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Bologna process 2010 Budapest Vienna conference

April 20th, 2010 Comments off

On 12 March 2010 the ministers of higher education of 46 European countries met in Budapest and Vienna to launch the European Higher Education Area. On this day the ministers also decided to welcome Kazakhstan as the newest, 47th, member of the Bologna process.

All information about the conference can be found at the official site at: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeron…10_conference/ .

The ministers also passed the Budapest-Vienna Declaration which, building on the Leuven-Louvain-la-Neuve Communique of 2009, outlines the working of the Bologna process until 2020. Some of the highlights of the Communique are:
- recognizing some of the problems of the current model of implementation of the Bologna process
- recognizing that member states need to work more on including the stakeholders in its implementation on the national level
- agreeing to continue with the process in the coming period.

I strongly recommend reading this 2-page document.

Internal Quality Assurance at Serbian Universities (Siqas) Tempus project

December 4th, 2009 Comments off

145677-TEMPUS-2008-RS-SMGR

The Tempus SIQAS project is the first nation-scale project in Serbia dealing with the introduction and maintenance of Internal Quality Assurance at Serbian Universities in line with the EU standards. The work on this project is concerned with the areas where the internal quality assurance measures should be applied: the study program design, content and organization, the teaching and learning assessment, the student support and advising and employer and students involvement in quality assurance and enhancement. The model for the Internal Quality Assurance System also applies on the HE institution as a whole. It will be concerned with enhancement of quality in all the aspects of the institution functioning, organization and management.

The project should result in a model of an Internal Quality Assurance System from each individual person in HE institution to the University level in Serbia, which they would than have to adapt to specific characteristics and organization of each Serbian University.

The wider objective of the proposed project is the development and implementation of an

institutional system of Internal Quality Assurance at Serbian Universities. Specific project objectives, for the planned three years of realization, are:

- Development of strategies and institutional definition of Internal Quality Assurance at Serbian

Universities (defined by legal and statutory acts),

- Implementation of Internal Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Quality Monitoring systems at Serbian Universities (forming of QA Centres at all Universities in Serbia),

- Quality Culture, establishing and promotion at Serbian Universities.

Formation QA centers and their full activity shall substantially assist Serbian HE institutions in getting closer and potentially entering the European HE Area. In this, the role of EU partners in this project, reflected in their experience and suggestions, shall be of substantial significance. The main task of the Centre for Internal Quality Assurance is to support and coordinate operations on the education quality assurance and enhancement system at the University. The other tasks are: monitoring of the experiences of Serbian and foreign higher education institutions in the field of teaching quality, organisation of trainings and scientific seminars concerning the issues of teaching quality and consultation and advisory actions within techniques, methods and procedures of QA.

The main areas in which the Centre for IQA undertakes actions for assurance and enhancement of education quality at the University includes: policies specifying the aims and strategies of the assurance and enhancement of the teaching quality; procedures of IQA; principles of assessing students works; principles of the assurance of academic staff didactic quality; principles of reviewing and improving the quality of didactic resources and measures of support for students and principles of collecting, analysing and publication of the information regarding the quality of teaching process at the University.

The Centre will prepare the forms for reports on self evaluation to be executed at the university units. The Centre gives also the fixed terms to do the self- assessments and the benchmarks of evaluation of quality at the University. The university units have to prepare the reports on self-evaluation, which are submitted to the Centre for quality.

Student assessment procedures are expected to be designed to measure the achievement of the intended learning outcomes and other programme objectives; be appropriate for their purpose, whether diagnostic, formative or summative; have clear and published criteria for marking; take account of all the possible consequences of examination regulations. In addition, students should be including in the system for the QA at all levels, from the year of their study to the University.

The responsibility of the Centre is to prepare general documents in the field of IQA, analyze the reports submitted by the faculties on exam pass rate and teaching staff performance evaluation after the each semester, and with that respect the Committee has reached its recommendations accordingly.

Project tasks shall be realized through workshops, training visits, seminars and other activities.

There will be 3 workshops, one dedicated to self-evaluation of the partners and the other aimed at specific training of teacher and administrative staff, and of students at universities and faculties in IQA standards and procedures. It is not possible to make a unique model for all the Serbian universities, since they are very different, in size, spatial structure and ownership.

The realization shall be supported by three training workshop visits of Serbian participants to

EU partner-universities: Middlesex University, UK, University of Sofia, BG, and University of Zilina, SK. The reports related to those visits shall also be presented at the Workshops and Seminars. Particular attention shall be paid to the mechanisms and procedures of IQA within the EU higher education institutions. Some of many inputs of this project are EU partner’s teachers’ visits to Serbian universities for training and dissemination seminars. Positive experiences shall be applied in the organization and implementation of IQA at Serbian universities. These different meetings-forms of activities are most of specific goals in linking of higher education institutions in Serbia and in EU partner countries. It should be emphasized here again, that the EU partners have excellent experience in IQA application and that this is why they were chosen to be the part of the project Consortium. It is expected that Serbian trainees will be in a position to acquire good experience and wide knowledge on the project topics from EU partner universities.