Accreditation: Why? What? Who? Whom? When? Where? The Hungarian answers. Prof. György BAZSA, President Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC) ICEE2008Hungary Pécs, 28 July, 2008 Starting Thank you for the invitation … and keep in mind: quality of/in higher education institutions is the responsibility and task of the institution itself, quality assurance agencies contribute to this quality through evaluation and accreditation. Why accreditation? First half of XX. century in US: self-defence of good fame and interest of excellent HE institutions against low level education and degrees. Second half of XX. century: increasing importance of quality (overproduction), therefore developing systematic quality assurance system/culture. In higher education: to ensure and improve quality of education and training in interest of stakeholders (students, labour market, government). For (the knowledge based) society: declaring safeguarded and evaluated quality of programmes and/or HE institutions, informing the public. Why? – in a general background Lisbon strategy (2000): to make the EU the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and respect for the environment by 2010. Bologna process (EHEA): between the two ↑↓ 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness gathered the nation's premier leaders of business, government and academia on what steps the public and private sectors can take to secure America's position as the most competitive economy in the 21st century and beyond. Why? – considering Bologna Bologna Process’ special aims: to provide readable, comparable and employable degrees to support mutual recognition of foreign degrees to facilitate mobility of students (and teachers) to assist educational and research co-operation to develop joint curricula and joint degrees to attract non European students The common background: increasing quality! What? – to accredit 1. institutions as a whole, including all of their programmes (combined or separate in time) national or international; 2. programmes (only) – national or international; 3. meta-accreditation → quality assurance by accreditation of - accrediting agencies or - institutional QA systems. What? 1. Accreditation of institutions Common in most countries. a) National. Example: Hungary (see later) b) International: (example) The European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), which is the leading international accreditation for business schools. (EFMD umbrella.) EQUIS assesses institutions as a whole. It assesses all degree programmes, all the activities and sub-units of the institution, including research, e-learning units, executive education provision, quality culture, community outreach, degree of internationalization. Institutions must be primarily devoted to manage-ment education. 110 institutions in 32 countries have been awarded EQUIS label. 2. Accreditation of programmes a) National examples ASIIN: Akkreditierungsagentur für Studiengänge der Ingenieurwissenschaften, der Informatik, der Naturwissenschaften und der Mathematik: • to improve the quality of German higher education, • to ensure that cross-disciplinary and subjectspecific quality standards are maintained, • to make German academic structures and degrees internationally compatible, • to make higher education more flexible, • to promote the diversity, quality and transparency of degree programmes. IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers (from GB): Through its programme or course accreditation, IChemE aims to recognize and share best practice in the University education of Chemical Engineers. Irish Engineers: Accreditation of Engineering Education Programmes This procedure is designed to enable the accreditation of the engineering education programmes in a college, which are proposed to satisfy the educational standard for the registered titles of Engineers Ireland and to take place in parallel and on a single occasion, every five years. b) International initiatives QUESTE-VET Quality System of European Scientific & Technical Education: Assessment and Label of excellence. (ENQHEEI + EFMD.) EuroInf: Accreditation of HE Informatics/Computing courses (programmes) – by CEPIS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies ) – EU project. (At present temporary.) EPAS is an international programme accreditation system operated by EFMD. It aims to evaluate the quality of any business and/or management programme that has an international perspective. 3. Meta-accreditation: accreditation or mutual recognition of national accreditation agencies, not single institutions or programmes ENQA (1999) European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (formally evaluates only membership criteria)→ ESG → EQAR (2008) European Quality Assurance Register in Higher Education ECA (2003) European Consortium for Accreditation in HE. ECA aims the mutual recognition of accreditation and quality assurance decisions. CEEN (2001) Central and Eastern European Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in HE ENAEE (European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education) → EUR-ACE (2006): EURopeanACcreditedEngineer • Framework of accreditation standards for European accreditation agencies • Meta-accreditation • Accreditation of programmes (learning outcomes), not of Department or University • National accreditation + „EUR-ACE Label” awarding Partners: - 6 European Engineering Associations/Networks - 8 National Associations/Agencies active in Engineering Accreditation CHEA: Council for Higher Education Accreditation → United States A national advocate and institutional voice for selfregulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. + Accreditation of non-United States institutions and programs → National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) The Purpose of NCFMEA is to review the standards used by foreign countries to accredit medical schools and determine whether those standards are comparable to standards used to accredit medical schools in the United States. The NCFMEA does not review or accredit individual foreign medical schools. The NCFMEA only reviews the standards that a foreign country uses to accredit its medical schools. The request by a foreign country for review by the NCFMEA is voluntary. Hungary: 1997, 2003 and now 2008 (in progress) Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC) INQAAHE (1991): International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education. The main purpose of the Network is to collect and disseminate information on current and developing theory and practice in the assessment, improvement and maintenance of quality in higher education. Who? - does accredit General QA agencies: • in most European countries one national agency • in several cases (D, GB etc.) more agencies Special QA agencies • EU: ASIIN, Irish Engineers, EQUIS, … • US: 60 recognized national accrediting bodies. 