Overview of QA Standards
Quality assurance system is defined by the Law on Higher Education (proposed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and adopted by the National Assembly) and related bylaws that define external quality assurance standards and procedures for higher education institutions and study programmes (conducted separately). Bylaws are adopted by the National Council for Higher Education.
The Commission for Accreditation implements external quality assurance procedure either every fourth year or upon the request of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and National Higher Education Council. The Commission for Accreditation sends external quality assurance report to the higher education institution and to the body that requested the external check.
External quality assurance standards defined by a bylaw and adopted by the National Council for Higher Education are as follows:
- Standard 1: External quality assurance procedure is based on the HEI self-evaluation results.
- Standard 2: External quality assurance procedure is based on the fulfilment of defined and published quality standards of higher education institution and its programs.
- Standard 3: External quality assurance includes examining the fulfilment of quality standards in pre-defined areas: teaching, teaching staff, research, student evaluation, textbooks and literature, library and IT resources, space and equipment, non-steady staff, management process, publicity.
- Standard 4: The outcome of an external quality assurance procedure of a higher education institution is based on transparent and clear criteria defined by the competent body, in accordance with the Law.
- Standard 5: External quality control must be organized in a manner that ensures the quality of higher education institutions. Participants in the external quality control process must have clearly defined competence and responsibility.
- Standard 6: External quality control must be designed to ensure its relevance in terms of increasing quality of higher education institutions.
- Standard 7: An external quality report should be written so that its parts are clearly indicated. All decisions, findings and recommendations in the report should be easy to find.
- Standard 8: External quality assurance should take place at a predetermined and transparent time intervals.
- Standard 9: The external quality assurance procedure is being improved and adapted to changes in higher education.
Procedure: The Commission for Accreditation appoints a sub-commission that has at least two members of the Commission and one student representative without decision-making rights. Additional members can be field-specific experts or representatives of stakeholders (for example labour market stakeholders). Analysis of the submitted documentation and scoring of the self-evaluation results in comparison to evaluation standards is conducted by two reviewers appointed by the Commission for Accreditation. Reviewers are reporting to the Commission for Accreditation. Sub-commission can evaluate fact of higher importance by visiting HEIs.
Accreditation determines whether HEI and study programme are in line with standards that are defined by the Bylaw on Standards and Procedures of Accreditation of Study Programmes (SR) and the Bylaw on Standards and Procedures of Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions (SR). Accreditation process is conducted on regular basis every 7th year or earlier upon the request of a HEI. National Accreditation Body issues the accreditation certificate.
Self-evaluation and internal quality assurance of study programmes, teaching process and work conditions are defined by each higher education institution in line with the Law on Higher Education. A HEI defines its internal documentation and procedures for the internal quality assurance process. Self-evaluation takes place at least every three years. Students’ rating of academic programmes quality is a part of quality assurance procedure. A report on self-evaluation procedures and results are submitted to the National Accreditation body.
(Source: Eurydice, page updated 28 May, 2019)