Building Professional Higher Education Capacity in Europe Erasmus Project

General information for the Building Professional Higher Education Capacity in Europe Erasmus Project

Building Professional Higher Education Capacity in Europe Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am

Project Title

Building Professional Higher Education Capacity in Europe

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for higher education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2015

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Quality Improvement Institutions and/or methods (incl. school development); Regional dimension and cooperation; Labour market issues incl. career guidance / youth unemployment

Project Summary

The project aimed to increase the quality of the connection of Professional Higher Education (PHE) with the World of Work (WoW). The main objectives were to encourage Professional Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) to analyze their internal policies for cooperation between education, research and business, implement improvements and reforms to policies and practices as regards cooperation with the WoW, support the sharing of best practices for strengthening the knowledge triangle, design a set of supporting tools, such as framework policies and implementation guides, to strengthen active cooperation between HEIs and external stakeholders.
The project consortium consisted of two PHEIs (PWSZTAR, (PL) and TTK (EE)), three national associations of PHE (AZVO (HR), CASPHE (CZ) and VIVIS (SI)), EURASHE as the European umbrella organization for PHE and Knowledge Innovation Centre (MT). All partners were involved in former EURASHE projects and initiatives. Besides PWSZTAR and TTK, thirteen other PHE institutions from PL, CZ, HR, SI and EE were also involved in piloting. PHE associations from PL and EE were taking part in dissemination activities.
Two sets of activities were running in parallel during the project and informing each other:
1: Development of self-assessment and improvement methodology for PHEIs (data-collection framework, methodology for identifying improvement strategies to policies for cooperation with the WoW) and running self-assessment and improvement processes within pilot PHEIs (self-improvement cycles, creation of self-assessment reports and improvement plans).
2: Collection of best practices, and design of tools to stimulate best practice. The framework policies were created in the form of a checklist which can be used by institutional leaders to assess their compliance with each of the criteria of the PHE Quality Framework. An online self-assessment and benchmarking tool was developed and made available at
The main results of the project are: Methodological framework and set of self-assessment tools, Database of best practice cases, Publication “Tools to Support Quality in Professional Higher Education“. Additionally, on the basis of project outputs, Self-Assessment Reports were produced by pilot and Implementation Plans describing proposed improvements to policies and strategies to better cooperate with the world of work were formulated. The most important immaterial output are new competences of staff acquired during a peer-learning training event and later developed in the framework of project activities: an international group of “PHE agents of change” was created.
At local and regional level, the project fostered collaboration between PHEIs and enterprises, strengthening ‘dual’ options involving a mixture of studies and work experience such as apprenticeships, contributed towards addressing skill-shortages in key technical areas of employment and enhanced the quality of the ‘professional’ experiences offered by PHEIs.
At national level, the project made recommendations to policy-makers as to measures to improve and enhance cooperation between academia and enterprises. At EU level, the project facilitated exchange of practice and increased cooperation between Institutions and Associations of PHE, with EURASHE WG Quality as a platform to support such cooperation.
The project promoted a holistic approach to considering quality of all activities and processes within PHE institutions and from this perspective fed into a strategic priorities of EURASHE. The findings and experience from the project served also for policy discussion on the development of PHE across Europe, its quality assurance and enhancement as reflected in EURASHE contributions to EC policies or EHEA documents. From this view a synergy effect with the EQUIP project, mapping implementation of European Standards and Guidelines was quite beneficial.
The most important longer-term benefit of the project is the possibility to use optimized tools and methodology in self-assessment processes by a wide range of PHEIs in Europe and beyond. HEIs from Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Latin America have already expressed their interest in adopting BuildPHE tools in their national environments and two EPP CB projects were just submitted. The fact that the master version of tools is elaborated in English brings supplementary added value to institutions in non-English speaking countries – international dimension of internal QA (possibilities of comparison and benchmarking) and thus better preparation for external QA (in many national regulations international dimension of QA is appreciated by accreditation bodies). The international experience will likely enhance readiness of PHEIs to engage in cross-border activities, should it be joint programmes or benefitting from cross-border QA, both being strongly supported by European policies as a tool of strengthening European added-value and identity.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 220294 Eur

Project Coordinator


Project Partners