5 general in nature and national in scope: DETC, ACICS, ACCET, ACCSCT COE Specialized and professional accreditors: Accr. Board for Eng. and Technology (ABET) Ass. of Amer. Medical Colleges (AAMC), … Trained accreditors are needed! Whom? Teachers Students Graduates Management QA personal Aspects of evaluation: their recruitment, qualification, performance, regular evaluation etc. When? - At the input (by establishment, launching): ex ante - During operation (in acting institutions): ex post - At the output: performance → learning outcomes How often? Regularly (compulsory) – time scheduled (once in 3 to 10 years) Occasionally (voluntary) – by request of the institution (usually with terminus) Where? The radius of accreditation activity: • In the country – national • In regions (USA, Russia, Arabic countries) • In a continent – EU (ENQA, Register) • In-ternational (on request, e.g. by CHEA, ASIIN, EQUIS etc.) How? Regarding character: • academic (most common) or • professional (rare) Cost of accreditation (typically) • state financed (if obligatory by law) • self-financed (if self-requested) Types of conclusions – the report is public • accredited – (accr. with conditions) – not accred. • quality label (cf. EUR-ACE label, EQUIS label) • ranked (rarely) • licensed (in most cases right of the state) Hungarian answers Why? Hungarian answer: Higher Education Act (2005) „through the improvement of quality assurance and quality certification systems of higher education institutions, to ensure that higher education institutions mediate knowledge to students that are exploitable on the national and international labour markets, and are of high quality and serve as solid bases for further development.” The sectoral quality policy development system shall include … - accreditation of the founding and operation of institutions, - institutional quality development schemes. What? 108. § The Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC) shall regularly, once in every eight years, evaluate the education and research activity of higher education institutions. Such evaluation shall extend to the fulfilment of staff and infrastructure requirements, and the adequacy of the institutional quality development scheme. Tasks of HAC (HE Act 2005) - [soft and hard] a) participates in developing concept of sector quality policy and monitors implementation [ESG!] b) --c) accredits new and operating HEIs and its faculties (domestic and foreign) d) makes recommendations regarding general requirements for appointing university professors e) monitors harmonization of sector quality enhancement system with systems in the European Higher Education Area f) on request of HEIs provides opinion about their educational, research and artistic activity g) provides expert opinion prior - to launching undergraduate and master’s programmes, - about setting up doctoral schools, - about doctoral regulations h) on request of HEIs provides opinion about awarding the title of university professor prior to their appointment (mandatory) i) sets up a register of higher education experts HAC (MAB in Hungarian) decisions and recommendations are published on its website: www.mab.hu HAC vis-à-vis Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area • HAC accepts ESG in general and in particular. • HAC is an active ENQA member (HAC SG = ENQA VP). • a new external review takes place by ENQA (2008). • focus increasingly on the internal QA of institutions. • produce and publish a quality policy document and establish regular external feedback about its actions and procedures, and actions taken in response to such feedback. When? at input (ex ante) during operation (ex post) at output (performance) establishment of HEI/faculties operating HEI ? establishment of BA/BSc A/MSc --- --- launching of operating BA/BSc MA/MSc BA/BSc MA/MSc ? setting up operating results of doctoral schools doctoral schools doctoral schools HAC structure Processes (standards are published in advance): Ex ante accreditations (input conditions) in case of founding institution/faculty, founding and launching BA/BSc, MA/MSc and doctoral programmes: • 2 experts (anonym) → • disciplinary committees (15 members) → • 3 colleges (humanities, life sciences, sciences) → • resolution of HAC plenum! Ex post accreditation of institutions/programmes: • self-evaluation report (including C-SWOT) → • site visit by a visiting team (5-9 members, incl. student, QA specialist and stakeholder) → • draft of the accr. report of the visiting team → • comments of HEI → • resolution of HAC! New system: separate accreditation of • HEI-s (mission, structure, management, QA, infrastructure, IT, student services etc.) and • programmes: parallel evaluation of similar programme branches at all institutions in the country (e.g. engineering, medicine etc.) Appointment of professors: the Rector has to ask for HAC’s opinion in all cases. Board of Appeal of HAC (3 members): right of the HEI for a second, revised evaluation The Minister in cases of professors appointments has the right to overwrite HAC’s opinion. A unique case: parallel accreditation of all doctoral schools (PhD programmes) in Hungary. • a new, full and living electronic database, with free access, covering all of the 25 Hungarian universities: www.doktori.hu. (Information for students!) • ex post evaluation of 170 existing (old) and • ex ante evaluation of 10 new doctoral schools, as organizations of the 3rd cycle of Bologna system, including • documents of organization, of teaching and research programme, QA • homepages, • >2300 staff members severally by qualification Task for HAC establishment of HEI/faculty accred. of operating HEI parallel accr. of programmes accreditation of PhD schools opinion for prof. appointm. establishm. of BA/BSc progr. launching BA/BSc progr. establishment of MA/MSc pr. launching MA/MSc progr. Average Bologna cases/year yes/total 2–4 --8 – 10 --30 – 80 --2–3 10 + 170* 120 – 140 yes: 90–100 4–6 141/163 10 – 15 ~800/1100 6–8 ~350/450 10 – 15 ~550/750 The future of accreditation: („I have a dream!”) internal programme accreditation instead of external ones based on accredited QA of HEI? It requires a new and severe quality culture in higher education institutions, where - common values win against particular interest, - high quality defeats mass quantity. Finishing Thank you for your attention … and don’t forget: quality assurance agencies contribute to the quality of higher education through evaluation and accreditation, but quality of/in higher education institutions is the responsibility and task of the institution itself.