Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education

CEENQA General Assembly, 2017

On April 28th, 2017, a CEENQA workshop on "Ways to make external quality assurance a more efficient process" was organized in Zagreb, Croatia.

During this event, a number of representatives from various agencies, members of the CEENQA Network, discussed on topicis related to the ways to make external quality assurance a more efficient process.

An innovation was noticed in the presentation of EQAR's representative regarding the development of a Database of External Quality Assurance Results, which consists in the creation of a database of reports for higher education institutions/programmes that were externally reviewed against the ESG, by an EQAR-registered agency accessible from the web.

The main challenge is to bring together existing information on the external QA systems for higher education in Europe and to ensure that the different approaches to external QA envisaged by the ESG (evaluation, accreditation or audit, at institutional or programme level) are equally and understandably represented. The database would not change the fact that many registered quality assurance agencies publish their external QA reports and decisions in their local language only.  At the same time, basic information on the external QA procedure (metadata such as type, status, formal decision, validity) in English would provide the user a general understanding, even if they are unable to read the full report.

Also very important was the presentation made by the representative from the German accreditation agency ASIIN, on IT systems management of external evaluation processes. In this presentation were identified the key points to support the construction of an effective management system. As an example, was introduced the internal management system of this agency (ASIIN). By comparing the PAAAL management system with the ASIIN management system, it was noticed that there are two services that our system does not support: a. staff load management; b. management of the financial resources.

One of the presentations of this workshop was that of the Director of PAAHE (ASCAL), Dhurata Bozo, on the latest developments in the area of higher education in our country; the memorandum of cooperation with the QAA in the framework of the institutional evaluation of the HEIs, the progress achieved so far in this process; the facility provided by AMS on managing these processes. During this presentation of Mrs. Bozo, there was a particular interest from the participants, who were offered for further collaboration with APAAL (ASCAL) regarding these innovative activities of the agency.

Following the activities organized by CEENQA in Zagreb, on April 29, 2017, was held the General Assembly (2017) of this organization.

Among the most important discussions at this meeting were those on the possibilities of cooperation among agencies of this network: collaboration on staff exchange for evaluation processes; cooperation for providing internships from agencies with the innovative developments.

The discussion continued on the current status of the agencies, member of this network; on potential memberships of other regional agencies, network expansion opportunities.

The accreditation agency ANQA (Armenia), was accepted in the CEENQA network.

Also the new president of CEENQA was elected, Nora Skaburskiene, from the accreditation agency SKVC (Lithuania), with a one-year valid mandate; and the election of three new Board members.