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With the entry into force in 1983 the University Reform Law, the Spanish universities approved two important landmarks: internal democratization and autonomy.

One of the consequences that arise from this new situation was the significant increase of scientific and academic relations of the European education institutions, in which “The Culture of Quality” was already well installed. However, it took ten years for the evaluation processes to develop significantly.

The institutional evaluation programmmes had its origin in the Experimental Evaluation Programme of the Quality of the University System (1992-1994), the objective was to test an institutional evaluation methodology inspired in the international experiences and in second place, the Pilot Project for the Quality Assessment of Higher Education (1994-95) that meet in the same methodological orientation of evaluation to the 17 countries that participated it. The approach used was self-assessment with external contrast.

National Evaluation Plan of Universities Quality (PNECU)

The Royal Decree 1947/1995, 1 December, established the National Evaluation Plan of Universities Quality, with a duration of five years, implemented by annual calls for the development of institutional evaluation projects.

Its objectives are:

  • To promote the institutional evaluation of universities quality
  • To prepare a homogenous methodology for the assessment integrated in the current practice in the European Union
  • To provide objective information that can serve as a basis for the adoption of decisions of the different organisations in the area of its respective jurisdiction.

II Quality Plan of Universities

Once completed the PNECU and under the impetus and coordination of the Universities Council, was developed the 2nd Plan of Universities Quality. The Royal Decree 408/2001, 20 April, established the 2nd Universities Plan.

According to the article 1 of this Royal Decree its objectives were:

  • To continue with the institutional evaluation and to promote the implementation at universities of the integral quality systems for continuous improvement.
  • To promote participation of Autonomous Communities in the development and management of the Plan, promoting the creation of autonomous agencies dedicated to this task, with the aim of creating a Network of University Quality Agencies coordinated by the University Coordination Council.
  • To develop methodologies equivalent to the European Union methodologies, which allow the establishment of contrasted standards for evaluating the quality achieved.
  • To implement an information system for universities, public institutions and society that serves as a basis for decision making.
  • To implement a system of accreditation of training programmes, degrees and institutions that guarantees quality according to international recognised standards.

The 2nd Quality Plan was launched on 2001 and revoked on 2003, although its validity was established until 2006.

The University of Valencia has participated in different assessment processes that have been promoted at national level by the Universities Council and the National Agency for the Assessment of Quality and Accreditation.

The chart below summarizes the different state programmes that have succeed in relation with the assessment of qualifications.