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Accreditation and Engineering Education in Germany: Experience and Development Pro-East Workshop for Experts in evaluation of programme quality, Rome, Italy, 9-11. May 2007. ASIIN. Accreditation Agency for Study Programs in Engineering, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

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Accreditation and Engineering Education in Germany: Experience and Development

Pro-East Workshop for Experts in evaluation of programme quality, Rome, Italy, 9-11. May 2007


Accreditation Agency for Study Programs in Engineering, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Mathematics


Facts and Figures about Germany & Russia


Area 356,973 km2

Population 82.3 Mio

Number of Engineers about 1 Mio.

Gross Domestic Product3.045 trillion $ (2006)

Unemployment Rate 9.5 % (April 2007) (among engineers 5.6 % in 2006)

Some Basic Facts about German Higher Education

Number of Higher education institutions 372

-hereof Universities 102

-hereof Universities of applied sciences 167

-private universities 56

Number of Students 1,963,598

Number of Students in private HEIs 40571

Number of Engineering graduates per year 35000


Area 17,075,400 km² Population 142.7 Mio

Gross Domestic Product 0.979 trillion $ (2006)

Unemployment Rate 7.1% (2006)

Some Basic Facts about Russia Higher Education

Number of Highereducation institutions round about 650


The new Bachelor/Master System of the Higher European Education Area by 2010

The Bachelor of Engineering must be as good as the Fachhochschule-diploma. The Master of Engineering degree must be at least the quality of the Diplomingenieur.

Global Standard - 2010(Bologna-Declaration)

University of Applied Science

(Research) University


Graduate Study

1-2 years

Master level

Compatible Mobility Channels

Long Degree

“Long” engineering program

Diplomingenieur(5 years)

Short Degree

“Short” engineering program

(4 years)


Bachelor level


Undergraduate Study

(3-4 years)

45% of the German study programs in WS 2004/2005 have been changed to BA / MA structure


The new market oriented system of quality assurance/accreditation in Germany

The “old system”

- Framework regulations for final

examination issued by the Standing

Conference of Länder Ministers of

Education (KMK) together with

the German Rectors conference (HRK)

- Stipulation of all aspects of a field of

study in a highly bureaucratic and

complicated procedure, frequently

lasting years

The “new system”

- Emergence of innovative BA/MA study

designs on a competitive basis

- Trends towards specialisation and

concentration on a specific profile due

to financial restraints

- institutionalization of a nation-wide

web of accreditation and evaluation


- privatization of quality assurance

measures and retreat of relevant state


goal:to induce more competition/guarantee high standards in the new study programs

goal:guarantee a homogeneous higher education quality



Accreditation in Germany

German Accreditation Council

(established by resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Educationin December 1998)

The A. C. has accredited


The Institute of Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance


Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Study Programs


The Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency


Accreditation Agency for Study Programs in Engineering, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Mathematics


The Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation


Accreditation Agency for Study Programs in special education strukture, Health and Social Work

field specific accreditationsmembers: universities as wells as industry, technical scientific associations professional organisations

Characteristics: cross disciplinary, regionalmembership of individual Universities


Developmental Phases of ASIIN

July 1999 Founding of the ASII

June 2000 ASII accredited by the German Accreditation Council

Dec 2000 Adoption of general requirements, fieldspecific criteria and procedural principals of accreditation

Nov 2001 M.O.U. with the ABET

Sept. 2002 Founding of the ASIIN- Expansion of the agency: creation of a commission for the natural sciences and mathematics

July 2003 Provisional Membership to the Washington Accord

December 2005 Completion of the European Accredited Engineering Project (EUR-ACE)

February 2006 ASIIN first European Accreditation Agency being granted the right to award the EUROBACHELOR/ (-MASTER) in Chemistry

March 2006 Launching of the “European Informatics”-Project

July 2006 ASIIN reaccredited by the German Accreditation Council

March 2007 ASIIN full member of ENQA


Essential prerequisition for the acceptance of accreditation decisions

Member Groups of the ASIIN

Coordination Group of German Technical Universities From “A“ like RWTH Aachen…to “Z“ like ETH Zürich.(45 Members)

Technical and Scientific Associations and professional organizations (32)

Broad based Alliance anchoring in the scientific community and in the economy,

working together for quality assurance and improvement in the German higher education system

national bodies representing the faculties of engineering at German universities

Coordination Group

of German Universities

of Applied Science.

