EDU Quality Assurance
Quality assurance (QA) in higher education is a practice that ensure standards of quality in academia are being met, fulfilled, and improved upon. The institution embraces QA, internally and externally, as a never-ending cyclical process, through which we don’t simply fulfil benchmarks but continuously and systematically push for excellence in teaching and learning.
QA involves the commitment of not only staff and faculty, but also students to improving practices and learning outcomes. We encourage students to stay informed on the different ways to get involved and to make their voices heard. For information on how to get involved in QA at EDU, please email Katherine Burns (Quality Manager) at [email protected].
QA activities at EDU are monitored through a Quality Management System (QMS), which functions along three major quality perspectives on EDU’s Programme in Medicine:
- Equivalence and Conformity (Validity)
- Outcomes-oriented Consistency (Verifiability)
- Controlled Processes and Quality
EDU aims to grow and evolve along these three perspectives, with all subsequent structures and activities acting in support. The overall Quality Management follows the Quality Cycle of continuous improvement and is founded on EDU’s Organisation and Core Processes, EDU’s Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) and its associated policies, the external supervision and quality assurance by Maastricht University and the MFHEA.
EDU, as well as any external quality assurance conducted by the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA), functions under the Maltese National Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher Education, established in 2015 and adapted from the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) for internal and external quality assurance in higher education. The fulfilment and structuring of QA activities in service of these standards is the primary focus of the institution.
Quality reporting (see QA publications) therefore maps developments and processes to ESG and MFHEA-set standards.
Legal Requirements for IQA and EQA
In accordance with Malta’s National Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher Education and Subsidiary Legislation 607.03, EDU’s quality assurance and audit procedures are bound by and adhere to the following requirements:
- Providing and maintaining a policy and support mechanisms for internal quality assurance (IQA) designed to support the practices and objectives of the institution and its programmes;
- Submitting to an external quality audit (EQA) by the MFHEA for provider and programme accreditation, scheduled every 5 years.
Further details on the legal requirements and implications, please reference the IQA and EQA sections of this website or read more about the Quality Assurance System in Malta here.
What is IQA?
Internal quality assurance (IQA) practices are key for the monitoring and management of quality at the institutional level. The outlining of institutional processes and procedures via an IQA system ensures that key educational practices and elements follow an iterative quality cycle. In doing so, the institution commits to continued development and improvement of the learning environment.
For further information, please refer to the Maltese National Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher Education IQA standards and the EDU IQA.
EDU’s Mission Statement and Organisation
EDU’s mission is to make a transnational contribution to tertiary education to give young people the opportunity to succeed in life and contribute to closing the gap of professionals in health, education and beyond. More than 18 million health workers will be needed by 2035 (WHO) to reach universal health coverage.
Organisational structures and governance are detailed in the EDU Charter.
Programme and Course Approval
All programmes and courses submit to the MFHEA process for approval and accreditation. Information on the application and approval process can be found directly on the MFHEA website.
Programme Review and Supervision
In compliance with EU directive 2005/36/EC, EDU operates under the supervision of Maastricht University. Supervision activities include the review of the B.Med. and M.Med. programmes and curricula for compliance, as well as a yearly supervision review and report following independent classroom and teaching hospital observations and interviews and the publication of EDU’s annual self-assessment report (see EDU Self-Assessments). Joint curriculum committee meetings occur quarterly and review progress on priorities and recommendations from the supervision report and EDU’s self-assessment.
Module Evaluation and Review
Module Evaluation and Review cycles occur quarterly to ensure achievement of student outcomes by module and to investigate and act on student, staff, and faculty feedback regarding teaching and learning activities. Module evaluations submitted by students, HSE performance, and benchmark assessments such as the EBMA IPTs are core to these reviews.
EDU’s Quality Management team compiles feedback and provides data analysis of a set of modules, as directed by the Programme Board. The Programme Board drafts their review, conclusions, and proposed next steps. Finally, the Educational Programming Committee—composed of staff, faculty, and student representatives—reviews the Programme Board’s drafted report and the module evaluation data and provides additional feedback to be considered and integrated into the Programme Board’s final report.
The final report and the operational updates determined to be appropriate are then delegated to the appropriate EDU staff for development and implementation.
The EDU Self-Assessment Report (SAR) is an annual internal quality assurance review for the institution. The EDU Council evaluates institutional performance according to the quality standards of the Malta Qualifications Framework with special consideration given to the WFME Global Standards for Quality Improvement in Basic Medical Education. The results include a summary of identified strengths, potential areas for improvement, and priority areas for improvement. Priority improvements are then integrated into respective projects; progress is reported and discussed quarterly during Curriculum Committee meetings attended by EDU student representatives, EDU staff, and Maastricht University members.
The annual SAR is also used in EQA and supervision-related audits.
Please find EDU’s self-assessment reports in the “QA Publications” section below.
Student Feedback and Engagement
Student feedback is incorporated cyclically through module evaluations, resource review cycles, and ongoing instructor feedback reports. For students who desire further engagement with quality management activities, EDU encourages participation in groups like the Academic Board, the Educational Programming Committee, and the Student Council. Furthermore, students can also nominate themselves to be part of annual SAR reviews, where they will also be invited to attend Curriculum Committee meetings throughout that year.
What is EQA?
External Quality Assurance is a process that ensures an institution’s quality management system is compliant with standards and regulations; is fit for purpose to the programmes and courses provided; and is implemented with effectiveness, comprehensiveness and sustainability. EDU submits to EQA audits by the MFHEA as required. For more information on the EQA procedures and reports, please refer to the following resources:
Academic institutions in Malta undergo an External Quality Assurance (EQA) every 5 years for the purpose of licence renewal. EDU started the first EQA process with MFHEA in Dec 2022. The kick-off meeting with the panel of experts took place on May 26th 2023, with the visitation scheduled for August 1st, 2nd and 3rd 2023. EDU’s institutional licence has been prolonged by the MFHEA for the duration of the EQA process, prior to the 5 year renewal.
EDU’s Quality Assurance Team manages processes for the attainment and maintenance of accreditation with the MFHEA, AHPGS and beyond.
Please visit our Accreditation page for further details on current accreditations, certificates, and recognition.
EDU encourages students and staff interested in QA to reach out for ways to get involved. For details, please contact Katherine Burns at [email protected].