Overview of QA Standards
According to the legal regulations of the Law on Higher Education in Kosovo* (no. 04/L-037), the Administrative Instruction on the Licensing of Private Bearers of Higher Education in Kosovo* (no. 25/2012), the Administrative Instruction on Establishing the Kosovo* Accreditation Agency (No. 11/2004), the Administrative Instruction for the Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions in Kosovo* (No. 2/ 2013), the Administrative Instruction on Criteria and Procedures for the Accreditation of Higher Professional Schools and Higher Technical Schools in the Kosovo* (No. 12/ 2009), Kosovo* Accreditation Agency has set up conditions and criteria for the accreditation of higher education institutions in Kosovo*.
Evidence that the conditions for accreditation and all basic criteria are fulfilled should be submitted with every request for accreditation.
Conditions for Accreditation
- Legal Form and Location
The applicant Institution must be legal person located in Kosovo*.
- Study Offers
A schedule of study programmes should be delivered alongside the application:
- a University should offer accredited courses or programs for a minimum of at least four years in at least five different subject areas who have issued at least one graduate with an accredited doctorate in each of these programs.
- a University College should offer accredited courses or programs in at least three different subject areas with at least an accredited study program in doctorate level in each of these subject areas.
- a College should offer accredited courses or programs in at least one subject area for at least one cycle.
- these study programmes should end with an academic degree, which meets international standards and is awarded for full-time studies,
- these study programmes should be offered in one or several scientific, academic or professional disciplines
- or there should be studies that will be expanded after other academic studies have been completed (specializations).
- Comparability of studies
If the applicant Higher Education Institution wishes to award the same academic degrees as other institutions in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), then is studies and overall educational outcomes at the applicant institution should be comparable with those of similar institutions in the EHEA.
- Teaching Staff
The qualifications of teaching staff in Higher Education Institutions must meet international scientific, artistic and professional standards. Legally binding contracts with these staff must be submitted with the application. These contracts should demonstrate the staff’s suitability for the institution’s planned studies.
The applicant institution should have at its disposal sufficient staff, space and equipment (e.g. computers, library, etc.) for effective studies. These should be provided in accord with the type of educational institution.
Evidence about teaching and support staff, space and equipment should accompany the application.
A Higher Education Institution should orientate its own activities in accordance with the following principles:
- Freedom of science and teaching;
- Freedom of artistic activities, of artistic expression and its teaching;
- Linkages between research and teaching;
- Diversity of artistic theories, methods and teaching ideas;
- Institution denominations
The Law on Higher Education specifies when an education institution has the right to call itself a “University”. The word “University”, as separate words or in combination with other descriptions, may not be adopted or used in any form in the denomination of any provider without the permission of the Ministry after the approval in principle by the KAA.
Academic degrees of accredited private institutions of higher education have the same legal value as those of public institutions.
- Basic Criteria
Higher Education Institutions should be autonomous and should guarantee the academic freedom. Their statutes and organizational structures should provide freedom in research (both in respect of submitting questions, theories and methods and also in disseminating research outcomes and its assessment) and freedom of teaching (in respect of diversity of content, methods of course delivery and freedom to express scientific and artistic opinions).
Scope and Diversity
The institution should have a broad and diverse range of studies within one or more disciplines, which accord with the European concept for higher education. Disciplines can include traditional fields e.g. medicine, music, law or theology, and also other new combined courses with comparable breadth.
Research at the Institution
The research should be undertaken at the institution. This determines the presence of a critical mass to the institutionalized production of knowledge and its contribution to teaching.
The institution should have at its disposal sufficient permanent academic, scientific and artistic staff, on full-time employment contracts which are valid for at least three years. This permanent teaching staff should be qualified or distinguished in arts and must cover at least 50% of the entire teaching load of a course of study and be qualified (via Ph.D. or artistic achievements). To provide the connection between research and teaching this permanent teaching staff should have at least three persons for each study programme, and at least one of them should have the status of professor. This person should hold a higher scientific or artistic qualification.
Procedures for selecting the teaching staff
The institution’s procedure for selecting all its academic staff must be transparent, competitive and determined by quality.
Institutions must have in place internal policies and procedures for quality assurance of their study programmes and awards.
Study plans (detailed curricula) and examination regulations should meet all material, professional and formal requirements, and accord with international standards. Admission to studies must correspond with Kosovo*’s rules and overall conditions for admission to higher education.
Facilities and equipment
Facilities and equipment must provide adequate tools for studies in accordance with international standards.
Support for the mid-term financing of the institution should be demonstrated through a detailed Business-Plan.
The institution must demonstrate how it will fulfil all of the above requirements in a development plan covering a period of three years.
(Source: Kosovo* Accreditation Agency, accessed January, 2020)