EUROPEAN APPROACHES AND PRACTICES TO ASSURE HIGHER EDUCATION QUALITY
Keywords:accreditation, ECTS, educational programs, higher education, national agencies, quality assurance procedures, quality assurance
The article analyzes the national context of higher education reforms in Southern Europe, based on broad source analysis.
The author has found out that the countries of Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece) are distinguished by the national peculiarities of institutional transformations in the field of higher education, demonstrate the experience of successful implementation of the EHEA educational policy, taking into account the national priorities and historical traditions of higher education.
A qualitative approach was applied when judging the level of involvement in quality assurance (QA) agencies in Eastern Europe.
To implement the national Laws on Higher Education, harmonized with «Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA», agencies & HEIs in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece emphasize quality assurance procedures focused on learning, teaching, and research output. The article highlights organizational, content and procedural activities of higher education QA agencies. The competencies of national agencies have been characterized in the article.
Study findings identified the trends in the implementation of the European concept of QA in higher education: the institutionalization of national systems, articulation of consistency with EU documents, national legislation; the scientific and educational collaboration in different fields of activity; internationalization and visualization of the agencies’ activities in the international educational space. It is concluded that general trends determine the directions of dynamic organizational and procedural changes in national higher education systems.
Particular attention in the article is paid to the internal QA systems in HEIs under the guidance and with methodological support national agencies provided. The general and specific procedures of external and internal quality assurance in the countries of Southern Europe have been described.
From the material presented in this paper, the following theme may require further attention: examining quality frameworks and quality assurance standards in Eastern Europe.
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