About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1425-1431
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

QUALITY ASSURANCE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN ESTONIA (PREPARATION OF INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION)

A. Lorenz1, A. Tina2

1Archimedes Foundation (ESTONIA)
2Tartu University (ESTONIA)
Based on the principles agreed upon in the European Space for Higher Education (Berlin Communiqué, 2003), the providers of higher education have the primary responsibility for the quality of their provision and its assurance. According to the Estonian Higher Education Strategy 2006–2015, the quality assurance system of higher education must be two-fold, consisting both of the quality assurance of higher education institutions (HEI) and the establishment of state quality requirements together with related supervision. In 2011, the institutional accreditation process will be launched in Estonia to assess the quality assurance systems of HEI.
In order to better prepare for institutional accreditation in Estonia, a Primus pilot project Quality Assurance in Higher Education was launched in 2009, financed by the European Social Fund. The process allows the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research to acknowledge the successful institutions of higher education for their accomplishments.
The quality assurance process in higher education aims to:
- promote the development of internal quality assurance systems of HEI and increase the efficiency of their work;
- identify the strengths and areas for improvement necessary for establishing the development goals;
- share experiences on internal quality assurance systems of HEI;
- increase the competitiveness of Estonian institutions of higher education and support their success in the European Union and worldwide;
- acknowledge institutions of higher education for their work in developing quality systems.

To ensure the successful implementation of the process, self-evaluation teams of HEI and external assessors were required to participate in a special training programme. Other important activities included self-assessment of HEI, development of self-evaluation reports, assessment of HEI conducted by external assessors, development of feedback reports and recognition of those institutions that had contributed the most to the development of quality systems and in doing so had achieved outstanding results. The process was carried out on the basis of EFQM Excellence Award (European Foundation for Quality Management), specially adapted for purposes of higher education, and the assessment matrix, which made it possible for HEI to compare themselves with other similar organisations in Estonia and across Europe.

A total of eight institutions of higher education participated in the pilot project selected on the basis of competition. The project outcomes were analysed in light of three different inputs – self-evaluation reports compiled by HEI, feedback reports compiled by assessors and the actual feedback on the process provided by the representatives of HEI and assessors.
All project participants indicated that the knowledge and experiences obtained through the implementation of the project supported the general understanding of the use of quality management systems. The participants gained practical knowledge and valuable ideas for their future work and development. The project also helped to determine the strengths and areas for improvement of quality assurance systems of HEI.
The process outcomes and experiences gained from the implementation of the process have helped the Estonian Higher Education Quality Agency prepare and successfully implement institutional accreditation.
The poster presentation focuses on the most common strengths and areas for improvement of quality assurance systems of HEI.
@InProceedings{LORENZ2010QUA,
author = {Lorenz, A. and Tina, A.},
title = {QUALITY ASSURANCE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN ESTONIA (PREPARATION OF INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION)},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1425-1431}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Lorenz AU - A. Tina
TI - QUALITY ASSURANCE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN ESTONIA (PREPARATION OF INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION)
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 1425
EP - 1431
ER -
A. Lorenz, A. Tina (2010) QUALITY ASSURANCE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN ESTONIA (PREPARATION OF INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION), ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 1425-1431.
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