Serkan Aras and Gökçe Ünlü were invited to   QAFFL 2018 – International Conference on Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Language Education at Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University on 11 – 12 May, 2018 to share their experience at Özyeğin University during their accreditation journey.

Brief information about the conference 

QAFFL was a two-day event which brought academicians and practitioners together to discuss critical issues around quality, specialized accreditation; from global trends to regional trends to best practices at the local level. Participants gained not only information on what is taking place at the regional and local levels, but they walked away with content from best-practices. Also, having attended the presentations by the distinguished representatives of international accreditation bodies such as EAQUALS and CEA and local accreditation formation DEDAK was very valuable for all the participants.

You can reach the program with the presentations on this link if you need further information.

Brief information about our presentation

Turning the Beast into a Beauty:

An Accreditation Journey

Accreditation, regarded as a burden by many institutions, could indeed create high demands with its requirements. However, at the School of Languages (ScOLa), Özyeğin University, we turned this ordeal into a learning opportunity. The presentation aimed to share the whole process by first starting with the stage prior to the advisory visit where all parties came together and weighed the pros and cons rather than the management making a top-down decision. To this end, we formed groups for self-assessment based on EAQUALS (Evaluation and Accreditation of Quality Language Services) criteria. We analysed what was available and what we needed to improve.

The second part of the presentation showed the actions taken during the and after the self-assessment process through which we were able to increase our awareness of the school culture by rewording the ethos, mission, vision, teaching philosophy of ScOLa. Following the self-assessment, we felt confident and were ready for the advisory visit. We experienced a smooth visit as all instructors showed a strong ownership due to the effectiveness of the self-assessment process.

The last part of the presentation was devoted to the details of the process following the advisory visit. Acting on the advisor’s feedback, relevant parties began to work on the actions to be taken to increase the effectiveness of teaching, assessment, material development, class observation cycle and so on.


Highlights from the conference

“Accreditation: a commodity or a quest for quality?” By Ludka Kotarska

The talk presented current trends in accreditation schemes based on the analysis of the

UK schemes (QAA, BAC and the British Council) which have national and international

dimensions, the Finnish audit model of quality systems in higher education institutions

and the Eaquals international scheme designed specifically for language training providers.

The presentation focused on the scope of the schemes: quality standards and criteria, the role of

self-assessment, accreditation processes and actions, procedures for selection and training

of auditors, and examined whether the schemes go beyond awarding quality labels and

how they stimulate improvement incentives at the institutional level and facilitate

programs of continuous development for all stakeholders.


“The Demand for Quality Assurance and a Specialized Accreditor’s Response” By Dr. Mary Reeves


This presentation described the sources of demand for CEA accreditation in the US and internationally, including stats, themes, and current trends and issues, and will provide an insider’s view of managing rapid growth of an accreditation agency while adhering to the principles of good practice for specialized accreditors and while meeting regulatory requirements.


You can also find a published book;  “Book of Abstracts from QAAFL ’18” with all the abstracts of all the presentations.