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The role of Agency for Science and Higher Education

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Establishment of national quality assurance systems and agencies ... Agency for Science and Higher Education - operative since ... Perfecting the QA system ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The role of Agency for Science and Higher Education


1
The role of Agency for Science and Higher
Education
  • Prof.dr.sc. Jasmina Havranek

2
Knowledge-based society
  • innovative and competitive spirit
  • scientific and technological development

Accountability of University
preparing the citizens competitiveness,
competence, quality education, ethics,
democracy, bridging national and cultural
differences
3
Bologna process
  • comparability
  • compatible education system
  • mobility of students and teachers
  • emphasis on quality assurance
  • Greater autonomy followed by more accountability.
  • Establishment of national quality assurance
    systems and agencies for monitoring of quality
    assurance encouraged.

4
  • Agency for Science and Higher Education -
    operative since 8 March 2005
  • Croatian institutional framework
  • National Council for Higher Education
  • National Council for Science
  • Agency for Science and Higher Education
  • Ministry of Science, Education and Sports
  • National Foundation for Science, Higher Education
    and Technological Development
  • Need for improvement of legislation in order to
    clarify competences of both the National Council
    for Higher Education and the Agency for Science
    and Higher Education.

5
  • Important part of the higher education reform
  • introducing robust and reliable quality assurance
    (QA) mechanisms
  • External and internal quality assurance
  • study programs
  • higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • QA units at HEIs
  • Principles transparency, dialogue, truth and
    association.

6
Bologna process in Croatia
  • started in 2005
  • 870 study programs evaluated
  • within very short time limit and with no integral
    QA system at the time
  • Lessons learned
  • adjustment of system needed
  • proliferation of study programs
  • overlaps and parallelisms among the new
    programmes
  • no co-ordination on the Faculty and/or University
    level in many cases
  • actual implementation of standards and criteria
    needed

7
Perfecting the QA systemfoundations
  • Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance
    in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)
    Bergen, May 2005 National Council for Higher
    Education, 17 May 2006
  • organisational and operational independence of
    the body responsible for external QA on the
    national level i.e. Agency for Science and Higher
    Education
  • Code of Ethics for the academic community,
    drafted by Committee for Ethics in Science and
    Higher Education

8
Major types of national QA scheme
  • from the point of view of responsibilities and
    ownership, derived from actual practice
  • State owned system
  • Mixed (semi-state) system
  • Co-operative system
  • Laissez-faire system
  • The current Croatian QA system is very close to -
    or even perhaps identical with - the mixed
    (semi-state) system.
  • It has been considered to move away from this
    model and try to shift to model of the
    co-operative system.
  • Recommended by CARDS 2003 project Furtherance of
    the Agency for Science and Higher Education in
    its Quality Assurance Role and the Development
    of a Supporting Information System

9
Mixed (semi-state) systembasic characteristics
  • Principle QA belongs to everybody involved in
    HE, but it is better to keep it close to the
    state. Quality related decisions on HEIs and
    programmes are made on the administrative level.
  • National QA organisation Semi-independent buffer
    body (or bodies), with Ministry participation
    and/or influence.
  • Consequence Blurred boundaries of
    responsibility, problems in actual operation.
    Danger of the emergence of a compliance culture
    i.e., the existence of only formal solutions
    instead of substantial measures in quality
    improvement.
  • Complying with ESG partial compliance

10
Co-operative systembasic characteristics
  • Principle QA belongs to all partners involved in
    HE, all having clearly defined roles and
    responsibilities. Quality related decisions on
    HEIs and programmes are made on the professional
    / buffer level.
  • National QA organisation Independent (buffer)
    body established by transparent and balanced
    formal mechanisms (e.g. delegation) without
    Ministry / Government selection, participation
    and/or influence.
  • Consequence Acceptance by HEIs and effective
    operation of the system is facilitated by
    partnership (involvement) and clear
    responsibilities.
  • Complying with ESG full compliance

11
Co-operative system - continuedWhat does
European practice show
  • QA in Higher Education in the last decade or so,
    really became a profession
  • a profession, having not only procedures, rules
    and standards but quite a substantial body of
    theoretical and practical knowledge, methods and
    skills
  • not easy for otherwise excellent and highly
    esteemed disciplinary experts to become and work
    as quality assurance experts overnight
  • for expert teams involved in various evaluations
    in external QA activities it is best to have both
    disciplinary experts (scientists, professors,
    representatives of the given profession) and QA
    experts (staff members of the relevant national
    agencies) in the same team working together

12
Internal QA systems at higher education
institutions (HEIs)
  • most Croatian HEIs still at the beginning of the
    process
  • freedom to choose from among the various options
    available for internal QA systems (ISO standard,
    individual systems)
  • time and support to HEIs needed in order to
    establish and operate effective internal QA
    systems and mechanisms
  • support by the Agency, National Foundation for
    Science, CARDS 2003 project

13
Internal QA systems at higher education
institutions (HEIs)- continued -
  • "Minimum" requirements
  • 1. Each institution (faculty) should be expected
    to have a well defined and clear strategy based
    on a SWOT analysis.
  • 2. Based on the strategy, there should be a
    quality document (handbook) presenting the
  • quality goals (What?),
  • quality mechanisms, procedures (How?
    covering all major activities),
  • roles and responsibilities in relation to
    QA (Who? involving students) of the given
    institution (faculty).
  • The QA model described in the quality document
    should actually be implemented.
  • 3. Organised and regular monitoring and feedback,
    both internal and external, built in the system.
  • 4. Implementation of corrective and quality
    enhancement measures according to findings of
    monitoring and feedback.

14
Role of Agency for Science and Higher Education
  • external QA of HE including the design and
    implementation of methods, procedures, standards
    and criteria, and the actual conduct of
    evaluations (evaluation/accreditation/audit)
    resulting in final report and decision
    (accreditation or audit) on quality of provision,
  • advice to HEIs in relation to quality issues,
  • providing information on the quality of HE to all
    the partners and the public at large, including
    regular disciplinary or sector wide analyses,
  • monitoring of international developments,
    international networking,
  • providing expert assistance to committees working
    on sub-act documents and directives for
    evaluation of quality of HEIs
  • preparing discussion papers, proposing policy
    developments.

15
Conclusion
  • Quality of higher education is the crucial issue
    because it is the very heart of academic
    activity.
  • Verification and results shall eventually
    demonstrate the readiness of academic community
    to build a new society
  • ? society of knowledge and successful economy

16
  • Agency for Science and Higher Education
  • Savska cesta 41, Zagreb
  • web www.azvo.hr
  • tel 01/6274-800
  • e-mail ured_at_azvo.hr
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