III International Scientific and Practical Conference “Development of Internal Quality Assurance Systems in Higher Education Institutions of Ukraine: Qualifications, Assessment and Quality Culture” (16-17.11.2023, online/offline)

On November 16-17, 2023, the National Erasmus+ Office – Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance, the National Qualifications Agency, the Institute of Higher Education of the NAESU and the Alliance of Ukrainian Universities acted as co-organizers of the 3rd International Scientific and Practical Conference “Development of Internal Quality Assurance Systems in Higher Education Institutions of Ukraine: qualifications, Assessment and Quality Culture”, took place at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. In total, 171 participants joined the work of the conference. 16 reports on assuring education quality in higher education institutions were given by experts from Ukraine, as well as foreign speakers from Great Britain, Italy, Germany and Sweden.

The purpose of the annual forum, initiated and founded by the University, is to gather leading national and European experts to exchange experience in higher education quality.

Thematic areas of the conference:

  1. Criteria for study programmes assessment: a review of universities.
  2. Academic mobility of academic staff and the quality of the educational process (study programmes).
  3. Reputation of universities as a factor of quality assurance: is there a need for a national ranking?
  4. Innovative trends in the educational activities of HEIs: micro-credential, digitalisation, virtualisation.

The Rector Volodymyr BUGROV emphasised in his welcoming speech that the conference is a platform for presenting a wide range of activities aimed at the higher education quality assurance.

The speaker of the first panel discussion was the Chairman of the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance Andrii BUTENKO. The Chairman spoke about the balance between control and recommendation elements in the accreditation expertise. The speaker gave examples of the experience of European agencies in choosing their unique trajectory of finding such a balance. Andrii BUTENKO gave answers to the questions regarding the conformity of the evaluation criteria with the conditions of the time and the prospects for the creation of independent agencies for the accreditation of study programmes in Ukraine in particular.

The following two reports gave a practical view of the stated problem. In particular, the presentation by the Rector of KNU Volodymyr BUGROV and Vice-Rector Andriy GOZHYK illustrated the experience of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in its own system of evaluating study programmes and the difficulties along the way. Anatolii MELNYCHENKO, Vice-Rector of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute analysed the risks of bias in the evaluation of study programmes and ways to avoid them.

Professor Beatrix BUSSE, Vice-Rector for the Head Office of the University of Cologne told how their institution reached such a level of quality assurance of its study programmes that it received a certificate from the relevant government agency for the right to independently carry out accreditation. So Ms. Busse indicated what Ukrainian universities should strive for. At the same time, the speaker emphasised the problems common to both Ukraine and countries with stable traditions of higher education. For example, there are a large number of study programmes, the quality of which is difficult to ensure at the same time.

The representatives of the National Erasmus+ office – Ukraine Svitlana SHYTIKOVA and Zhanneta TALANOVA showed in their presentation how cooperation with European universities and industry institutions can be useful for the growth of academics’ professional capacities and, accordingly, assuring the education quality. Virtually all possibilities are open for Ukraine, the speakers emphasised.

Also, during the second day, foreign speakers also took part in the work of the conference. The topic of reputational factors was covered by Elizabeth GADD, Chair of the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS), Vice Chair of the Coalition for the Advancement of Research Assessment (CoARA), Maurizio TIRA, Board Member of the European University Association (EUA) and Åsa EKBERG, Head of Education Strategy Support at Lund University.

Anatoliy VASYLYEV, Adviser to the Rector of the Sumy State University spoke about international and national rankings as a motivational factor for the education quality assurance.

The Chair of the Committee on Sustainable Development issues of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine Olena KOLESNYKOVA told about indicators of the national University ranking, which are important for business.

Ivan NAZAROV, the Deputy Head of the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance devoted his report to the evaluation criteria developed by the NAQA for universities and study programmes.

Speakers at the fourth panel on micro-qualifications issues were a Member of the National Qualifications Agency, HERE Yuriy RASHKEVICH and Senior Expert on Qualification Systems at the ETF Anatoly GARMASH.

The speech of Oleksandr AZYUKOVSKY, Rector of NTU “Dnipro Polytechnic” demonstrated to the audience the variety of digital and virtual educational products that Ukrainian universities are able to develop and offer not just under martial law, but in the zone of constant missile attacks.


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