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Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences ENQA seminar: Current trends in the European QA and the situation in Southern Europe How to.

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Presentation on theme: "Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences ENQA seminar: Current trends in the European QA and the situation in Southern Europe How to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences ENQA seminar: Current trends in the European QA and the situation in Southern Europe How to prepare for an external review? Kurt Sohm Managing director FH Council (FHR)

2 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Outline 1.What is the agency under review? History, Framework, FH Council, EQA Educational mandate, accreditation decision 2.How to prepare for the review? Context Key features Terms of reference and protocol for the review Composition expert panel Management SE-process SE-report Schedule of the review Lessons learned 5 slides 16 slides = 21 slides ~ 30 min

3 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences FH sector at a glance: short history Short history and is still developing the FH Studies Act became effective on 1 October the whole sector has been completely new developed since 1993 building up of the sector: not by transforming existing educational institutions but by accrediting new programmes Actual state of affairs the first 10 programmes started 1994/95 meanwhile: 20 institutions offering 243 programmes, students, annual intake, about graduates at present 94% of the programmes are offered in the BaMa- System -the BaMa-reorganisation is nearly completed (amendment of FH Studies Act 2002)

4 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences FH sector at a glance: Framework conditions FH Studies Act (lean law with 21 sections) is based on principles of New Public Management Deregulation at the state level and regulation by private sector under state supervision -the state no longer centrally controls and regulates the Higher Education sector as it previously did -decentralisation of decision-making process in order to foster independence, responsibility and flexibility of the institutions -FH institutions were given greater autonomy to organize themselves Providers are – with one exception – privately organised -legal person under private law, e.g. companies with limited liability, associations or public foundations (e.g. contracts with lecturers are also concluded under private law) Public funding (concept of study place management) Accreditation by a public authority (FH Council)

5 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences FH sector at a glance: FH Council Public authority responsible for EQA independent decision-making body > guaranteed by law members are not bound by any ministerial directives Members appointed by Federal Minister of Science and Research four members being appointed on recommendation of the Advisory Board for Economic and Social Affairs for three-year terms, singular re-appointment for a second, consecutive term is possible FH Council comprises 16 members with academic and professional qualifications -current president: Leopold März, former rector Vienna University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences

6 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences FH sector at a glance: External QA Close link between initial accreditation, evaluation and re- accreditation accreditation refers to programs > valid for max. of 5 years -formal and independent decision, indicating that a program offered meets certain standards decision on initial accreditation is carried out by the members of the FH Council themselves -no expertise in the FH Council written expert opinions are asked for decision on re-accreditation is based on a previously conducted evaluation -each re-accreditation requires a new application and the submission of an evaluation report Evaluation: internal, external, follow-up, publication -institutional and programme-related evaluation Evaluation doesnt state an own methodological concept but it serves to fulfil the task of accreditation

7 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences FH sector at a glance: Educational mandate Practice-oriented education at a higher education level focused on the employability of graduates curricula are to be designed in such a way that -the graduates will stand a reasonable chance of finding a job that matches their qualifications on higher education level -interrelation between vocational fields of activity, qualification profile and curriculum plays a crucial role Accreditation decision programmes are reviewed against the fulfilment of the educational mandate -Does the submitted concept fulfil its educational mandate in a reliable and transparent way? -Has the [field-specific] implementation of the educational mandate been demonstrated in a logical, conclusive and valid way?

8 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: context FH Council (public authority) is under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Research supervision is limited to the observance of laws and regulations founding member of ENQA (March 2000, Brussels) Bergen ministerial meeting – May 2005 Adoption of the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in EHEA (ESG) -ESG are identical with the ENQA criteria for Full membership -condition of Full membership: all Full members have to undergo an external review at least once every five years -if not: an agency will cease to be a member of ENQA Member of the European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA) Code of Good Practice (agreed upon 2004) agreement of all ECA members to be reviewed by end of 2007

9 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: context Organisation of review five-yearly reviews are normally initiated and coordinated by national authorities -principle of subsidiarity which underpins the ESG and as part of the national quality assurance arrangements limited resources of ENQA to coordinate reviews -exception: no suitable or willing national body -agencies wishing ot engage ENQA must be able to justify why a national review is impossible -ENQA reserves the right to decline such a request the management of the review must be completely independent of the agency under review all parts of the process must be transparent and easily open to examination by the ENQA board

10 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: context Remit of the review Two types of nationally coordinated reviews -sole purpose review (type A): only to fulfil the periodic review requirement of ENQA membership -multiple purpose review (type B): review has a number of purposes, one of which is to fulfil the periodic review requirement of ENQA membership Clarification well in advance before the review starts Determination in the Terms of reference and protocol for the review (ToR)

11 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: key features Review was coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Science and Research (national authority) contact details were communicated to ENQA Considered national and international requirements (type B review) Panel predominately consisted of international experts Close cooperation and consultation with ENQA review process should meet the requirements of ENQA board ENQA was kept informed of progress throughout the review -notification to ENQA at an early stage that the review will be conducted in autumn acceptance of ToR by ENQA -to preserve the integrity of the review the selection process of panel members was carried out by the Ministry in consultation with ENQA Site visit: interviews with HE-Institutions, Association of UAS, Students, Ministry, Council members, Staff members, Members expert panels, business/industry (about 60 persons)

