TEMPUS Project 145677-2008-RS-SMGR

Scheduled events:

April 2018
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Project Overview

The proposed 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 SerbianUniversity.

The wider objective of the proposed project is: 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.

In accordance with the Law, each HE institution adopted its own strategy of IQA control system establishment and its own action plans by which the determined standards are implemented. As already mentioned in the previous section, the basis for this project already exists in some formal documents in Serbia, as well in some good practices at individual HE institutions. Positive examples, like students questionnaires about study programmes contents and quality of teaching, were the direct result of findings and recommendations fom the EUA Institutional Evaluation conducted in 2002.

Unfortunately, the follow-up procedure was never implemented. This project will build on those existing foundations. As said, the external framework exists, the emphasis here is on the introducing the measures, procedures and activities to create the Internal Control Quality Assurance System at Universities in Serbia. As individual faculty strategies rely on the university strategy, it is necessary to interconnect all the bodies, commissions or boards, dealing with the quality, in a vertical line, up to the level of the university as an independent HE institution. At each university, the project will create a structure for the agreement of policies, procedures, and quality standards at all leveles, and in all organizational aspects. At one level will be a range of processes to oversee the way in which the study programmes teams, departments and faculties handle the issues of quality. At another, there will be a series of guidelines for the study programmes teams, departments and faculties that handle the issues of quality. Through implementation of all the above-mentioned objectives, this project will assure improvement of management at Universities in Serbia in general and not only in the area of internal quality assurance. The project would try to establish a university-wide framework, which would improve the design, delivery and management of its provision. Thus, the integrative university function would be strengthened and the quality culture process would be adequately promoted and maintained throughout the academic circles. This project contains reform content with the methodology, involvement of academics, stdents and stakeholders at large, quality assurance processes and convergence with EU higher education policies. Each Serbian university will its develop own self assessment procedures. These will involve the preparation of questionnaires, specific to each University, which will be distributed to all faculties and other university units. 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. Nevertheless, it is our hope that this project results would serve as a good starting point and guide for making their own modified Internal Quality Assurance Systems. Each University will design its own mechanism of scanning the current situation in its academic community (assessment of its environment, operations, structure and results). All this indisputably implies the need to form the QA Centers on University level that would be engaged in uniting and conforming with individual faculty experiences related to IQA control forms, mechanisms and procedures for all the levels and fields of study. The Centre would include adequate bodies from all faculties (representatives of the teaching staff, students and administrative staff), as well as representatives of the University Students' Parliament and administration. This would be a vivid interactive process within each university and its units, as well as among the universities at the national level. Formation of such 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 stdents and principles of collecting, analysing and publication of the information regarding the quality of teaching process at the University. The Centre prepares 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. HE system has many specific elements: in the first step, program of study and program of individual courses, conditions for teaching process and teaching and non-teaching staff. For the better adapt education to the actual needs of the society and for the development of the efficiency of study, it is very important to make the better place (and role) of students in the teaching process in overall activities of a student: lectures, exercises, practicum, seminars, colloquia, voluntary work. The specific key aspects are: grading pre-examination obligations, exams, literature, opinion of students about of the pedagogical work of teacher and students' rating of teachers performance.

Student assessment procedure are expected to: be designed to measure the achievement of the intendend learning outcomes and other programe objectives; be appropriate for their purpose, whether diagnostic, formative or summative; have clear and published criteria for marking; take account of all the possible cosequences 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 examn 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. Nevertheless, it is our hope that this project results would serve as a good starting point and guide for making their own modified Internal Quality Assurance Systems.

The realization shall be supported by three training workshops 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 is 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 diferent meetings-forms of activities are most of specific goals in linking of higher education institutions in Serbia and in EU partners 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.

Project consortium members' communications would be mainly through e-mail and written communications. The Consortium meetings will be held at the beginning of the project, at the end of the first year of project (consortium meeting II); Consortium meeting III and at the end of project period Consortium meeting IV. The consortium meeting will be always held simultaneously with workshops and seminars in order to save money on unnecessary mobilities.

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.

Dissemination of the project results will be make through the Web site, and Newsletters, and IQA Manuals for IQA application, and the final Conference. Further activities in this direction include seminars for university/faculties management, administrative and teaching staff and students and publishing brochures with project findings and results, as well as the final report, which will be made public for all those who are interested. The project realization requires adequate equipment for the formation of centres, creation of Web-sites and other activities related to ensuring transparent operation and reliable dissemination first of the project results and in the later stage of relevant data among all state and private HE institutions in Serbia.

Sustainability of this project's results is almost certain, since the introducing of the quality measures and IQA systems are practically mandatory by the new Law of HE. This means that the resulting SIQAS will be applied and maintained at universities/faculties in Serbia, of course with necessary adaptations to each HE institution particularities. The results of this project, the model for Internal Quality Assurance system and accompanying manuals how to mplement that system, good experience exchange, discussion, and suggestion from each partners, will be best practice. Education at Seminars, Workshops, Round Tables, will be very welcome to each institution and to each individuals in HE process. The international dimension of this activity is very significant to the future.

The role of students in the IQA and their better motivation is central point.

For Quality control and Monitoring of the project realization will be in charge the projects Quality Control Committee, which will be formed of managerial staff of EU partner Universities (rectors), one representative from National Council for HE of Serbia and Rector of the grant applicant.

The project shall be managed by the Management Team consisting of the contact persons of each project partner.

The project would try to establish a university-wide framework, which would improve the design, delivery and management of its provision.

At each university, the project will create a structure for the agreement of policies, pocedures, and quality standards at all levels, and in all organizational aspects. At one level, a range of processes will be developed to oversee the way in which the study programms teams, departments and faculties handle the issues of quality. At another, there will be a series of guidelines for the study programs teams, departments and faculties, that handle the issues of quality. Through implementation of all the above-mentioned objectives, this project will assure improvement of management at Universities in Serbia in general and not only in the area of internal quality assurance.

Since this is the three year project, all the activities must be well planned and conducted to achieve the set objectives in time and completely. To realize the set project objectives, the following activities will be undertaken:

-The Serbian partners will have to undertake a through review/evaluation of the existing situation in IQA at their own universities.

-Implementation of QA measures within the Serbian partner universities that contain experiences and knowledge obtained during th eproject duration.

-Writing and publishing the project report and a guide for implementing Internal Quality Assurance System for Serbian universities.

-Final seminar-session with university and faculty management staff from Serbian universitieas (and other relevant partners) on results of the project activities

-Project consortium members' communications would be mainlly through e-mail and written communication each project year.

It should be emphasized here again: that all three EU partners have excellent experience in Quality Assurance 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 position to acquire good experience and wide knowledge on the project topics.

The project results will be the welcomed help to university/faculty management staff in obeying that legal obligation. Self-evaluation process in each segment of HE activities, dialogue, cooperation, support and popularisation of the best and most effective solutions, all of them represent permanent manners for the IQA and the system upgrading. The main objective is a development of internal evaluation process by using competency-based indicators as evaluation instruments.

Future work is: continuation of functions with modifications and inovations in the all segments of higher education and development of the quality of Quality Assurance.