The PHExcel project (2013-2015)

The PHExcel project ran from 1 October 2013 to 31 December 2015. Its aim was to support institutions providing professional higher education across Europe to improve their performance.


Aim & Objectives

The PHExcel project aims at proposing an enhancement process leading to the recognition of excellence in professional higher education.

The objectives of the PHExcel project are to:

  • Survey quality tools that respond to the characteristics of professional higher education;
  • Propose a concept of professional higher education excellence;
  • Support institutions in achieving excellence through an excellence assessment methodology;
  • Validate the proposed quality framework by conducting pilot tests in institutions;
  • Build consensus around the concept of excellence through consultation with key stakeholders;
  • Deploy professional higher education excellence with an implementation roadmap;
  • Mainstream the concept of professional higher education excellence in Europe.


Activities & Outcomes

The outcomes of the PHExcel project are:



The PHExcel partnership consists of 7 partners from across Europe, namely:

  • European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE);
  • Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC);
  • The European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA);
  • The University of Nottingham;
  • SPACE Network For Business Studies and Languages (SPACE);
  • Knowledge Innovation Centre (KIC) Malta;
  • Jagiellonian University (UJ).

It is supported by the European Federation of Nurse Educators (FINE).



The project is a successor to the initiative on Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe (HAPHE). The initiative proposed a definition and set of defining characteristics for professional higher education which are being used as the starting point for the PHExcel framework. More information about HAPHE can be gained from its’ website here.