Quality Recognition

Quality Recognition

AESOP Quality Recognition


Quality Recognition (QR) is a programme for continual quality support based on voluntary grounds, peer support and sharing of best practices for the improvement of teaching and pedagogy to safeguard the quality of planning education reflecting the changing requirements on AESOP member schools. The leading motto for AESOP QR is to promote excellence in learning and education.

The attempt of AESOP therefore is not to assess or to accredit the schools of planning but to enhance the scientific and professional quality of European planning schools. This is in the heart of AESOP’s mission. AESOP QR is complementary to the role of other European institutions in the field of higher education. The outstanding potential of AESOP lies in its capacity to moderate mutual learning processes among schools of planning in Europe and beyond, considering different planning environments, cultures and systems.

AESOP QR has evolved since 2009 and was instituted as a permanent AESOP activity by the CoRep meeting held in Venice in 2019. QR complements ongoing activities of AESOP in promoting excellence in planning education, such as the AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award.


The process of AESOP QR goes beyond the mere evaluation of planning programmes. It builds on an ethic of peer learning and engagement, reflexivity, creativity, deliberation and openness to trigger change in response to societal challenges. It is an opportunity for member schools to strive for the excellence in planning education jointly.

The QR process takes place annually and starts with a call for applications from member schools who are encouraged to submit individual programme applications using the standardised application form. The form asks for information on programme curriculum profile and principles of pedagogy. Individual programme applications are evaluated by a QR working group constituted from the EEB/CoRep members appointed by the QR Chair. The process includes close interaction between the QR working group and applicants based on two interim feedback reports.

The main benefits for applicants are opportunities to engage in critical dialogue on the aspects of the programme with the QR working group, champion best practices within AESOP community and foster an ethic of quality enhancement amongst staff. QR is formalised by the AESOP Certificate of Quality for the programme accompanied with a QR Report, both valid for 6 years, awarded at the annual AESOP General Assembly. AESOP will publish an annual report showcasing best practices on the AESOP QR webpage which the AESOP community can benefit from

The Path towards Quality Recognition 2019-2020
  • AESOP member schools from all across Europe were encouraged to submit their QR applications. The call for applications remained open from 1 Nov 2019 until 14 Feb 2020.
  • The application and the procedure is based on single programmes’ recognition initiated by the AESOP school members on voluntary basis.
  • The new timeline 2019-2020 depicts the pathway to obtain quality recognition (see QR Timeline 2019-20).
  • Each application is being evaluated by 2-3 members appointed by the Chair.
  • A QR working group was appointed by the Chair to process the new applications during the period of February-June 2020. The group is comprised of the following members:
    • Angelique Chettiparamb, University of Reading, UK
    • Maros Finka, Slovak University of Technology, Slovenia
    • Ana Peric, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
    • Paulo Silva, University of Aveiro, Portugal
    • Tijana Dabovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia
    • Daniel Galland, NMBU, Norway (EEB Chair)
  • Planning programmes that are granted quality recognition will obtain the AESOP Certificate of Quality and Quality Recognition Report (valid until 2026). Both will be delivered to programme representatives in July 2020.

‘Standardisation’ of AESOP Quality Recognition Process
  • As communicated by the EEB Chair during the AESOP General Assembly in Venice as well as the AESOP CoRep meeting in Vienna, the EEB has developed new criteria for quality recognition, which are being used as a benchmark against which planning programmes will be evaluated during the term 2019-2020.
  • The AESOP Certificates of Quality will be displayed on the AESOP QR webpage to promote a proactive and cooperative process of collective improvement of quality in planning education among the AESOP member schools.

Daniel Galland

12 March 2020