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Anca Prisăcariu University of Bucharest, Romania +40 755 085 288 Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International.

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Presentation on theme: "Anca Prisăcariu University of Bucharest, Romania +40 755 085 288 Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anca Prisăcariu University of Bucharest, Romania Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013 Models of Quality Assurance in Higher Education Across Europe

2 Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

3 Content 1. Biography 2. Short look into quality & quality assurance area 3. QA evolution in Bologna Process 4. Long story short – a history class 5. Approaches at different levels -System level – approach and focus -Agency level influencing institutional priorities 6. Conclusions Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

4 -Studies -ARACIS expert evaluator since 2009 (member of 6 expert panels for institutional quality assurance reviews) -Member of ARACIS Council 2010 – Academic Affairs Officer ANOSR 2010 – Member ESU QA Students Experts Pool present -Member of European Quality Assurance Register Committee -Expert evaluator in national registers QAA, FINHEEC, NVAO, AQA, KAA -Expert evaluator at european level (ENQA, EUA-IEP, ECA) -Certified as: internal evaluator, external evaluator, trainer for evaluators, evaluator for quality assurance national agencies -Member of EQAR working group for the revision of European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ESG) Biography Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

5 Quality Assurance is the way in which an institution can guarantee with confidence and certainty, that the standards and quality of its educational provision are being maintained and improved. (including quality of access, progress and completion in higher education of all social categories) Quality Enhancement is the process of positively changing activities in order to provide for continuous improvement in the quality of institutional provision. Quality Culture can be seen as the ability of the institution, programme etc. to develop quality assurance implicitly in the day to day work of the institution. Quality - ? Henry Ford “Quality is what we do when no one is looking” Short look into quality & quality assurance Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

6 Bologna (1999): “promotion of European co-operation in [QA] with a view to developing comparable criteria and methodologies” (Bologna, 1999) Prague (2001): “quality assurance systems play in ensuring high quality standards and in facilitating the comparability of qualifications throughout Europe.” Rol important în garantarea calităii programelor de studiu i în asigurarea comparabilităilor în SEIS Berlin (2003) development of “an agreed set of standards, procedures and guidelines on quality assurance” and exploring “ways of ensuring an adequate peer review system for quality assurance and/or accreditation agencies or bodies”. Bergen (2005) ministers decided on establishing an European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) QA evolution in Bologna Process I Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

7 London (2007): “The extent of student involvement at all levels has increased since 2005, although improvement is still necessary” and encouraging E4 to organize European Quality Assurance Forum as well as reporting on the progress of EQAR Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve (2009): encouraging the enhancement of quality in teaching-learning process through ESG Bucharest (2012) “Quality assurance is essential for building trust and to reinforce the attractiveness of the EHEA’s offerings, including in the provision of cross-border education. We commit to both maintaining the public responsibility for quality assurance and to actively involve a wide range of stakeholders in this development. (…) We will revise the ESG to improve their clarity, applicability and usefulness, including their scope. The revision will be based upon an initial proposal to be prepared by the E4 in cooperation with Education International, BUSINESSEUROPE and EQAR which will be submitted to the Bologna Follow- Up Group.” QA evolution in Bologna Process II Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

8 QA evolution in Bologna Process III Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

9 Long story short – a history class I Mid ‘90 : creation of the national quality assurance (exceptions: Denmark, France, The Netherlands and UK that already had this kind of structures), at least one per each country Beginning of 2000: development of internal quality assurance processes at institutional level Ministers in Berlin (2003) admit and underline the importance of quality assurance, add it as an action line of the Bologna Process and ask for “an agreed set of standards, procedures and guidelines on quality assurance” (ESG) The ESG were drafted by the “E4” (ENQA, EUA, EURASHE, ESU) and adopted in 2005 After 2009: a metric focus on quality assurance and launching of multidimensional instruments regarding rankings

10 Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013 Long story short – a history class II 2010 Map ESG project by E4 Starting 2007, London, ministers encourage for EQAR – registered agencies to be recognized all over EHEA and for HEIs to be free in choosing from any of these agencies Bucharest Communique, 2012: “…we encourage quality assurance agencies to apply for registration (in EQAR). We will allow EQAR-registered agencies to perform their activities across the EHEA, while complying with national requirements. In particular, we will aim to recognize quality assurance decisions of EQAR-registered agencies on joint and double degree programmes”. Revision of ESG is decided At the moment, first processes organized by external agencies at programme and institutional level

11 Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013 Approaches at different levels 1.System level – approach and focus 2. Agency level influencing institutional priorities

12 Approaches at different levels System level – approach and focus 1.Audit exclusively of the QA system – methods, procedures and processes “Does the QA system produce useful information and does the HEI use it to improve its activities? Does the quality system cover the whole of HEI’s activities and all units?” 2. Review of the quality itself, against fixed external standards No set of procedures will guarantee a good outcome, and is unlikely to achieve one if you don’t precisely define the outcomes you want and measure correctly what you are getting. 3. External evaluation looking exclusively at the achievement of the LO-ILO You cannot meaningfully consider quality without considering outcomes, they key is finding the balance. 4. Evaluation against HEIs mission and objectives, NOT against external established criteria Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

13 Approaches at different levels Agency level influencing institutional priorities I 1.Romania -Low focus on internal QA system, rather on existence, not on functionality -Providing fixed standards to be fulfilled by HEIs: % of optional disciplines, number of students per seminar/course group, student/teacher ratio, square meters -Providing exact instructions on the internal qa system: structures, attributions, positions, roles 2. Finland -Steering by information, not control – assist, support, engage, producing qualitative information which HEIs can use in developing their operations -“Why do they take it so seriously?”, no formal consequences from a “not pass” decision -No appealing procedures Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

14 3. Sweden -Attaining the learning outcomes based on individual project review -QA practices are in place “because we want to keep our institutions attractive and to fit the trend of the entire Europe” -QA evaluations do NOT look into students’ experience, social dimension, student centered learning – any of the day-to-day practices 4. UK - Universities and other providers are responsible for quality assuring every aspect of the programmes they provide – including recruiting, preparing and setting out the expectations for external examiners. - Total student experience - all aspects of the engagement of students with higher education Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013 Approaches at different levels Agency level influencing institutional priorities II

15 5. Austria: Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013 Approaches at different levels Agency level influencing institutional priorities III

16 There is no perfect system, each one of them fits national context and legislation and fits the trust that the system has between its stakeholders. In the same way that Law does not deliver Justice, Quality Assurance doesn’t necessarily deliver Quality! Quality still has to stay “at the heart of what we do” Quality Allowance may be a better description, a system must allow quality to happen easier. We should agree that there will always be plenty of room for improvement. Quality enhancement is about change - about making it, or doing it better, and making the best use of opportunities and resources. This may include doing new things, in new ways, and being prepared to stop doing things. Conclusions Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientists’ 1st International Baku Forum, 20 – 25 May 2013

17 Anca Prisăcariu University of Bucharest, Romania Thank you!


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