LLP Project Impact Analysis of External Quality Assurance in HEIs

EVALAG (Evaluation Agency Baden-Württemberg, Germany) as a lead partner together with ten European institutional partners has been granted an Erasmus Multilateral Project within the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

The project had a duration of three years (2013–2016; IMPALA time schedule) and was carried out by its eleven partners from six European countries (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Norway, Romania, Spain). The core project was implemented by four European quality assurance agencies together with four higher education institutions from Finland, Germany, Romania and Spain.

Project Title

Pluralistic Methodology and Application of a Formative Transdisciplinary Impact Evaluation



Project Duration:

01-10-2013 - 30-09-2016

Project Reference:


EU Grant:

399411 EUR

Motivation and goal

While external quality assurance procedures are carried out in higher education institutions with increasing intensity and extensiveness, stakeholders and quality assurance agencies are asking for the efficiency and effectiveness of quality assurance for various reasons. At the same time, our knowledge about the impact of external quality assurance on higher education institutions is still rudimentary.

The funded project (IMPALA) aims at closing this gap by developing and applying a (flexible) methodology to assess the impact of (different) external quality assurance procedures. Centrepiece of the methodology is the causal connection of external quality assurance procedures and changes in quality management and organisational structures in external quality assurance. To apply the methodology, each IMPALA partner agency carried out an external quality assurance procedure with a higher education institution partner. In parallel, the agencies and higher education institutions implemented simultaneous impact analyses which were mainly based on surveys and document analyses which were carried out in the framework of a before-after comparison approach.

There were four case studies of impact analyses implemented in the IMPALA project. They were performed in Finland (Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences & FINEEC, Helsinki), Germany (University of Stuttgart & evalag, Mannheim), Romania (Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest & ARACIS, Bucharest) and Spain (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona & AQU Catalunya, Barcelona).

You can find more about IMPALA strategic classification here.

The creation of these resources has been (partially) funded by the ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no. 539481-LLP-1-2013-1-DE-ERASMUS-EIGF. Neither the European Commission nor the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) are responsible for the content or liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.