As part of the project „ Supporting European QA Agencies in meeting the European standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurane (ESG) on July 19 2022, high officials of the European Registry of the Agencies for Quality Assurance of Higher Education (EQAR) and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) met with Minister of Education Mr. Miomir Vojinović, Director of the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education Mr. Goran Danilović and their associates. The topic of the meeting was the current level, as well as the plan for the comprehensive and consistent implementation of ESGs in the higher education system of Montenegro. The project, lasting almost two years, resulted in four workshops on the topic of key European standards, the National Action Plan of Montenegro for their implementation, and the evaluation after peer-counselling visit on the key inputs for the implementation of solutions within the legal framework of quality assurance in Montenegro.
The Minister emphasized the importance of membership of the Montenegrin Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education in European association and the register as a confirmation of the achieved level of quality, as well as the readiness of the Ministry to support all reforms by applying the system of higher education in Montenegro and essentially become part of the European area of higher education. The Director of the Agency reminded for the purpose of applying the European standards, which is the quality of knowledge and comptences of the students. He highlighted the Agency’s cooperation with higher education institutions and their understanding of the process as key to successful external evaluation procedures. He confirmed the readiness of Montenegro to continue the path of EU integration and in this sense accepts European values in higher education. In this regard, he explained the most recent example of the reaccreditation of the University of Montenegro, which was evaluated in four months and in which 54 experts participated, of which more than 90% were foreign. Tijana Stanković, deputy director of the Agency, presented the challenges quality assurance system is facing and proposals for improving the legal framework: primarily the achievement of Agency’s organizational and opreational, the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in the process, especially students, follow-up as a control of compliance recommendation, as well as improving national standards in terms of clarity and simplicity.
President of EQAR, prof. Karl Dittrich, ENQA board member Ms. Jolanta Silka and ENQA’s evaluation manager Mr. Goran Daković were interested in the dynamics of the adoption of the new Law on Higher Education, without which the ESG implementation process cannot begin. They expressed the readiness of those two organizations to support Montenegrin institutions on that challenging and long-term path to membership and registration. The conclusions of the meeting and the assessment of the National Action Plan for the implementation of ESG will be delivered by European experts during the fall, when the project ends.
The meeting was attended by the general directors of the Ministry of Education, Neda Ojdanic and Goran Drobnjak, who contributed to the discussion with details about the content and process of preparation of the Draft Law on which the Working Group worked in the period from July to December 2021.
ENQA’s idea to organize a regional meeting between the ministries and agencies of the Western Balkan countries was supported by representatives of the Montenegrin side as a benefit for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences.