Montenegro

Overview of QA Standards

Quality assurance and improvement in higher education are achieved through accreditation, self-evaluation and reaccreditation.

Accreditation

The accreditation process is the responsibility of the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education (Agency). The institution is obliged to submit to the Agency, at least six months before applying for a license, a request for accreditation of the study program. The process of accreditation of the study program evaluates the quality of the study program and its compliance with professional needs and standards adopted and comparability with the same or similar programs abroad, as well as the representation and credit evaluation of practical training. The accreditation of the study program is issued for a period of no more than five years. Exceptionally, accreditation for study programs lasting more than five years is granted for the duration of that study program. The Agency shall set up a committee for the accreditation of study programs. The Commission is formed of independent experts from Montenegro and abroad from the list of experts. The list of experts shall be determined by the Agency following a public invitation. The cost of accreditation of study programs is funded by the institution itself. The funds are paid to the Agency. The procedure for accreditation of study programs, the content and form of the accreditation certificate are prescribed by the Ministry of Education, upon the proposal of the Agency. In 2019, the Agency has accredited another 52 new programs at private higher education institutions, following the new 3 + 2 + 3 study model.

Self-evaluation

At the end of each academic year, an institution conducts a self-evaluation procedure related to quality of study programmes, teaching and working conditions, in compliance with statute of the institution. Within the procedure of self-evaluation student surveys concerning study programmes, teaching, conditions and work of academic staff are carried out at all levels, at least once a year. Participation of students in the survey is mandatory. The survey is anonymous. Self-evaluation reports of an institution are passed by the governing body of the institution. An institution submits a self-evaluation report to the Ministry of Education and Agency. Method and criteria of self-evaluation concerning study programmes, teaching equipment, qualifications of academic staff, teaching methods, enrolment of students, exam pass rate, percentage of graduate students and the content of survey are defined in more detail by act of the Agency.

The institution's self-evaluation is carried out on a continuous basis and is conducted by the higher education institution in accordance with its statute (internal evaluation). In the process of self-evaluation, students are interviewed at all levels, at least once a year, about study programs, teaching, conditions and work of academic staff. The internal evaluation report is an integral part of the re-accreditation. Also, the research on the applicability of acquired knowledge and competences in the labor market is obliged to conduct the institution once every five years, and the findings are considered during the preparation of the self-evaluation report.

Reaccreditation of Institution

Reaccreditation of institution is carried out by the Agency. Reaccreditation of institution is carried out every five yearsThe Agency conducts the evaluation of institution on the basis of evaluation standards for institutions, in compliance with Law on Higher Education. Within the reaccreditation procedure, an institution prepares a self-evaluation report covering the period not longer than five years. Based on the self-evaluation report and the conducted evaluation procedure the Commission for reaccreditation, appointed by the Agency, prepares a reaccreditation report for the institution. The reaccreditation report is submitted to the Agency, the institution and the Ministry of Education. Based on the positive reaccreditation report of the Commission, the Agency issues a certificate on reaccreditation of the institution. The form of the certificate is prescribed by the Ministry of Education and published by its website. Evaluation costs are covered by the institution.

If an institution fails to obtain a reaccreditation certificate, the license is valid maximum one year, without the possibility to enroll students during that year. If an institution fails to obtain a reaccreditation certificate after this period the Ministry shall by means of a decision revoke the license granted to the institution. An administrative procedure may be initiated against this decision.

During the validity period of accreditation or reaccreditation, a licensed institution can make alterations in study a programme at undergraduate level up to maximum 30 ECTS credits without undergoing accreditation and licensing procedure.

An institution carries out labour market research at least once in five years by conducting survey among graduate students, associations of employers, commercial entities and entrepreneurs concerning the applicability of the obtained knowledge, skills and competences required in the labor market. The results of the research are considered on the occasion of preparing self-evaluation and reaccreditation reports, and shall be published on the website of the institution.

(Source: Eurydice, page updated 30 December, 2019)

The following standards are being applied for accreditation of higher education institutions:

Standard 1: General information
Standard 2: Organisational structure and institutional organisation
Standard 3: Study programme information
Standard 4: Students
Standard 5: Resources needed for the organisation of studies:

  • Human resources
  • Funding
  • Space
  • Infrastructure

Standard 6: Competences of academic staff
Standard 7: Monitoring and quality of studies

Source: (Council for Higher Education, accessed May, 2019)