Accreditation – Certifies an institute’s compliance with the minimum requirements set by an external body.
Affiliation – Degree of subordination of a unit to an ecclesiastical university and/or faculty, allowing it to confer the qualification of baccalaureate.
Aggregation - Degree of subordination of a unit to an ecclesiastical university and/or faculty, allowing it to confer the qualifications of baccalaureate and licentiate.
Baccalaureate – First academic qualification in the higher education cycle, lasting a minimum of three years.
- Bologna Follow-up Group - Convenes twice per year between ministerial conferences. It is composed of representatives of all signatory states, the Holy See, and the European Commission, as well as the following consultative members: the Council of Europe, the EI - Education International Pan-European Structure, the ENQA - European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, the ESU - European Students’ Union, the EUA - European University Association, the EURASHE - European Association of Institutions in Higher Education, the UNESCO’s European Centre for Higher Education, and the BUSINESSEUROPE.
Bologna Process - A European programme of academic reform with the aim of creating a single European Higher Education Area. 48 countries are currently involved, with the support of various international organizations.
Catholic Universities – Academic institutions for the study and teaching of various disciplines, according to the Gospel, with the aim of promoting and spreading the Christian philosophy universally. Catholic universities (defined by the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae) can be established or approved by the Holy See, an Episcopal Conference or another Assembly of the Catholic hierarchy, or by a diocesan Bishop. With the consent of the latter, a Catholic University can also be established by a Religious Institution or other official figure.
Chancellor – The ordinary prelate upon whom the university or faculty is legally dependent, unless the Holy See establishes otherwise. The Chancellor promotes the continuation and progress of an ecclesiastical higher education institution or faculty and fosters its communion with the Church.
Circulars – Regulatory, informative and practical communications sent by the CEC to all ecclesiastical faculties concerning the correct interpretation and implementation of laws in force on the subject of higher education.
Congregation for Catholic Education - Governing body responsible for the entire education system of the Holy See (Schools, Seminaries, Universities).
Dean – The Dean runs, promotes and coordinates all the activities of the faculty sui iuris or within a university.
Diploma Supplement – Issued in addition to an official qualification at the end of a course of study at a university or other institutions of higher education. The Diploma Supplement describes the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies carried out, based on a standard 8-point model developed by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Universities and other institutions are obliged to issue the supplement to students upon request, translated into at least one other language and free of charge.
Doctorate – Academic qualification granted after the baccalaureate and licentiate. To be granted a doctoral degree, students must, under the supervision of a teacher, write a thesis that makes a real contribution to the progress of science. The thesis is then publicly defended and collegially approved; the principal part, at least, must be published.
Ecclesiastical Universities - Academic institute established or approved directly by the Holy See, composed of three main ecclesiastical faculties (Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law) and at least one other faculty. These academic institutes deal specifically with the Christian revelation and related disciplines, and the Church’s mission of spreading the Gospel, as proclaimed in the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia christiana.
EHEA - European Higher Education Area, in which students and teachers can move freely and have their qualifications recognized; this is the main objective of the Bologna Process. The EHEA was finally launched at the Budapest-Vienna conference held on 11 and 12 March 2010.
– Network linking the ENIC and NARIC networks. Established by the Council of Europe and UNESCO in 1994, the European Network of National Information Centres (ENIC) is responsible for the recognition of academic qualifications and mobility. It provides information on: 1) the recognition of foreign qualifications and certificates; 2) national and foreign education systems; 3) modes of study abroad, study grants, mobility, etc. The Network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARIC) was set up by the European Commission in 1984 in order to improve the academic recognition of qualifications and study periods among members of the European Union; it is part of the European Socrates/Erasmus programme. ENIC and NARIC share a website containing links to the 30 member states. The CEC has its own ENIC/NARIC office (http://www.enic-naric.net/
ENQA - European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education - Umbrella organization for all national agencies for the evaluation of Quality Assurance (QA) in higher education. As well as coordinating these agencies, it supplies information, experiences and strategies concerning QA.
ESU (formerly ESIB) - European Students’ Union -This umbrella organization includes 50 National Unions of Students (NUSs) in 37 different countries. The aim of the ESU is to “represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at the European level”. ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. ESU is a consultative member of the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG) and of the BFUG Board.
EUA - European University Association – The mission of the EUA is to promote the development of a coherent system of higher education and research through active support and guidance to its members, with the aim of enhancing the quality of teaching, learning and research. EUA is a consultative member of the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG) and of the Board of the BFUG.
