Responsible bodies in higher education are the Government and the higher education institutions themselves. The Government is the supervisory body of the higher education institutions and is supported by the Office of Education.
Liechtenstein itself does not have its own agency of accreditation. The necessary accreditations and evaluations in connection with the granting or recognition procedures and quality assurance are formed in cooperation with foreign agencies.
Approaches and methods for quality assurance
All higher education institutions as well as similar institutions operating in and from Liechtenstein and awarding grades and titles must be approved by the Government. The relevant procedures and requirements are detailed in the Law on Higher Education and in the Ordinance on Higher Education.
Procedures of governmental approval and quality assurance are linked to accreditations by a quality assurance agency. There is cooperation in this field with external or rather foreign quality assurance agencies as Liechtenstein does not have a national quality assurance agency. The law only allows to commission quality assurance agencies that are members of the European Quality Assurance Register for higher education (EQAR). This restriction ensures that agencies keep to the European standards and guidelines of quality assurance. If need be, the Government is authorised to approve further recognised agencies for evaluation. The inevitable cooperation with foreign quality assurance agencies was actually the reason why Liechtenstein is a founding member of EQAR.
The universities are obliged to annually report back to the Government. In addition there are performance agreements, usually applying for two to three years, with institutions receiving state support.
A university is required to secure and continually improve the quality of research processes and academic instruction. Quality or rather the quality assurance system of a university is reviewed every six years, usually by a state recognised accreditation agency. In addition, the institution is required to report annually. In case of shortcomings in the operation and in the management of the university the Government delimits a period of time within which the university should reform these deficiencies. Should the noticed shortcomings not be corrected the Government is allowed to withdraw the permission to run a university.