality Seal. Furthermore, we incorporate experts from academia, business and the student body with long track records in all procedures and decision-making committees. The key role of employability is also granted by the German, Austrian and Swiss employers and industry associations in the FIBAA’s Foundation Council.“ 

A case in point of how corporations, higher education institutions and students or alumni can interact in order to increase employability was provided by Kerstin Wagner (Head of Talent Acquisition, Deutsche Bahn AG) in her enriching keynote. The subsequent panel discussion reflected the diversity of perspectives from academia, business and student body which is characteristic of FIBAA’s expert teams and decision-making committees. Hosted by Dr. h.c. Josef Beutelmann (Member of the German Accreditation Council, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Barmenia Versicherungen), the panellists highlighted the great potential of accreditation to enhance the employability of degrees and HEIs. Dr. Christina Gommlich (Member of the German Accreditation Council, Senior Manager Communications & Government Relations, BASF SE), Professor Dr. Jürgen Weigand (Chairman of the FIBAA Accreditation Committee for Programmes, Vice-Rector WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and Chair of Industrial Economics), Elmar Lammerskitten (FIBAA expert, Head of Global HR Development, Woco Industrietechnik GmbH) and Nadja Kolibacz (FIBAA expert, Bachelor student in energy and process engineering, Technical University of Berlin) emphasised the close cooperation between stakeholder groups to improve quality and employability for both students/alumni and employers as well as the necessity to comprehensively conduct graduate tracking analyses.

The lively exchange of ideas among the audience coming from HEIs, accreditation-related organisations and employers’ associations underscored the significance of employability in tertiary-sector quality assurance and quality enhancement. Professor Dr. Fink concludes, “that FIBAA will continue to position itself as a promoter of employability. I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Barbara Dorn (Director Education/Vocational Training at BDA and Member of FIBAA’s Foundation Council) and Dr. Oliver Heikaus (Director Further Education at DIHK and Vice-President of FIBAA’s Foundation Council) for hosting our event in the professional atmosphere at Haus der Deutschen Wirtschaft in Berlin.“

Excellent quality: FIBAA awards its Premium Seal to Kühne Logistics University Hamburg

From left to right: Professor Dr. Alexander Himme
(Associate Professor of Management Accouning at KLU),
Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink (CEO FIBAA) and
Miriam Sablotny (Programme and Quality Manager at KLU)

FIBAA is extremely pleased to have conferred its Premium Seal to the Bachelor’s Programme in Business Administration (B.Sc.) of Kühne Logistics University (KLU) for the second time in a row. With this seal, the agency recognises the programme’s excellent quality of teaching and studies. This was confirmed by examining the programme as part of FIBAA’s Quality Seal accreditation procedure.

In June 2018 Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, CEO of FIBAA, travelled to Hamburg to personally bestow the Premium Seal to the KLU President Professor Dr. Thomas Strothotte, its Chancellor Fabian Berger and Dean of Programmes Professor Dr. Christian Barrot, as well as other stakeholders, at a ceremonial event. “The university can be proud for having managed this outstanding performance and for having an international, modern and market-oriented study profile of this and its other programmes,” Professor Dr. Fink emphasised in her speech. KLU particularly excelled in criteria such as internationality, curricular specialisations, student support services, and graduate employment. 

The Bachelor’s Programme in Business Administration will be holding the award until 2025. FIBAA has also accredited KLU’s Master of Management (M.Sc.) and the Master of Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management (M.Sc.) programmes with the Premium Seal. Therefore, KLU is one of only 12 other Higher Education Institutions that have been given this award.

New Memorandum of Understanding: FIBAA collaborates with Unibasq

In a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, FIBAA and Unibasq have agreed on future cooperation. Unibasq is an agency for quality assurance in the Basque system of Higher Education, working in the fields of evaluation, accreditation and certification. With regard to common values like transparent procedures, customer-oriented operations and compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG), Unibasq and its Director Dr. Eva Ferreira García as well as the FIBAA and its Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink are looking forward optimistically to working together in the future.
The collaboration will have impact on various areas. The promotion of quality culture in higher education is considered with great attention. Furthermore, information about development in procedures and quality assurance systems shall be shared as part of a vivid exchange.  
Both agencies are determined to strengthen their cooperation during joint events and trainings “FIBAA is anticipating shared prospects with our Basque partner,” concludes Professor Dr. Fink, “our arrangement promises successful cooperation and an effective development of European quality assurance.”


