TEMPUS Project 145677-2008-RS-SMGR

Scheduled events:

January 2019
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Project Background

The primary responsibility for Quality Assurance (QA) in higher education lies within each institution. In the Bergen Communique of May 2005 the European Ministers urged the higher education institutions to enhance the quality of their activities through the systematic introduction of internal mechanisms and their direct correlation to external quality assurance. Consequently, elaborated quality assurance systems have been built in higher education institutions in most European countries. Furthermore, a common set of European standards for internal quality assurance has been elaborated by ENQA: all Bologna signatory states were called to implement these standards by 2007. In Serbia, national guidelines for external quality assurance control at higher education institutions have been prepared, and they are currently used in the process of accrediation of individual HE institutions.

The new Law on Higher Education (HE) was brought in September 2005 in Serbia. According to this Law, the higher education process is organized through state-owned and private HE institutions (universities, independent faculties, academies of professional career studies, four-year colleges and four-year colleges of professional career studies). However, the new law did not completely change the former university structure, so faculties still have very different organizational structure, depending on their scientific field or discipline. The new Law introduced the quality assurance system and accreditation institutions. The Law also insists upon the self-evaluation process, which directly implies a process of internal QA controll. Under this Law, the National Council for Higher Education was formed in 2006, as a primary independent body, established to ensure the development and promotion of the quality of HE at the national level, through its Accreditation Commission. The National Council for HE introduced new procedures and a set of standards for accreditation of study programs and higher education institutions themselves. However, they are only the frameworks, which now have to be underpinned with concrete mechanisms and procedures, detailed rules and instructions, which is the subject of this project proposal. Serbian universities and faculties have already stepped into the accrediation process. However, these activities are currently in different stages of development. Since the HE system is organized in three levels, the law instists upon the introduction of QA to all of its segments, in particular into the teaching process. The QA system at the universities should include: the university as a whole, each faculty, each department or study group, each year of studies and each individual teacher and student. In this, the role of students is particularly emphasized, as they are active partners in the teaching process, thereby in the process of internal QA control, as well. Therefore, students should be included in all the bodies (commissions and boards) related to the QA control, up to the university level.

Some of Universities in Serbia were participants in two projects which had QA for the problem analysis at our universities, which were not national, but unfortunately, they were rejected:

JEP_41098_2006, and JEP_41007_2006. This application is partially based on those two, but it considers the problem more widely and assumes implementation in all the Serbian HE institutions,both state-owned and private. The Quality Assurance is a very important and very interesting segment in the HE area for the future.