From “A“ like FH Aachen…to “Z“ like Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau.

Industrial federations / unions and management (8).

national bodies representing the faculties of engineering at German universities of applied science


Membership Structure of the ASIIN apart from HEI

Technical and Scientific Associations and professional organizations

  • Association of German Biologists and Bioscientific Societies
  • Association of Universities and Science in the German Civil Servants Federation
  • Central Committee of German Agriculture
  • Coordination Group of German Universities
  • Coordination Group of German Universities of Applied Sciences
  • Engineers for Communications
  • Executives\' Association of the Chemical Industry
  • Federal Association of Road Construction and Traffic Engineers
  • Federal Chamber of Engineers
  • German Association for Agriculture, Food, Environment
  • German Association for Chemical and Process Engineering
  • German Association of Certified Surveyors
  • German Association of Consulting Engineers
  • German Botanical Society
  • German Chemical Society
  • German Institute for Industrial Standards
  • German Mathematical Society
  • German Physical Society
  • German Professional Association of Geoscientists
  • German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • German Society for General and Applied Microbiology
  • German Society for Geosciences
  • German Society for Informatics
  • German Society for Materials Science
  • German Society for Meteorology
  • German Society for Quality
  • German Society for Transport Science
  • Institute of German Engineers
  • National Meteorological Service of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Steel Institute
  • Umbrella Organization of German Engineering Associations
  • VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies
  • VDI The Association of Engineers
  • Industrial federations / unions and management
  • Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering
  • Association of the German Chemical Industry
  • German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media
  • German Chemical, Mining and Energy Workers’ Union (representing the German Trade Union Confederation)
  • German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers\' Association (ZVEI)
  • German Federation of Chemical Employers’ Associations as Representative of the Confederation of German Employers\' Associations
  • German Metal Workers’ Union (representing the German Trade Union Confederation)
  • Regional Association of Employers’ Federations NRW as Representative of the Confederation of German Employers\' Associations (BDA)

Fields of Accreditation

  • What is accredited?
  • Exclusively study programs at university level
  • No institutional accreditation
  • Protection of the
  • „Engineering Title“
  • only graduates of
  • Engineering Programs
  • from Universities &
  • Universities of Applied Sciences
  • are entitled to bare the title of „Ingenieur“


Natural Science

(Biology, Chemistry, Physics,Geoscience, Mathematics, Pharmacy)





ASIIN accredited study programs

Number of ASIIN accreditations:








Stand 08.05.2007


Number of accreditations with regard to different study cultures

Technical Commitee 1

Mechanical engineering/Process engineering

Technical Commitee 2

Electrical engineering / Information technology

Technical Commitee 3

Civil engineering / Surveying

Technical Commitee 4


Technical Commitee 5

Physical technologies and materials Sciences

Technical Commitee 6

Industrial Engineering/Information Management

Technical Commitee 7

Industrial Engineering

Technical Commitee 8

Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences

Technical Commitee 9


Technical Commitee 10

Life Sciences

Technical Commitee 11


Technical Commitee 12


Technical Commitee 13


Stand 03.05.2006




Personell 1 CEO, 9 Academic Collaborators, 1 Secretary, 2 Intern

Planning approx. 300 accreditations per year

CompletedAccreditations 930 study programs

Budget 2.500.000 $ per year


Sources of Income / legal form

Annual membership fee: 2500 EUR (per member)

Basic Costs of an accreditation: 10500 EUR

In a Cluster Accreditation, the costs for the accreditation of one study Programme amounts to:

4000 EUR

§ Legal Form §

The ASIIN is a registered society / incorporated association; it has the status of a charitable organization, which means that it profits from a reduced tax rate. It also implies that the ASIIN is non-profit-oriented.