Digital university and new accreditation rules in Germany: Professor Dr. Fink participated in the Federal Deans Conference at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf

During the 16th-18th of May 2018 the German Deans of Faculties of Business Administration met on the occasion of the 93rd Federal Deans Conference in Düsseldorf. FIBAA’s Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink again accepted the invitation of the Federal Deans Conference. Professor Dr. Rainer Ziegler, Chair of the Federal Deans Conference, and Professor Dr. Felicitas Albers, Dean of the School of Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, presided this highly interesting event which included numerous talks and debates. This year’s spring conference focused on the motto “Digital University”. In regard to this, the attendants worked on efficient methods towards a digital reform of Higher Education in Germany. Typical fields of tertiary education like teaching, studies, research and evaluation are aimed at to become digitally optimised. Everyone at the conference considered the numerous inputs with content. “Digitalisation shapes higher education on all levels,” confirms Professor Dr. Fink. “Therefore, the FIBAA has engaged closely with the potential and impact of digitalisation on accreditation and the assurance and enhancement of quality. We are tailoring our processes and products accordingly.”

Accompanying activities featured companies from the digital industry, a visit to Industrie-Club Düsseldorf, and a reception in the Sky Lounge of Vodafone, whose DigiLabs granted exciting insights into digital innovations. Quite similarly to higher education institutions, media enterprises also actively shape digital change – an excursion to the Düsseldorf-based media outlet Rheinische Post showcased as to how interfaces between the analogous and the digital spheres can be meaningfully used.

Indonesian DAAD Delegation visits FIBAA’s Head Office in Bonn

Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink (left) and Prof. T. Basaruddin

In May 2018 CEO Professor T. Basaruddin and Dr. Sugiyono from Indonesia’s national accreditation agency BAN-PT came to Bonn during an extended stay in Europe on the occasion of the EHEA Ministerial Conference in Paris. At the invitation of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), they took the opportunity to learn more about best-practices from German actors in higher education quality assurance and quality enhancement FIBAA presented its standards and processes with special focus on changes in the wake of the new German accreditation rules. Furthermore, similarities and differences of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network (AQAN) with established instruments such is EQR, ESG and ENQA in the European Higher Education Area were highlighted. The Indonesian guests were particularly interested in FIBAA’s successfully completed membership renewal with ENQA, EQAR re-registration as well as the re-accreditation by the German Accreditation Council in 2017. Along these lines, the representatives of FIBAA, BAN-PT and DAAD also shared their experiences with respect to an agency’s internal quality management and relevant processes in expert appointments.
“FIBAA greatly benefited from this encounter with the Indonesian partners”, says CEO Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, “especially in regard to FIBBA’s new observer status at
APQN, in which Indonesia and BAN-PT play a significant role. For this reason, we are content about our successful meeting and progressive discussions.”


FIBAA has been awarded observer status in the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN)

FIBAA is proud to announce to have been conferred the observer status of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) in April 2018. The organisation is an association of institutions from countries in Asia and the Pacific. Their mission is to dissolve boundaries from the international regulation of quality assurance to achieve a homogeneous accreditation system and optimise Higher Education programmes. With an observer status, FIBAA can from now on contribute to the developments in Higher Education within the respective regions.  As an EQAR-registered agency and ENQA member with a recognised profile in employability and internationalisation, FIBAA is set to provide lasting inputs to universities and institutional partners in the APQN sphere.  “We are looking forward to close collaborations with the members of APQN,” says Professor Dr. Fink, FIBAA’s Chief Executive Officer, “I am confident that, with this, we can launch multiple projects with the purpose of regional and international enhancement in higher education accreditation and quality assurance.”

