Presentation on theme: "Quality Assurance System in Croatia – National Council for Higher Education Aleksa Bjeliš Zagreb, 29 May 2004."— Presentation transcript:
Quality Assurance System in Croatia – National Council for Higher Education Aleksa Bjeliš Zagreb, 29 May 2004
Historical background: National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) established in early nineties; Strategic and expert body, nominated by the Parliament; (Law:... expert and advisory body concerned with the development and quality of the whole system of higher education of the Republic of Croatia ). From 2001 – 3rd four-year term (after an one- year inter-regnum in 2000-2001) 19 members –university (predominantly) and high school professors
Strategic tasks Law: - proposes and encourages taking measures for the development of higher education, - proposes the network scheme of public higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia In practice: usually limited to responses (expertises) to demands (initiatives) of political bodies (e.g. Government, Ministry,...) Examples: recent (2001-2003) founding of new universities (Zadar, Dubrovnik)
Quality assurance tasks: Law: approves the conditions of the Rectors’ Conference and the Council of Polytechnics and Colleges for obtaining academic-educational, artistic-educational and educational titles proposes to the Minister the rules on standards and criteria for the establishment and evaluation of new higher education institutions and programs of study appoints reviewers and give opinion on the establishment of new higher education institutions and programs of study evaluate higher education institutions and programs of study and propose to the Minister issuance of licenses
In practice – predominant activity in last ten years; -Evaluation and proposition for accrediation for new study programs (from 2001 – not obligatory for postgraduate programs) -Institutional evaluation – usually of faculties and high schools – through self-analyses, collection of relevant data, evaluation visits and reports, responses of institutions. Outcomes: licences for work -Rule: each five years -Until now (in last ten years) – about 3/4 of institutions evaluated
Specific situations and cases... Law:... performs other activities provided by this Act and other regulations Reality: Tough, acute problems and cases which would result in grave consequences (mostly student protests or political confrontations) Specials decisions of Government or Parliament Committee for Education... with the demand to NCHE to procure a quick (usually ad hoc) report Result: NCHE usually absorbs a great part of tensions...
Characteristic (sometimes permanent) problems: unresolved questions on the relations with the Ministry (status of administrative support, budget...) Sometimes (particularly in sensitive cases) minister makes decisions without (or with a posteriori) consultations with NCHE, or Formal rules (silence of administrations) applied in order to set some steps (new institutions, programs) – particularly in the interregnum period 2000-2001
Needs and strategic approaches: The self-regulatory system of R&D and HE; corresponding national councils have a central role in the dialogue with the government (and stakeholders in general) at the national level (strategic planning, budget planning, establishment of criteria, etc) Also: NCHE - top of the national system of quality assurance, focal point of the corresponding network (institutional centers for QA, etc)
New legislation NCHE and National Council for Science (NCS) 13 members each NCHE: 7 university professors, 2 high school professors 2 representatives of research institutes, 2 representatives of the ”environment” NCS: 4 representatives of research institutes 6 university professors 3 representatives of the ”environment”
Strategic tasks of NCS: Law: expert and advisory body concerned with the development and quality of the whole scientific activity and the system of science in the Republic of Croatia
Tasks of NCS in quality assurance (excerpts): –supervises the quality of scientific organizations and evaluates them –specifically determines conditions for obtaining scientific titles –proposes to the minister the rules for evaluation of research projects, collaborative research programs and scientific organizations –evaluates scientific projects, collaborative scientific programs, applications for the purchase of scientific equipment and infrastructure as well as associate positions and proposes to the Minister their financing (abandoned in the actual proposed chnges of the Law),
Common tasks of NCS and NCHE: discuss issues connected with the polycentric system of science and higher education in the Republic of Croatia and propose and stimulate measures for its development, propose and stimulate measures for the participation of other subjects... in the system of science and higher education propose to the Government allocation of financial resources provided for science and higher education by the state budget (mostly abandoned in the actual proposed chnges of theLaw)
Foreseen trends The nomination of new national councils - expected this year According to the Law the councils will have more tasks, more space (independence and autonomy), and more responsibilities The councils will have better professional and administrative support (→ AGENCY) The councils will be more open to the “environment” (in contrast to the previous practice)
Agency for Science and Higher Education Law: specialized institution established by the decree of the Government in order to perform expert activities in the evaluation of scientific research and higher education and carry out activities connected with the recognition of diplomas and qualifications
Agency vs NCS and NCHE: The Agency shall conduct evaluation according to the annual work schedule or at the special request of NCHE or NCS and the Minister Agency may also conduct evaluation at the request of a higher education institution or a public scientific institute itself The Agency shall report to the National Council for Science and the National Council for Higher Education on the actions performed and their results, and the Councils shall make appropriate decisions on the basis of the Agency reports
Tasks of the Agency (excerpts): To organize evaluations of: - scientific organizations and higher education institutions, - scientific projects and collaborative scientific programs - the national scientific network, especially in relation to the rational and purposeful utilization of capital scientific equipment, - higher education programs of study in the process of their accreditation
Tasks (cont’d) To develop system of improvement and control of quality established in higher education institutions To collect and analyze at the national level data relevant to the system of science and higher education.
Agency: shall provide the Croatian Information Center with data on academic mobility shall provide for the establishment of the national network of higher education quality assurance, included in the European network of quality assurance, shall provide for the establishment of the National Information Center and the national network of offices for the recognition of diplomas and qualifications obtained in the educational systems outside the Republic of Croatia, which are included in the European Network of Information Centers (ENIC).
Present state: 2003 - NCHE submitted to former minister the proposal for the efoundation of the Agency composed of few departments Actual miniter’s team presently consider legislative and administrative details connected to the act of foundation Some open questions: -legal status -ownership -relation towards Mionistry, national councils, etc
Very probably: -gradual establishment, starting with the departments for HE QA and the department for the diploma and degree recognition Present concerns: - human acqusitions - education of future employees