Diane Freiberger Leads Open Seminar on Quality in Higher Education

Diane Freiberger Leads Open Seminar on Quality in Higher Education

Wittenborg Hosts Open Seminar on Higher Education Quality Standards 

On 16 April, Wittenborg hosted an open seminar titled 'Quality Standards and Practices in Higher Education from a European Perspective', which included a special keynote address by Diane Freiberger, Managing Director of the Swiss-German Accreditation Agency FIBAA (Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation).  

Freiberger had previously visited Wittenborg to present the business school with the prestigious FIBAA Premium Quality Seal for its Master of Science – MBM (Master of Business Management) programme.  

The particular seminar formed part of the IQAinAR consortium's week-long visit to Wittenborg, with speakers from Spain, Azerbaijan and Wittenborg, fostering a diverse range of perspectives and valuable networking opportunities. Some of the participants included representatives from Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University, Azerbaijan Technical University, Universidad Catolica San Antonio de Murcia, Education Quality Assurance Agency Nakhchivan State University and 456 International BV, all of whom enriched the discussion with their insights.


In her address, Freiberger shed light on FIBAA's rich history and its pivotal role in shaping international higher education standards since its inception in 1994. Emphasising the organisation's reach, she underscored its operational presence across Europe, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Moreover, she highlighted FIBAA's diverse portfolio, which includes programme accreditation, institutional accreditation and advanced education services.

Freiberger pointed out the significance of FIBAA's quality seals, saying, "What is special and unique about FIBAA? When you fulfil your standards, then you get the FIBAA quality seal. But, when you exceed these standards, you get the FIBAA premium skill seal." This commitment to excellence is exemplified by a selection process, with only five to seven procedures out of 140 earning the prestigious premium seal annually.

Another unique feature of FIBAA includes one of its latest certifications 'Excellence in Digital Education', as an innovative tool to assess and ensure the quality of digital learning. She further highlighted FIBAA's intensified efforts in internationalisation and digitalisation, signalling a strategic move towards addressing contemporary challenges in higher education.

Kriszta Kaspers, Head of Education Development and Quality Management at Wittenborg, highlighted that Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) goes beyond being a regulatory requirement; it serves as a catalyst for institutional improvement in higher education.  

"By embedding a culture of quality within our universities," she emphasised, "we encourage continuous self-evaluation and adaptation, ensuring that our educational offerings remain relevant in a rapidly changing world." This inclusive approach engages everyone, from faculty and staff to students themselves, fostering an environment where innovative teaching methods and enhanced learning outcomes can flourish.

Diane Freiberger Leads Open Seminar on Quality in Higher Education

Quality matters: strengthening higher education through accreditation

Head of the School of Business at Wittenborg, Rauf Abdul, also said that accreditation agencies play a crucial role in maintaining the quality of higher education.

"A robust quality assurance system is vital for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to meet the needs of key stakeholders, such as students, teachers, employers, and the broader community. It ensures that HEIs deliver excellent education and conduct impactful research, thereby creating a positive societal impact."

Abdul explained that Freiberger overall emphasised the role of accreditation agencies in promoting quality assurance for HEIs to fulfil their mission and contribute to the betterment of society.

"Wittenborg is committed to fostering a culture of quality. The institution has implemented a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) system to maintain high standards in teaching quality, research, and student engagement."  

WUP 26/04/2024 
by Erene Roux 
©WUAS Press