The European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) in international quality assurance: FIBAA at the 5th NAQAAE conference in Cairo

In April 2018 Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink, Chief Executive Officer of FIBAA, was invited to Cairo. There, the 5th conference of the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education (NAQAAE), Egypt’s national agency for accreditation, took place. Given the conference’s motto “Quality Assurance of Education: Reflections, Prospects, Aspirations”, leading representatives of the Egyptian sector for higher education met to discuss quality assurance and enhancement in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa. The event was opened with a speech by Professor Dr. Youhansen Eid, the president of NAQAAE. The responsible ministers of the Egyptian government as well as representatives of the famous Al-Azhar University contributed keynotes to the conference.

In the frame of the occasion, a two-day workshop was organised by the Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditaion (HAQAA) initiative. The HAQAA aims at the stabilisation and regulation of quality assurance and accreditation systems in the African Union. The initiative is not only supported by African but also European partners like the Universitat de Barcelona, the European University Association (EUA), the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Among others, Elizabeth Colucci (EUA) and Dr. Eva Ferreira García (ENQA/Unibasq), represented their organisations in Cairo.

Professor Dr. Fink delivered a widely acknowledged presentation about FIBAA’s goals and methods. Her speech put special focus on the realisation of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) by FIBAA and their impact on the international assurance of quality. “As an EQAR-registered agency and ENQA-member, FIBAA naturally implements the ESG and we reflect our work process continuously on this matter”, says Professor Dr. Fink. “The guidelines are not only to be found in our procedures. It is also of great importance to us to promote them to various stakeholders of the sector of tertiary education. This has always resulted in success. Therefore, we can consider the international standardisation of quality assurance, while bearing regional specifics in mind, as a promising step.”

Two FIBAA Quality Seals awarded to KIMEP University

On the occasion of the solemn award of two FIBAA Quality Seals, FIBAA CEO Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink and FIBAA Special Representative Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt travelled to KIMEP University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. At KIMEP, a higher education institution with a strong international profile, FIBAA has successfully accredited an Executive Master of Business Administration and certified a Mini-MBA Programme.

Inspired and driven by KIMEP President Dr. Chang Young Bang, the Executive Education Center Director Bakytgul Tundikbaeva, and Dean Dr. Bulent Dumlupinar, KIMEP promotes comprehensive quality assurance and enhancement at all institutional levels. This is clearly being demonstrated by the results of FIBAA’s accreditation procedures. “The Executive Programmes which were scrutinised by FIBAA performed excellently in criteria such as clear-cut objectives, transparent processes, international orientation, student services, and academic cooperation networks”, as Professor Dr. Fink pointed out in her laudatory speech.

From left to right front row: Dr. Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt (Special Representative FIBAA), Professor Dr. Kerstin Fink (CEO FIBAA), Dr. Chang Young Bang (President KIMEP University); back row: Bakytgul Tundikbaeva (Director Executive Education Center), Dr. Bulent Dumlupinar (Dean), surrounded by leading representatives of KIMEP University. © KIMEP University


The festive ceremony at KIMEP afforded a great opportunity for personal exchange between top representatives of KIMEP and FIBAA. After all, there are further joint projects on our agenda: a workshop in autumn 2018, ongoing programme-level accreditations, and an institutional accreditation procedure.

FIBAA contributes to the webinar of the Russian Higher Education Discovery platform

Approximately 100 Russian higher education institutions – among them internationally renowned research universities – took part in the April 2018 Online Fair organised by Higher Education Discovery (HED). A webinar hosted by HED enabled this exciting encounter of institutions from all parts of the Russian Federation with higher education experts from Europe and Asia. The webinar showcased various topics such as accreditation, rankings, exchange programmes, higher education fairs and mentoring schemes, in order to increase the international visibility of Russian higher education institutions.

As the only invited accreditation agency, FIBAA was extremely pleased to seize the opportunity of discussing international accreditation and its impact with decision-makers from Russian-speaking HEIs. Based on the case of FIBAA, the talk by Dr. Elisabeth Kuebler-Berghammer (Division Manager Markets & Acquisition) highlighted the positive effects of accreditation according to European and international standards on an HEI’s profile-building, reputation and long-term internal quality development. Numerous user enquiries confirmed the rising significance, which tertiary education providers in the Russian-language sphere attribute to international quality seals such as FIBAA’s, in order to succeed in the international race for excellent students, faculty and alumni.