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The role of Agency for Science and Higher Education. Jasmina Havranek. Knowledge-based society. innovative and competitive spirit scientific and technological development. Accountability of University. preparing the citizens: competitiveness,

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knowledge based society
Knowledge-based society
  • innovative and competitive spirit
  • scientific and technological development

Accountability of University

preparing the citizens: competitiveness,

competence, quality education, ethics,

democracy, bridging national and cultural


bologna process
Bologna process
  • comparability
  • compatible education system
  • mobility of students and teachers
  • emphasis on quality assurance

Greater autonomy followed by more accountability.

Establishment of national quality assurancesystems and agencies for monitoring of quality assurance encouraged.

Agency for Science and Higher Education - operative since 8 March 2005

Croatian institutional framework:

National Council for Higher Education

National Council for Science

Agency for Science and Higher Education

Ministry of Science, Education and Sports

National Foundation for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development

Need for improvement of legislation in order to clarify competences of both the National Council for Higher Education and the Agency for Science and Higher Education.

Important part of the higher education reform:
  • introducing robust and reliable quality assurance (QA) mechanisms

External and internal quality assurance:

  • study programs
  • higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • QA units at HEIs

Principles: transparency, dialogue, truth andassociation.

bologna process in croatia
Bologna process in Croatia
  • started in 2005
  • 870 study programs evaluated
  • within very short time limit and with no integral QA system at the time

Lessons learned:

  • adjustment of system needed
  • proliferation of study programs
  • overlaps and parallelisms among the new programmes
  • no co-ordination on the Faculty and/or University level in many cases
  • actual implementation of standards and criteria needed
perfecting the qa system foundations
Perfecting the QA systemfoundations
  • „Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area“ (ESG) Bergen, May 2005; National Council for Higher Education, 17 May 2006
  • organisational and operational independence of the body responsible for external QA on the national leveli.e. Agency for Science and Higher Education
  • Code of Ethics for the academic community, drafted by Committee for Ethics in Science and Higher Education
major types of national qa scheme
Major types of national QA scheme:

fromthe point of view of responsibilities and ownership, derived fromactual practice

  • State owned system
  • Mixed (semi-state) system
  • Co-operative system
  • Laissez-faire system

The current Croatian QA system is very close to - or even perhaps identical with - the mixed (semi-state) system.

It has been considered to move away from this model and try to shift to model of the co-operative system.

Recommended by CARDS 2003 project Furtherance of the Agency for Science and Higher Education in its Quality Assurance Role and the Development of a Supporting Information System

mixed semi state system basic characteristics
Mixed (semi-state) systembasic characteristics
  • Principle: QA belongs to everybody involved in HE, but it is better to keep it close to the state. Quality related decisions on HEIs and programmes are made on the administrative level.
  • National QA organisation: Semi-independent buffer body (or bodies), with Ministry participation and/or influence.
  • Consequence: Blurred boundaries of responsibility, problems in actual operation. Danger of the emergence of a „compliance culture“ i.e., the existence of only formal solutions instead of substantial measures in quality improvement.
  • Complying with ESG: partial compliance
co operative system basic characteristics
Co-operative systembasic characteristics
  • Principle: QA belongs to all partners involved in HE, all having clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Quality related decisions on HEIs and programmes are made on the professional / buffer level.
  • National QA organisation: Independent (buffer) body established by transparent and balanced formal mechanisms (e.g. delegation) without Ministry / Government selection, participation and/or influence.
  • Consequence: Acceptance by HEIs and effective operation of the system is facilitated by partnership (involvement) and clear responsibilities.
  • Complying with ESG: full compliance
co operative system continued what does european practice show
Co-operative system - continuedWhat does European practice show
  • QA in Higher Education in the last decade or so, really became a profession
  • a profession, having not only procedures, rules and standards but quite a substantial body of theoretical and practical knowledge, methods and skills
  • not easy for otherwise excellent and highly esteemed disciplinary experts to become and work as „quality assurance experts“ overnight
  • for expert teams involved in various evaluations in external QA activities it is best to have both disciplinary experts (scientists, professors, representatives of the given profession) and QA experts (staff members of the relevant national agencies) in the same team working together
internal qa systems at higher education institutions heis
Internal QA systems at higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • most Croatian HEIs still at the beginning of the process
  • freedom to choose from among the various options available for internal QA systems (ISO standard, individual systems…)
  • time and support to HEIs needed in order to establish and operate effective internal QA systems and mechanisms
  • support by the Agency, National Foundation for Science, CARDS 2003 project
internal qa systems at higher education institutions heis continued
Internal QA systems at higher education institutions (HEIs)- continued -

"Minimum" requirements

1. Each institution (faculty) should be expected to have a well defined and clear strategy based on a SWOT analysis.

2. Based on the strategy, there should be a quality document (handbook) presenting the

– quality goals (What?),

– quality mechanisms, procedures (How? covering all major activities),

– roles and responsibilities in relation to QA (Who? involving students)of the given institution (faculty).

The QA model described in the quality document should actually be implemented.

3. Organised and regular monitoring and feedback, both internal and external, built in the system.

4. Implementation of corrective and quality enhancement measures according to findings of monitoring and feedback.

role of agency for science and higher education
Role of Agency for Science and Higher Education
  • external QA of HE including the design and implementation of methods, procedures, standards and criteria, and the actual conduct of evaluations (evaluation/accreditation/audit) resulting in final report and decision (accreditation or audit) on quality of provision,
  • advice to HEIs in relation to quality issues,
  • providing information on the quality of HE to all the partners and the public at large, including regular disciplinary or sector wide analyses,
  • monitoring of international developments, international networking,
  • providing expert assistance to committees working on sub-act documents and directives for evaluation of quality of HEIs
  • preparing discussion papers, proposing policy developments.
  • Quality of higher education is the crucial issue because it is the veryheart of academic activity.
  • Verification and results shall eventually demonstrate the readiness of academic community to build a new society

→ society of knowledge and successful economy

Agency for Science and Higher Education

Savska cesta 41, Zagreb


tel: 01/6274-800

e-mail: [email protected]