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HIGHER EDUCATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION PowerPoint Presentation
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HIGHER EDUCATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION

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HIGHER EDUCATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION

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  1. - JOINT PROJECT -‘Strengthening Higher Education in BiH’Task force for qualifications frameworks in higher education23-24 May 2006 HIGHER EDUCATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION Stephen Adam, University of Westminster

  2. HIGHER EDUCATION FOR QUALITY - QUALITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION FOCUS ON: • What is quality (terminology)? • What does quality in Higher Education mean? • Quality evaluation in Europe • What are the purposes of European quality assurance? • The purposes of quality assurance in the UK • Different dimensions to quality: • Local/Institutional (bottom-up v top-down) • National (QA agencies) • International (good practice guidelines) • The Bologna Process and quality - recent European developments • Bergen Communiqué • Implications for institutions • The European quality assurance dimension • European quality assurance: the longer term • The Albanian Master Plan – Challenges • Final thoughts…

  3. 1. What is quality (terminology)? QUALITY: ‘The level of excellence’ QUALITY ASSURANCE: ‘The means (internal and external) and processes by which the quality of academic provision is maintained and confirmed’ STANDARDS: ‘Accepted measurement on which to base a judgement’ QUALITY ENHANCEMENT: ‘Improving quality’’

  4. 2. What does quality in Higher Education mean? RELATES TO: • Education as a ‘public good’ + ‘public responsibility’ • Educational transparency + choice + diversity • Equality of opportunity – access and social inclusion • Excellent programmes of study • The student experience • Efficient use of resources • Good governance (all levels) • Clear articulation of values: corruption + freedom to research, etc. • Standards: integrity, professionalism, accountability, openness • Robust: review, monitoring and validation of courses/institutions • Academic autonomy with responsibility

  5. 3. Quality evaluation in Europe • Since the 1990s most countries have a national agency (or agencies) responsible for external quality evaluation. • All countries have some kind of quality assurance mechanism in place but they differ significantly in terms of purpose, focus and organisation. Some are: • Outcomes-based (focus on evidence + qualitative aspects) • Input-based (focus on resources + quantitative aspects) • Programme-based system • Subject-based approaches (benchmarking) • Institution-based (Audit) approaches • Mixtures of the above • The role, function and ownership of central/national agencies varies according to autonomyand responsibilities of institutions

  6. Most follow a similar process but with very different outcomes and emphasis in terms of: • Self-evaluation • Visit by external body representatives • Report • Consequences • Accreditation agencies are another approach, they act as external bodies to ‘authorise’ new programmes and/or institutions. Some institutions seek accreditation from overseas agencies/institutions/professional bodies

  7. 4. What are the purposes of European quality assurance? • Accountability? • Academic standards? • Enhancement? • Information? • Control? • Standardisation?

  8. 5. The purposes of quality assurance in the UK: www.qaa.ac.uk Security of academic standards of qualifications Enhancement of students’ learning opportunities and experience Accountability Information

  9. 6. Different dimensions to quality: • Local/Institutional (bottom-up v top-down) • National (Quality Assurance Agencies) • International (good practice guidelines, EUA, etc.)

  10. The Bologna Process and quality - recent European developments The 2005 Bergen Communiqué inter alia: • Sought more progress in European QA, particularly student involvement + international cooperation • Urged Higher Education Institutions to introduce internal QA mechanisms linked to external QA • Adopted the ENQA ‘Standards and Guidelines’’ • Required a report for the London Ministerial meeting 2007 • Agreed the proposed peer review model of QA agencies • Welcomed the European register of QA agencies • Adopted the overarching framework for qualifications • Committed countries to elaborating compatible national frameworks

  11. These decisions have unstated implications for institutions: • Require a high measure of institutional autonomy and responsibility • Imply a different relationship between HEIs and state/ministry • Put in place outcome/output based systems and reference points • Engender an internal/external reform in approaches to QA • Need to facilitate institutional transparency, diversity and responsibility

  12. European quality assurance requirements(Peter Williams - Chair of ENQA) • Must acknowledge the importance of the public interest • Must have clear aims and objectives • Must be realistic • Must be achievable • Must start with national, regional and institutional autonomy and diversity • Must offer both reliable public information and opportunities for institutional development and improvement • Must be fit for purpose • Must be properly resourced • Must not be rushed

  13. European quality assurance: the longer term(Peter Williams - Chair of ENQA) • Common concepts • Common language • Shared understandings and values • A European HE quality culture? • Qualifications recognition • Comparable academic standards • Useful information for stakeholders • Improved academic professionalism • Better higher education

  14. Challenges to BiH:(The same challenges face us all!) • Develop a multi-dimensional strategy at the local/institutional, national and international levels (realistic targets + build on existing good practice). • Identify and consult all stakeholders to build a consensus (including students, employers, external experts, etc) • Create a new style qualifications framework – external reference points/standards • Adopt effective ways to monitor, review, validate (quality assure and quality enhance + possibly, codes of practice) • Promote good governance within higher education institutions • Move from external prescription to internal rigour + move from assertion to verifiable information • Develop an appropriate academic infrastructure and academic culture to underpins it (staff development)

  15. 9. Final thought! THIS IS NOT QUALTY ASSURANCE QUALITY ASSURANCE IS NOT SOMETHING DONE TO YOU!

  16. References: • Bologna website and Secretariat: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/bologna • Europe Unit (UK): www.europeunit.ac.uk • European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA): www.enqa.net • European Commission: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/education_culture/index_en.htm • European Universities Association (EUA): www.eua.be • EUA Developing a quality culture Project http://www.eua.be/eua/en/projects_quality.jspx • Lisbon Recognition Convention: http://conventions.coe.int • National Union of Students in Europe (ESIB): www.esib.org • UK Quality Assurance Agency:http://www.qaa.ac.uk