Why is institutional accreditation necessary if university study programme groups have obtained the permanent right to conduct studies in transitional evaluation?
Transitional evaluation included the assessment of quality of studies, resources and sustainability by study programme group. Institutional accreditation provides feedback about the management and working of a university as a whole.
What does institutional accreditation assess?
Experts base their assessment on the university’s self-analysis report and on information obtained during the assessment visit. They assess the management and work of the university as a whole, including the management of staff, finances and infrastructure; productivity of studies and development of the student base; development of study programmes; academic progress and evaluation of students; supporting studies; productivity and resources of research, development and other creative activities; instruction of student papers; and doctoral studies. In addition, the connections of the university with society at large are analysed via in-service training, popularising its activities, participating in vocational and professional associations and other activities directed at the public.
Are the characteristics of the institution also taken into account, e.g. whether it is an institution of professional higher education or a specialised university?
The characteristics of institutions of higher education are primarily taken into account in regard to research, development and creative activity (RDC), wherein e.g. aspects of doctoral studies and evaluation of research is not assessed for institutions of professional higher education.
Who carries out the assessment?
The assessment committee comprises four to six members, incl. at least one member from outside of institutions of higher education, one member from outside of Estonia and one student. The experts must have previous experience of assessing an institution of higher education and at least one must also have experience managing such an institution. The membership of the committee is approved with the institution of higher education that is to be assessed. All members of the committee undergo EKKA training before the assessment visit to the institution of higher education.
What decisions may be made as a result of institutional accreditation? Who adopts them?
Approval of the institutional accreditation of an institution of higher education for three or seven years (or the decision not to accredit the institution) is issued by the assessment council of the EKKA based on the institution’s self-analysis report, the assessments of the assessment committee and the comments of the institution.
Where can information regarding institutional accreditation reports and decisions be found?
Reports and decisions of institutional accreditation are public and available on the EKKA website and in its database.