The AERES is involved in a trend marked by the increasing international application of higher education and research activities. It intends to play a key role in this development, particularly through its cooperation with other evaluation stakeholders worldwide.
The AERES is developing with the international context in mind, both in terms of the visibility of its activities abroad and opening up to other evaluation cultures. At a time when globalisation is tending to heighten competition between institutions, the AERES gives the latter the benefit of evaluations which stimulate them and promote their strengths publicly.
Ensuring the international visibility of the agency
The AERES’ international recognition is essential for boosting the credibility of the French higher education system in the eyes of foreign students and for making it easier for French graduates to enter the European labour market.
In this regard, the Agency would like to:
- be included in the EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education) and renew its full membership of the ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education). This, in particular, will enable the Agency to better share its experience with other agencies and contribute to European discussions on the evaluation of higher education and research.
- evaluate institutions abroad to broaden its experience: the AERES gained its first international experience in 2008 by evaluating Saint-Joseph University in Beirut, a multi-disciplinary French-speaking cluster of around 10,000 students
- feature among those agencies that are recognised for their innovative evaluation practices
- organise international seminars to promote the exchange of ideas and practices between agencies.
Developing international skills and discussions within the Agency
To help its different staff members take better account of the international dimension in their activities, the AERES intends to:
- extend training in “international relations” to all staff: the Agency focuses, on the one hand, on familiarity with the main European guidelines in terms of evaluation and, on the other, on the main higher education and research trends worldwide
- respond to European and international calls for tender: the AERES has signed an agreement with the French International Centre for Education Studies (CIEP), with which it shares its expertise as a reviewer. It is also considering partnerships with other French and/or European collective bodies
- take part in training sessions organised by international networks, for example ENQA, EUA or G8. The AERES would like to step up this activity and present the Agency’s work on a more regular basis. It will particularly endeavour to get all of its staff involved in these training sessions
- forge links with other agencies: the AERES has thus set up special contacts with agencies in Quebec, Brazil, Belgium, Germany and the UK. Its objective is to set up bilateral exchanges with a view to acquiring and sharing innovative evaluation practices, work in partnership and carry out staff exchanges.