Directors of 12 accreditation agencies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland are drafting a code of good practice for Europe-wide accreditation that is expected to be finalised in December.
The Germany-Switzerland-Austria Network has a formula for the mutual recognition of accreditation decisions that is meant to guarantee the quality of tertiary teaching and research while promoting the mobility of European students.
If the European Consortium of Accreditation ratifies the plan at its Zurich meeting, it will be compulsory for accreditation agencies to adhere to the code. The last stage of its approval will be in Norway in mid-2005, when Europe's education ministers will meet in Bergen to agree a common framework.
The Bernese centre that developed the proposed code responded to politicians' demands for common standards at last year's higher education conference in Berlin.