Quest for Quality for Students

Project description

Improvement is a natural process, but is difficult to implement with little information. Students are rarely asked what their view on quality is when it comes to higher education reforms. The European Students' Union is changing this by starting the Quest for Quality for Students (QUEST) project that seeks to identify a true European student viewpoint on quality and the ways to enhance it through a European student survey.

If mobility is a serious commitment, there is a need to back it up with clear policy that is drawn directly from students. This will allow the comparison of students views and match them with already existing tools of quality assurance.

Furthermore, QUEST will explore the possibilities to promote change by targeting the rapid capacity building of student unions in order for then to lead student centred discussions on quality. This will be achieved by expanding a European network of student experts and by developing practical tools to be used by student unions.

The main innovation of the project, the survey, will change the perceptions of policy makers and will contribute strongly at building a common European Higher Education Area by promoting the availability of new modes of information and a more evidence-based policy making.

ARACIS is a partner organisation in this project represented by Prof Univ. Dr. Radu Mircea as a Project manager, Project officer Oana Sârbu, Accountability officer Camelia Vasile and Mihai Marcu as Project assistant.


The QUEST project is co-financed
with help from the European Commission's
Lifelong Learning Programme

QUEST publications

Quest for Quality for Students: back to basics

Quest for Quality for Students: Survey on Students' Perspectives

Quest for Quality for Students: Student handbook on Quality Assurance

Past events

31 october - Bruxelles 2013 - Final conference

29 November - 1 December 2012, Valletta, Malta - QUEST Consultation Conference

4 - 8 July 2012, Bucharest, Romania - QUEST Workshop 3

8 - 12 February 2012, Brussels, Belgium - QUEST Workshop 2

13 - 16 July 2011, Edinburgh, UK - QUEST Workshop 1

Press releases and articles about the QUEST project

ESU targets lack of student involvement with quality assurance project 'QUEST'

"European higher education in need of transparency"

“No coherent mechanism to identify student view on quality assurance”


The European Students' Union (ESU), contractor and coordinator of the project, is the umbrella organisation of 44 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 37 countries. The aim of ESU is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Bologna Follow Up Group, Council of Europe and UNESCO. Through its members, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe.

National Union of Students Scotland - student participation in quality Scotland (sparqs) is a national development agency that assists universities, colleges and students’ associations to define, share, improve and create practices and cultures that successfully embed partnerships between students and their institutions that will enhance the quality of the learning experience.

The Free Association of Local Student Union Bodies (Freie Zusammenschluss von StudentInnenschaften) – fzs – is the non-partisan umbrella organisation of student representatives in Germany. With about 80 member university student unions, fzs represents approximately one million of students in Germany. The nation-wide organisation fzs represents the social, cultural, political and economical interests of students from universities and towards other higher education stakeholders, politicians and the public.

The main goal of the project is tidentify students views on quality of higher education in a pan-European perspective.

The objectives the project are:

1. To identify what information students see as important to be provided to them from the side of higher education institutions and to compare this to existing modes of information provision. Create student centered models of meaningful information provision according to the identified student needs.

2. To compare and see how students view the already existing and implicit transparency tools like Quality Assurance (with European Standards and Guidelines and UNESCO/OECD guidelines and EQAR and Crossroads) as well as various information databases complement.

3. To identify the strengths and weaknesses of this guidelines and identify how quality defined through students eyes could be reached and assured.

4. To develop practical capacity building tools to strengthen and empower meaningful student participation in quality enhancement and assurance processes.

5. To provide ESU and student unions with the capacity to multiply the knowledge and support European cooperation in quality assurance at the national level and to strengthen ESU network of student experts in quality assurance.

The project will last for 32 months, between October 2010, until May 2013.

The target groups of the project are students and their representatives in national and local student unions, national associations of students, academic leadership, quality assurance staff in higher education institutions, stake-holders in higher education, organisations and associations working in quality assurance, higher education institutions and associations, experts on quality issues and policy-makers.

The main outcomes of the project are the publication of two materials: the QUEST Quality Concept publication and the Student quality handbook. This materials have the purpose of providing students with both the theoretical background and practical means for improving the student contribution to the development of education quality. Additionally, an online platform will be created and a final conference will be organized.

For further informations, please consult the project site at: and

Past events

13 - 16 July, Edingburgh, UK - QUEST Workshop