Republic of North Macedonia

Overview of QA Standards

External evaluation in higher education

Higher Education Evaluation Board is body responsible for external evaluation of the higher education institutions. The evaluation activities are performed by Board’s commissions. Two thirds of the Evaluation Board’s commissions’ members are university professors from universities from countries members of the ENQA. The standards and the procedures according to which the Board is performing the external evaluation are defined with the Regulation on the standards and procedures for the external evaluation and self-evaluation. This regulation must be regularly updated in order to be in compliance with the adopted standards and procedures which are applied by the European Association for Quality Assurance in the Higher Education (ENQA).

The Evaluation Board consists of 15 members with a mandate of four year. Re-election of the same members for another term of four years in the Evaluation Board is not allowed. The Evaluation Board monitors the functioning of the universities on the basis of the reports submitted by its commissions. The Board is responsible to monitor and assess the quality of the higher education activity, as well as scientific and research work of the academic staff at the HEIs. The Evaluation Board monitors and assess the quality of the study programmes which are re-evaluated in a period of minimum five years; consequently, the Evaluation Board may issue a proposal to the Accreditation Board for termination or awarding of accreditation for a study programme or a university. The Evaluation Board is also responsible for preparation of a proposal for Regulation of the standards and procedure for external evaluation and self-evaluation to the National Council for Higher Education.

The Article 58 of the Law on Higher Education, entails ranking of all universities enlisted in the national register of higher education institutions. This activity is performed once in every three years by an external legal entity / ranking contractor selected in a competitive public procurement procedure. The ranking results are based on indicators or criteria which are related to the number of students and academic staff, teaching processes, research, available resources, financial investments in the infrastructure and the social dimension. The indicators may vary between ranking cycles or elected ranking contractor.

In the set of control measures for preserving the quality of the higher education and the monitoring tools for the legitimacy of the work of the University, the Article 202 of the Law, envisages legal action by the Ministry of Education and Science in case when illegal activities of the university are detected. The Minister may adopt a termination or suspension decision over the work of the university. The decision is submitted to the relevant university and the founder of the university. The Lawalso contains provisions related to the control mechanisms over issuing diplomas and prescribes certain legal action if a university infringes the provisions that define the issuing of the diploma.

The State Education Inspectorate also monitors the work of the university specifically from the aspect of legitimacy of their functioning and compliance to the Law on Higher Education and other relevant laws.

Internal evaluation in higher education

The Article 55 of the Law on Higher Education, each higher education institution defines and adopts its own system for quality assurance and quality control, by applying set of measures for internal development of the quality assurance. According to provisions in this Article, the self-evaluation of the university is performed by a Commission for Self-evaluation of the University. The members of the Commission are elected with voting and their mandate is four years. The process of self-evaluation is realized in accordance to the Rulebook for the Standards and Procedure for External Evaluation and Self-evaluation. The self-evaluation is performed in time intervals of three years. The findings and the results of the self-evaluation are publicly announced on the web site of the university.

For the purpose of monitoring and improvement of the existing quality assurance instruments (such as procedures, guidelines, questionnaires, etc.) in 2014 the universities adopted rulebook according to which the HEIs’ established their own Boards of Trust and Cooperation with the Public (BTCP). The establishment of these Boards has been defined also with the Article 122 of the new Law on Higher Education (2018) whereby the Boards became mandatory for each of the university units (faculties) at all universities in country. The Boards are responsible for analysing the opinions and recommendations of all interested parties and stakeholders. Through the work of these Boards the universities and their faculties will able to strengthen the cooperation with the business community, student bodies, the public and other stakeholders.

In accordance to the Article 105 of the Law on Higher Education, the University Council monitors the realization of the higher education activities, the legitimacy of its functioning, the efficient use of staff and material resources, and at least once annually submits a report about its activities to the Ministry of Education and Science and the University Senate (The University Council is a university body consisting of utmost 11 members with a mandate of three years). In addition, the Article 107 of the Law on Higher Education entails appointment of one university staff responsible for reception of notifications for corruption; this person is appointed by the University Senate.

(Source: Eurydice, page updated 27 December, 2018)