12 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: key features Purpose and aim, questions to be addressed In which way and to what extent does the FH Council fulfil the tasks stipulated by the Fachhochschule Studies Act in the area of external quality assurance? In which way and to what extent does the FH Council thereby fulfil the criteria for the ENQA membership and thus the European Standards and Guidelines? In which way and to what extent does the FH Council comply with the ECA Code of Good Practice? Involvement of stakeholders the final SE-report was submitted to the relevant stakeholders by the Ministry (institutions and students) for statement the statements were communicated to the review panel -all relevant documents were made accessible on a restricted part of our website

13 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: key features Basic attitude towards the self-evaluation (SE) organised as a project with a clearly defined schedule adhered to the principles of self-criticism, objectiveness and openness structured within the seven criteria of ENQA membership -description of the actual situation -identification of strengths and weaknesses -proposals for improvement SE-report is to present in an understandable manner in which way the FH Council fulfils -its tasks of external quality assurance as stipulated by the Fachhochschule Studies Act -the criteria for the ENQA membership and thus the European Standards and Guidelines as well as the requirements of the ECA Code of Good Practice

14 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: terms of reference (ToR) Drafted well before the process started in consultation between Ministry, FH Council and Conference of FH institutions Table of contents Summary Background and Context -Legal Basis of the FH Council -National Context -International Context Purpose and Aim of the Review Steps of the the Review Procedure -Nomination and appointment members of the expert panel -Self-evaluation of the FH Council -External Review by an expert panel -Drawing up the Evaluation Report Follow-up Procedure and Publication of the Report Schedule of the Review

15 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: composition expert panel Compostion of expert panel one national expert well familiar with the Austrian higher education system -nominated and appointed directly by the ministry two international experts from organisations that are responsible for external quality assurance -nominated by ENQA and appointed by the ministry one international expert from a higher-education institution -nominated by ENQA in consultation with EURASHE one international expert with students experience -nominated by ENQA in consultation with ESU one assistant (not to be in a state of dependence to the Council) -nominated by the chair of the panel which has to come from an ENQA member agency Ministry prepares the panel in an appropriate manner

16 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: members expert panel Members Jon Haakstad, Chair, Norwegian National Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (NOKUT) Mark Fredericks, Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisation (NVAO) Manfred Prisching, national expert, University of Graz, Institute of Sociology Bert Hoogewijs, Rector, University College Ghent Vanja Ivošević, student member, ESU, Croatia Agnes Leinweber, secretary, German Accreditation Council Language Review was made in German (and English) international experts with good oral and written command of German language

17 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: management SE-process responsibility: managing director (K. Sohm) drafting the descriptive parts of the SE-report ensuring a broad involvement of staff members and Council members especially in terms of discussing the strengths/weaknesses analysis and areas for improvement observance of time schedule chairing the meetings with staff and Council members revising the draft report after the meetings preparing the workshops and meetings with the self-evaluation working group of the FH Council consultation with the ministry final wording of descriptive parts, strenths/weaknesses, areas for improvement

18 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: SE-report Table of contents I.Preliminary remarks -Aims + principles, composition expert panel, description SE-process II.Introduction -Demonstration HE sector in Austria and national EQA system; general description FH sector; important key features FH sector III.The FH Council and the 7 ENQA criteria for membership -Activities; Official status; Resources; Mission statement; Independence; External QA criteria and processes; Accountability procedures -Integration contents of ESG, ENQA criteria, CGP ECA under the headings of the 7 ENQA criteria for membership -Description tasks FH Council according to FH Studies Act, analysis of strengths and weaknesses, areas for improvement IV.Appendix: index of abbreviations, annexes, additional documents at the site-visit, statements of stakeholders -report: 80 pages, appendix: 200 pages

19 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: SE-report (example independence) ENQA Regulations A Full member should be independent to the extent both that it has autonomous responsibility for its operations and that the conclusions and recommendations made in its reports cannot be influenced by third parties such as higher education institutions, ministries or other stakeholders. The member will need to demonstrate its independence through measures, such as: -its operational independence from higher education institutions and governments is guaranteed in official documentation (e.g. instruments of governance or legislative acts); -the definition and operation of its procedures and methods, the nomination and appointment of external experts and the determination of the outcomes of its quality assurance processes are undertaken autonomously and independently from governments, higher education institutions, and organs of political influence; -while relevant stakeholders in higher education, particularly students/learners, are consulted in the course of quality assurance processes, the final outcomes of the quality assurance processes remain the responsibility of the member. European Standards and Guidelines Independence: Agencies should be independent to the extent both that they have autonomous responsibility for their operations and that the conclusions and recommendations made in their reports cannot be influenced by third parties such as higher education institutions, ministries or other stakeholders. ECA, Code of Good Practice 3 3. Must be sufficiently independent from government, from higher education institutions as well as from business, industry and professional associations.

20 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Review FH Council: Panel draft report Site visit: 16 – 19 September 2007 Expert panel draft report submitted to the Ministry and forwarded to the FH Council only for factual verification on 10 October 2007 deadline for statement: 24 October 2007 Statement FH Council 10 pages not only factual verification but also clarification on misunderstandings related to important contents of the draft report request for further justification of essential findings Final report: expected on mid November 2007

21 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences

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23 Lessons learned division of labour between project management SE-process and responsibility as regards content national expert who is familiar with the national context self evaluation was very fruitful and valuable discussion of strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement strong incentive to systematically reflect on the situation we placed a lot of weight in the production of the report it´s all about self-critical reflexivity broad involvement of staff and Council members (no one- person-show) gain of credibility by the stakeholders international experts: provide very valuable insights for the review and help to establish its credibility

24 Accreditation Authority for Universities of Applied Sciences Thank you very much for your attention Document Guidelines for national reviews of ENQA member agencies


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