Principles and Values

  1. Ownership of quality. Higher education institutions hold primary responsibility for their internal quality assurance. It is only through their actions and practices that the quality of their activities – including the three missions of learning and teaching, research and innovation, and societal engagement – can be assured and enhanced. Therefore, one of the primary purposes of IAQA is to support the HEIs as autonomous institutions in engaging with the QEF and fulfilling their responsibilities for the management and enhancement of quality. 
  2. Enhancing quality. The QEF is an enhancement-led framework, developed to support higher education institutions, not simply in the basic assurance of quality, but also in the continuing enhancement of all aspects of their activities. 
  3. Involvement of students. Effective delivery and development of higher education fundamentally involves students working as partners with their institution. Given the centrality of this partnership, students are involved within the QEF as active participants in the assurance and enhancement of their learning. The QEF embraces all students, regardless of physical or mental health status, gender, sexual orientation, ethnical background, nationality, religion, residence or financial situation.  
  4. International and Icelandic perspectives. The QEF is firmly rooted in the Icelandic context. Icelandic higher education institutions have vital national functions to fulfil as well as national and local societies to serve. However, Icelandic HEIs and the QEF are also firmly outward-looking as higher education is increasingly carried out in international partnerships and collaborations. The QEF and Icelandic HEIs relate positively to a range of European and wider international communities and benchmarks, including the ESG and practice across the European Higher Education Area. 
  5. Independence and partnership. IAQA operates with full independence and the QEF is managed outside of any vested interest or instruments of control. At the same time, the QEF recognises the importance and value of dialogue with its stakeholders. The QEF is therefore developed to simultaneously encompass partnerships with stakeholders as well as independence of action. 
  6. Transparency. Transparency is emphasised through availability of non-confidential material, guidance and resources, regular dialogue and communication with the sector, as well as support through conferences and other events.