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SOFIA NOVEMBER 9, 2007. Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education ARACIS Candidate Member of ENQA QUALITY ASSURANCE IN ROMANIAN HIGHER.

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Presentation on theme: "SOFIA NOVEMBER 9, 2007. Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education ARACIS Candidate Member of ENQA QUALITY ASSURANCE IN ROMANIAN HIGHER."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOFIA NOVEMBER 9, 2007

2 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education ARACIS Candidate Member of ENQA QUALITY ASSURANCE IN ROMANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION

3 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education SHORT HISTORY OF QUALITY ASSURANCE IN ROMANIA The beginning (1993 – 2004) -1993: Adoption of Law no. 88/1993 on Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions and Recognition of Diplomas creating the National Council for Academic Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEAA), in charge with procedures for evaluation and accreditation of institutions and study programs : Adoption of the Education Law no. 84/ : Adoption by several Romanian universities of the ECTS system - Starting with 1999, implementing of an External dimension of quality assurance, following the Bologna Declaration : Adoption of Law 288/2004, introducing the new Bologna 3-cycle structure and the ECTS system in all Romanian Higher Education Institutions The present days (2005 – now) 2005/2006 : Adoption of the Government Ordinance No. 75 for Quality Assurance in Education, July 12th, modified and approved by Law 87/2006 – Creation of ARACIS – Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education

4 Romanian Quality Assurance in Higher Education MAIN FEATURES OF ROMANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM Diversity resulting from : - new study programs - existence of comprehensive, pluridisciplinary universities and universities specialised in disciplinary fields -existence of state and private universities - universities and organisations starting to run cross-border or joint study programmes Distributed learning, based on multiplication of programme formulas : - establishment of territorial branches - distance, part-time or other learning programmes Promotion of good practice in academic performance in Romanian universities in spite of long-term under-funding Participation in the European Higher Education Area

5 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education MAIN PRINCIPLES OF ROMANIAN QUALITY ASSURANCE European Dimension - participation in the European Higher Education Area of all Romanian Higher Education institutions; Institutional identity and responsibility - based on the principle of academic freedom and autonomy; Institutional diversity - guaranteed through the external quality evaluation of all study programs; Cooperation – includes all the components of the national educational system, active participation of students and employers; Focus on results - reference to quality assurance/evaluation Internal institutional self-evaluation - universities make public the specificity of the quality culture through reports, ensuring continuous performance improvements; External evaluation – external evaluation of university reported results, analysis of institutional reality as compared to the stated performance level Improvement of quality – main objective of all HE institutions and of the Romanian Quality Assurance system

6 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education ARACIS STATUS AND RESOURCES - Autonomous public institution, of national interest, legal entity with its own income and expenditure budget - Independent Agency, free from any political or other external influence, as well as from a financial point of view - lead by a Council of 15 members, with high academic and moral status, holding teaching positions in the higher education system, with renewal of its composition every 3 years for 10 of its members. The members of the Council are prohibited to sit for more than two terms, and the term of an office is of 3 years. Rectors and other people holding official positions within the Presidency, Government or Parliament of Romania cannot become members of the Council - permanent management assured by an Executive Board formed by 5 of the Councils members - Dedicated database of external evaluators, established on a transparent methodology. These external evaluators are trained to apply the methodology to be used in order to carry out the external quality assessment missions - Consistent evaluations: the Council set up 13 permanent Commissions, formed by an odd number of members, in order to assure an impartial decision; the ARACIS Register of Evaluators contains more than 1300 persons - professors, senior lecturers or first degree researchers

7 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education MISSION STATEMENT The mission statement of the Agency is specified in the Law 87/2006. In accordance with its mission and the legal provisions, the Agency elaborated a Methodology for external evaluation, standards, standards of reference and list of performance indicators, which was approved by Government Decision No. 1418/2006 in which the mission specified is fully stated AREAS OF QUALITY ASSURANCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION A. INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY B. EDUCATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS C. QUALITY MANAGEMENT

8 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education The definition and operation of the procedures of the Agency are stated in the Methodology are detailed in the Guide of the Activities of Quality Evaluation of University Study Programs and Higher Education Institutions developed and approved by the Council of the agency: Part I -Authorization/accreditation of licence (bachelor) and master programs (Bologna First and Second cycles); Part II - External quality evaluation for accreditation at institutional level; Part III - External quality evaluation at institutional level at accredited institutions; Part IV – External evaluation of Departments for Teacher formation and training in HE institutions; Part V – External evaluation of departments and distance learning programs offered by universities. All the working documents, methodology and guides are made public on the agencys web site, and published as brochures and made available to all the stakeholders on request

9 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education After developing the Methodology and the Guides, the agency started the evaluation activities as follows : 1. Pilot program of external evaluation of quality, for 11 public and private accredited universities, on a contractual basis, in the 2006 – 2007 academic year : for 10 universities with the MoERY and for one university upon its request. Scope: apply the Methodology and Guide at institutional level to identify, together with the universities, all possible improvements; 2. External evaluation of 203 first cycle (licence) study programs + 9 DL, at the request of the interested institutions, in view of provisional authorisation, accreditation or periodic quality evaluation of the same, as well as external evaluation of a number of DL second cycle (master) programs, at the request of the interested institutions, in view of accreditation.

