Work programme 2015-2018
International seminar on Quality Assurance
The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia in partnership with the National Education Development Center, held on June 4th 2016 an international seminar on the topic "Promoting the development of quality assurance in the Eastern Partnership countries".
According to its agenda, “the seminar served as a platform for discussion on fostering quality enhancement systems in Eastern Partnership Countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine). Partners from the European Higher Education Area shared experiences and best practices. The outcome of the seminar was to identify the issues in Quality Assurance that require particular attention and put forward some recommendations on implementation.”
Overview of the seminar on Fostering Development-oriented Quality Assurance in Eastern Partnership Countries
The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Ms. Tamar Sanikidze, welcomed the participants.
Noël Vercruysse, Senior project leader Internationalization higher Education (Belgium) made an historical presentation of Quality Assurance within the Bologna process and explained how a common European approach to QA has been developed and institutionalized. After having lined up the state of implementation of QA commitments in European Higher Education Area (EHEA), several challenges were outlined. Experiences from different countries (Austria, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania and Poland) were presented and the representative of ENQA (European Network on Quality Assurance) Paula Ranne presented the European Standards and Guidelines in comparison with the previous one. George Sharvashidze, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia and Director of National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE) explained that Georgia is planning to redesign its QA system in the framework of the new Education code in 2017.
During the afternoon, three working group sessions were held:
- What are the challenges for the development of External QA system in Eastern Partnership?
- How to ensure international participation (Cross-Border Quality Assurance activity)? A look into the future: how networking can contribute to quality assurance.
- Stakeholder participation in QA (particularly, student and employer participation): challenges and incentives.
The key findings about the challenges in QA that Eastern Partnership Countries are facing are the following:
- Rethinking a “one-size-fits-all” approach in QA (this is not effective in those countries).
- Mitigating the conflict of interest: that should be very important in small countries. In this respect, external expertise in QA should be very valuable and has to be enhanced.
- Mitigating the negative impact on QA resulting from the quite frequent political changes.
- Building up a QA culture among all the stakeholders.
- Fostering the involvement of students in QA issues.