AQ Austria is a quality assurance agency operating in Austria and other countries of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). It is committed to serving the common good and is based on the values of the EHEA, in particular the autonomy and diversity of higher education institutions (HEIs) and independent quality assurance. It regards itself as a competence centre for matters regarding quality assurance and improvement and as a driving force for the advancement of quality assurance.
AQ Austria fulfils its mission by adhering to the following principles:
- The primary responsibility for quality in all their areas and for quality assurance and improvement rests with the HEIs.
- AQ Austria regards its procedures as supplementary to a HEI's internal quality assurance and models them on the self-defined goals of the HEIs. It is independent in what it does and not bound by any instructions. Decisions in quality assurance procedures are made exclusively in accordance with quality criteria.
- Quality assurance procedures are modelled on international good practice, in particular on the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG).
- The development of procedural rules and standards or criteria is based on the co-operation with HEIs and other interested parties.
By performing quality assurance procedures and other tasks, AQ Austria is pursuing the following objectives:
- development and safeguarding of quality standards in the higher education sector; in doing so, AQ Austria defines standards in such a way as to portray the different profiles of institutions;
- support in developing a culture of quality in HEIs;
- ensuring transparent information on the quality of HEIs in their areas of activity;
- advancement of Austria's higher education system.