Organizational structure of the ASIIN

ASIIN General Assembly


(~ 1000 auditors from industry, universities and scientific organisations)

3 levels of quality assurance

Coordination group of German (technical) universities

Coordination group of German universities of applied science

Industrialfederations and umbrella organisations of trade unions‘ organisations

Technical and scientific associations and professional organizations

Technical Committees

1/3 representatives from universities/universities of applied science, industry respectively


every member group nominates 3representatives to the Board

on recommendationof TC appoints


Accreditation Commission




12 Persons

ASIIN Headquaters



Composition of the new ASIIN board of directors from 2006 on

Prof. Dr. Roland Sauerbrey

President of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft

Prof. Dr. Hubertus von Dewitz

Siemens AG

Coordination Group of German Technical Universities

Coordination Group of German Universities of Applied Science

Industrial federations / unions and management

Technical and Scientific Associations and professional organizations

Professor Dr. Burkhard Rauhut

RWTH Aachen

Professor Dr. Ernst Rank

TU München

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Steinbach Technische Universiät Berlin

Professor Dr. Erhard Mielenhausen

Fachhochschule Osnabrück

Professor Dr.-Ing. Hans-Rainer Klemkow

Chairman of the Fachbereichstages Maschinenbau

Prof. Dr. Herbert Eichele

Fachhochschule Nürnberg

Hartmut Rauen

Verein deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbauer

Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Jürgen Klockner

VCI Verband der Chemischen Industrie e. V.

Dipl.-Ing. ETH Axel E. Barten

Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH

Dr.-Ing. Hans Heinz Zimmer



Internal Quality assurance mechanisms within ASIIN: description of decision making process

All bodies of experts are composed of




Universities of Applied Science


Industry (Professional Life)

 There is parity of vote between them, they also have veto power, exchange of personel every 3 years


Internal Quality assurance mechanisms within ASIIN: the importance of academic peer selection and formation

  • Our experts and professional appraisers are nominated either by a joint vote of the faculties of German universities, of the departments of universities of applied sciences or the member group of industrial federations (no individual applications are accepted).
  • Every expert is registered with his professional profile and experiences in the accreditation business; this background information facilitates the nomination of a qualified expert team. Once a year, a national peer formation conference is organized.
  • The audit teams which conduct the on site evaluation of a program and write an accreditation report will receive a training as to what it means to serve as an ASIIN-peer.
  • Suppliers and recipients of higher education collaborate intensively on these teams as well as in all of the accreditation panels
  • Before they can serve on an audit team the member will have to be proposed by the technical committee and confirmed by the accreditation commissions.
  • Everybody has to sign a impartiality and confidentiality declaration

Internal Quality assurance mechanisms in ASIIN: Checks and Balances and the contribution of the TC

  • They are composed of some of the most renowned experts in academia, scientific associations and industry. They comprise the persons most knowledgeable about accreditation procedures, standards and systems of higher education in general.
  • These members frequently form the corset of the audit teams conducting the accreditations of the individual study programmes at universities. They contribute to the formation of new peers.
  • Each of the (13) technical committees look through all of the accreditation reports written by the audit teams and check whether everything has been measured by the same yard stick.
  • The technical committees develop and revise the field specific criteria.

Internal Quality assurance mechanisms in ASIIN: checks and balances and the contribution of the AC

  • The members of the AC are independent and comprised of one third each of representatives from technical universities, universities of applied science and industry. It is important to note that no lobbyists are part of the panel.
  • The fact that all specialist fields of engineering and informatics are represented in the commission, guarantees that it is not restricted in its own thinking.
  • By institutionalizing a system of exchange of personal (one third is being replaced each year) there is a balance between experience and renewal.
  • Being responsible for assigning the audit teams for the study programs to be accredited they make sure that there are no bent deals.
  • They are setting down the requirements and procedural principals as well as the accreditation criteria (on proposition of the technical committees).
  • They accredit all study programs based on the accreditation reports of the audit teams and the recommendation of the technical committees.

External quality assurance mechanisms

With respect to our customers, the program coordinators and professors in German HEIs give their input in two ways. As mentioned above, immediately following the audit the program coordinators will be asked to anonymously evaluate the accreditors and the accreditation process in order to monitor shortcomings. Headquarters will systematize these findings, and discuss the shortcomings and criticism with the ASIIN accreditation bodies.

Secondly, on frequent occasions there are conferences/meetings in which the accredited will report publicly about their experiences with regard to the ASIIN accreditations.

Furthermore, the ASIIN is object of a periodic review by the German Accreditation Council which makes sure that we meet the quality requirements for operating an accreditation agency in Germany. Two members of the Council are assigned to monitor closely the work done by ASIIN.