EURASHE - European Association of Institutions in Higher Education – Founded in 1990. EURASHE members are experts, national professional associations representing higher education and individual institutions. EURASHE is a consultative member of the Bologna Follow-up Group and is on the BFUG Board. It cooperates with ENQA, ESU and EUA in the field of QA.
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System – ECTS. The ECTS system is based on the definition of credits and common European procedures. According to the official definition (ECTS Key Features, 2002), “the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a student-centred system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme, objectives preferably specified in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired”. This workload refers to the notional time an average learner might expect to complete the required learning outcomes and includes the time spent in attending lectures, seminars, independent study, preparation for, and taking of, examinations, etc.. ECTS credits are therefore based on learning (rather than teaching) time and on results (rather than the contents of study plans) in terms of both knowledge and competence acquired. In line with the European system, 60 credits are assigned to each year of study.
European Standards and Guidelines – Define standards for the internal and external evaluation of academic institutions, which are generally coordinated by an external evaluation agency: the agencies themselves are normally subject to evaluation once every five years.
Evaluation Agency (national/regional) – Public or private structure that coordinates and carries out external evaluations of academic institutions, with the help of experts.
Ex corde Ecclesiae - Apostolic Constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 15 August 1990 concerning Catholic universities.
External Evaluation Team
– Group of experts with significant academic competence, selected by AVEPRO, charged with carrying out the external evaluation o fan academic institution or faculty.
Ecclesiastical Faculty - Academic institution canonically established or approved by the Apostolic See, in which the sacred doctrine or related sciences are studied and taught; it has the right to award academic qualifications under the authority of the Holy See.
Quality Improvement Plan – Document produced by the institution at the end of the evaluation process, based on the recommendations made in the external evaluation report. Defines the areas in which the faculty or institution commits to making improvements.
Incorporation – Degree of subordination to a university or faculty, allowing an institution to grant the qualifications of licentiate or doctoral degree.
Institutum ad instar facultatis– Institutions that grant second and third cycle academic qualifications to students who have completed a first cycle academic qualification in another faculty (normally abroad).
Internal Evaluation Team – Institutional apparatus including academic authorities, teachers, students and technical and administrative staff, according to the size and type of unit to be evaluated. The Team’s main task is to supervise the preparation of a Self-Evaluation Report.
HIRS - Higher Institutes of Religious Sciences are academic institutions for the religious training of both religious lay and ordained people. They offer first and second cycle degree courses and are subject to the academic control of the ecclesiastical faculty of Theology to which they are connected. HIRS differ from both the various types of independent ecclesiastical faculties established by canon law and from non-academic theological courses run by individual churches, such as Diocesan Schools of theological education and other non-academic institutions.
Learning outcomes - What a student is expected to know, understand or be able to demonstrate at the end of a course in order to obtain a pass. They express a desired state and are often described in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Learning outcomes can be set for both individual courses and entire degree programmes.
Lifelong learning - The continuous building of skills and knowledge throughout the life of an individual.
Licentiate – Second cycle academic qualification, obtained after at least 2 years. The licentiate is required to teach in seminaries which prepare students for the priesthood.
Lisbon Convention– The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, known as the “Lisbon Convention”, was elaborated by the Council of Europe and UNESCO and signed on 11 April 1997 at a diplomatic convention held in the Portuguese city.
Mission – Declaration of the aspirations that inspire a faculty’s definition of its objectives and, subsequently, the strategies for their achievement.
Peer review – Method of evaluation by a group of peers.
Pontifical University – Academic institution which differs from an ecclesiastical university in that it has less than four ecclesiastical faculties.
Qualifications framework - National Qualifications Framework – NQF. Describes qualifications in terms of study load, level, learning outcomes, skills and profiles. Part of the general international frameworks.
Quality - Defines objectives, processes and activities regarding the institution as a whole, with the aim of ensuring the adequacy and improvement of courses and organization.
Quality Assurance – set of benchmarks for the quality of training and education in institutions, in line with the Bologna Process. They deal with: 1) the transparency of objectives and the organization of degree courses; 2) the compatibility of qualifications; 3) the relevance of degree courses for society (at a supranational level); 4) student, graduate and teacher mobility; 5) the attractiveness of degree programmes.
Sapientia christiana - Apostolic Constitution issued on 15 April 1979 by Pope John Paul II concerning ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties.
SWOT – In the field of QA, an analysis carried out by a faculty of its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Vision – Indicates a Faculty’s status and position in relation to its long-term objectives.