10 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education - The process was intended both to experiment the Methodology and to allow the Agency to establish a more coherent image of quality of HE in Romania - The process involved academic and non- academic staff and students - Following the evaluation, all universities involved drafted a measure plan to improve internal quality

11 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Overall conclusion after one year of activity Positive impact within the Romanian universities - Universities consider all ARACIS documentation as detailed as possible, the way the Agency was built and organized giving it all necessary credibility ; - The methodology helps universities in assuring quality and strengthening their quality policies, as it considers all three complementary areas of quality assurance : institutional capacity, educational efficiency and quality management ; BUT Strong and Weak points of the Methodology and Guides were evidenced

12 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Strong points - PROCESS Methodology and Guides - well received by the academic community in Romania (comments from universities): - realistic enough; some continuity with previous experience; - clear and applicable, being quite effective at this new stage of thorough evaluation of Romanian higher education quality; - the evaluation processes and the pilot program made clear the fact that only slight adjustments of the Methodology are needed; - the structure of the evaluation teams (Romanian and foreign evaluators) contributes to transparency and may initiate better exchanges between universities

13 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Strong points – PROCESS - Preparatory actions (6 – 7 months) – no complaints, time enough to write the self-evaluation reports - Duration of visits in universities (3 days) – acceptable - Evaluation of 20% of programs – stimulated reviews of curricula and academic quality - Participation of students: very active on both sides (evaluators, evaluating own university) Participation of Agency staff highly appreciated!

14 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Weak points: Functioning of the Agency - The process of evaluating quality assurance by a financially independent agency raises also costs aspects - Need to look for the economic resources of the Agency, to combine both quality assurance of the process (costly!) and own functioning resources (keep taxes low – universities complaining!)

15 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Weak points - PROCESS Some lack of coherence between the Guides and the Methodology, in some details Parts of the Guides were considered to extensive and some parts of the standards must to be revised in order to be more relevant in aspects related to the scientific research; Some standards were considered too demanding in relation to the present social and economic reality and development of Romania (i.e.: related to career tracking, employment rate of graduates etc.) Some students not happy with some positive conclusions: wanted Reports to be mostly critical!

16 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Weak points - PROCESS Some standards considered not detailed enough (!) Need to move towards Benchmarks and Benchmarking Although the evaluation referred to a relevant sample: not sufficient to have a clear overall picture of the quality of HE system

17 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Weak points – AGENCY There is a need of a better selection of evaluators, not only based on their CV but also according to their effective contribution within the academic community Stronger cooperation is needed with the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth in order to develop new standards for Doctoral programs and doctoral schools evaluation, post-graduate studies and Life Long Learning Low visibility in the press – only negative points shown! New location for Agency needed: more space! Need to develop Database, new specific software etc.

18 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education SHORT SUMMARY OF OTHER ACTIVITIES Participation to several international meetings and events, since September 2006, continuing former CNEEA international presence. Conclusion of international cooperation agreements with similar agencies, the most recent one being signed on August 22 nd, 2007 with the Bulgarian quality assurance agency. Participation on the PHARE programme TVET/RO/2004/ on quality assurance. This programme allowed the professional training of 40 internal evaluators from Universities Quality Departments, 40 external evaluators from ARACIS; 80 experts were initiated to the management and student centred education, according to ENQA principles. Organisation of a Colloquium on Quality Assurance, within the Academy of Economic Studies, to present the quality culture and the institutional development of the universities.

19 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Participation in other international activities regarding quality assurance area: organized by INQAAHE, ENQA, CNE etc. Participation to an international (seven European QA agencies) project on Quality of Student Assessment: - first workshop in Amsterdam, on March organizer of the second workshop in Bucharest, on October The expected outcome of this project: a proposal of a set of quality indicators in assessment regulations and marking criteria – January 2008, to be discussed with universities in an estimated no. of 20 countries in Europe

20 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Most important international achievement of the year 2007 Candidate membership of ENQA since May, 4, 2007.

21 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education PRESENT AND FUTURE - External Evaluation Report of the activity of the Agency in the first year – completed by Romanian team - Action plan and program to improve internal quality of functioning of the Agency – drafting completed - Dialogue with stakeholders – Parliament, MoERY, universities, employers – must become a permanent activity - Full member of ENQA and European Register – more credibility of QA in HE in Romania

22 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education The process must continue: in two-years time all accredited Romanian universities must be evaluated, according to the law Need: - Planning - More training of own staff - Training of more evaluators - More foreign experts to be invited - Response to new expected challenges

23 Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Good news : END OF SLIDE SHOW


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