ACQAHE was the co-organizer and host of the third workshop within the SEQA-ESG project, which aims to support European quality assurance agencies on their path to meeting European standards and guidelines (ESG).
The workshop was held in Budva on May 12 and 13, and in addition to the coordinator – the European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) was attended by representatives of agencies and ministries of: Malta, Albania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Moldova and Montenegro, as well as experts on the project: Fiona Croizer (British Agency for Quality Assurance – QAA) and Alberto Ciolfi (Italian Agency for Quality Assurance – ANVUR).
The third SEQA-ESG workshop aimed to address the issue of methods and criteria for the selection of experts in evaluation procedures, more precisely the focus of the discussion was Standard 2.4 of European Standards and Guidelines.
Project manager Goran Dakovic (ENQA) introduced the participants to the content and goal of standard 2.4, while later on, the expert Ms. Croizer presented in detail the procedure in the process of selecting experts, the structure of the expert commission which should include all participants relevant to evaluate the quality of higher education, criteria for their selection, training methods and good practices in the process of their selection. On that occasion, they also talked about the selection of international experts, the manner of forming an expert commission, as well as mechanisms for preventing conflicts of interest, and a special focus was dedicated to the importance of training of the experts. At the end of the first day, Tijana Stanković, Deputy Director, introduced the workshop participants to the challenges that AKOKVO is facing in the context of Standard 2.4.
During the second day of the workshop, lecturer Ciolfi presented the experience of the Italian Quality Assurance Agency (ANVUR) in the implementation of standard 2.4., Emphasizing the respect for specifics in the culture of quality assurance of each individual agency. In the discussion, in the popular form of “world cafe”, all participants had the opportunity to present theirs and get acquainted with the challenges of their colleagues/partners in the project on the way to meeting the above standard.
The conclusions are clear: the application of standard 2.4 provides the first and the most important step in achieving quality in accordance with European standards and guidelines. Without a commission that is objectively and impartially elected, adequately trained and which includes all relevant representatives (academia, students, economy), one cannot imagine a quality evaluation process of institutions and study programs, and thus the quality of higher education.
The workshop ended with positive impressions of the participants, with the hope that the received recommendations will be implemented in future activities of agencies in order to register in the European Register of Quality Assurance Agencies for Higher Education – EQAR.