The round table on the topic “Results of the pilot evaluation of the supplementary standard on academic integrity“, within the project “Quality education for all“, which is part of the joint program “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey”, co-financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe, was held on Thursday, November 2nd, 2023.
The round table was opened by Goran Danilović, Director of the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education, Lejla Dervišagić, Head of the Program Office of the Council of Europe in Podgorica and Vesna Atanasova, Head of the Department for Formal and Informal Education in the Council of Europe.
In his introductory presentation, Goran Danilović thanked the representatives of higher education institutions for their response to participate in the pilot evaluation, which has multiple benefits, both for the Agency in order to improve standard, and for higher education institutions that need to implement the standard at their institutions. He pointed out that we face a global challenge that requires a global response, and it concerns the current topic that marked the whole year – artificial intelligence, the application of artificial intelligence tools in education, but also the challenges that institutions face in educational processes.
Lejla Dervišagić referred to the key principles of quality education and recommendations for the implementation of these principles. She emphasized the importance of implementing a pilot evaluation, stressing that it is important that all participants in such a process are equally dedicated to strengthening and improving quality in the field of higher education and in the specific case of strengthening the implementation and application of academic integrity mechanisms.
The results of the program component “Quality education for all” in the last seven years were presented by Vesna Atanasova. She pointed out that the example of Montenegro, through the adoption of the Law on Academic Integrity, the establishment of the Ethics Committee, the creation of a supplementary standard as one of the results of the Law on Academic Integrity, and this pilot evaluation, are an example of the successful realization of the program’s goals.
After the introductory presentations, the experts who evaluated the supplementary standard, Carolyn Campbell and Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić, presented the conclusions after the pilot evaluation and highlighted some of the recommendations they sent to the Agency and higher education institutions with the aim of more clearly defining the standard and supporting evidence as well as the implementation of the standard at institutions of higher education. They emphasized that Standard 11 should be the main implementation mechanism of the Law on Academic Integrity, but also that it is very important that the criteria and evidence that are an integral part of the form of the supplementary standard on academic integrity be integrated with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG).
In the second part of the round table, Tamara Đuričković, deputy director for quality control at the Agency, and Mara Šćepanović, president of the Ethics Committee, presented the results of the analysis of the pilot evaluation. After the presentation, representatives of all institutions of higher education in Montenegro took part in the discussion, referring to the recommendations from the report on the pilot evaluation, but also emphasizing the challenges and ways of overcoming these challenges that they face when it comes to strengthening the principles of academic integrity at their institutions.
It was concluded that it is important to implement appropriate preventive and/or corrective measures in order to improve the teaching and research process of all services at higher education institutions. In addition, the measurability of the effects of the realization and implementation of various activities that are carried out with the aim of strengthening academic integrity can be a good indicator of the initiatives taken at higher education institutions, on the basis of which it is possible to further plan and improve processes.