The Washington Accord review process is a further source of information to continuously improve our accreditation procedures as has been our review by the Dutch NVAO or the ENQA review.

As important as working internal quality assurance mechanisms are continuous checks by the “outside world”, especially our customers but also the German Accreditation Council.


Accreditation Criteria of the ASIIN

The accreditation of ASIIN are based on two Sources:

  • Our general requirements and procedural principles for the accreditation of Bachelor‘s and Master‘s study programs
  • The field specific criteria for each of the different engineering fields.

All of them have been completely revised, combining an output and input approach and taking into consideration the European qualification framework


Specific Characteristics of the ASIIN

  • Broad based anchoring in the scientific community and in the economy
  • Close cooperation between producers and consumers of educational services in the bodies and commissions of the ASIIN
  • Availability of a pool of highly qualified experts which are nominated by the technical committees and the faculties/departments of technical universities and universities of applied science
  • Net of international contacts in which the ASIIN engages

International activities of ASIIN (I): The Washington Accord

Dublin IoEI

London EC

Düsseldorf ASIIN

Ottawa CCoPE


Baltimore ABET


Taipei IEET

Hong Kong IoE

Kuala Lumpur Board of Engineers

Singapore The Institution of Engineers


Provisional Members

Johannesburg ECSA

Canberra IoE

Wellington IoPE


Founding Date:

  • Initiated on October 7, 2005, in Berlin, Germany
  • Statutes to be ratified in February 2006

Founding Members:

  •  European Accord with regard to the mutual recognition of engineer degrees
  • FEANI has decided to accept the „EUR-ACE“-accreditation for the FEANI index and the „EURO-ING“ register.
  • Engineering Council UK (ECUK)
  • Commission des Titres d‘Ingenieurs (CTI)
  • Ordem dos Engenheiros (OE)
  • Conferenza dei Presidi delle Facoltá di Ingeneria Italiane (CoPI)
  • Uniunea Asociatilor Inginerilor Constructori Romania (UAICR)
  • Societe Europeenne pour la Formation d‘Ingenieurs (SEFI)
  • Engineers Ireland (EI)
  • Russian Association for Engineering Education (RAEE)
  • Conseil des Cadres Europeennes (EUROCADRES)
  • University of Florence (UNIFI)

Meilensteine der internationalen Vernetzung der ASIIN


Eurobachelor/-master Chemie

Beitritt zum ECTNA

 ASIIN wird (im deutschsprachigen Raum)

das Eurobachelor/master-Siegel verleihen

Weitergehende Formalisierung der Kooperation

zwischen ECTNA und ASIIN



Gründung der ENAEE am 08. Februar 2006

EUR-ACE Akkreditierungsverfahren

 ASIIN wird als Gründungsmitglied

das EUR-ACE Siegel verleihen können



„European Accreditation of Informatics Programs“

Förderantrag unter Federführung der ASIIN

mehrere Partner, u. a. CEPIS

Ziel: europäische Qualitätsstandards und

Verfahrensgrundsätze im Bereich Informatik

Internationales Büro



 ASIIN hat seit 2006 die Berechtigung,

als VBI in den Niederlanden

Akkreditierungsverfahren durchzuführen

  • Washington Acoord
  • Die ASIIN ist seit 2003

provisorisches Mitglied und beantragt für Juni

2007 den Status als „full member“.


Binationale Programme

Es liegen Anfragen für binationale

Programme vor:

 FH Aachen

+ belgische + niederl. HS

 HS Offenburg + HS in Chile


Akkreditierungen im Ausland

Es liegen Anfragen von Hochschulen

aus folgenden Ländern vor:

 Kroatien Schweiz

 Indonesien  Liechtenstein

 Polen  Russland


Zentral-/ Lateinamerika

 6 x 4 Eulac-Projekt

 Mitarbeit der ASIIN beim Aufbau eines zentralamerikanischen AK-Systems


 Unterstützung beim Aufbau ei-

nes Qualitätssicherungssystems


Major topics in (engineering) accreditation in Germany

  • “System” vs. Programme accreditation
  • The interplay between the “Bologna”- and the “Kopenhagen”- process
  • The relationship between theoretical formation and industrial placement/practical training
  • Quality assurance at the 3rd cycle: certification of Ph. D programmes

The End

Thank you for your attention