Seminar for HERE “HERE and their mission: Contributing to Higher Education Reform” (12-13.12.16, Barcelona, Spain)

Event title: Seminar for HERE “HERE and their mission: Contributing to Higher Education Reform”

Period: 12-13, December 2016

Host: University of Barcelona

Participant from Ukraine:
– Svitlana Kalashnikova, Head of HERE team, Director, Professor / Dr. Hab. in Education, PhD. in Public Administration, Education Research institution, Institute of Higher Education, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine;
– Volodymyr Luhovyi, First Vice-President, Professor / Dr. Hab. in Education, PhD. in Physics, Research institution, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine;
– Mychailo Wynnyckyj, National University of «Kyiv-Mohyla Academy», Director of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Doctoral School, PhD. in Social and Political Sciences;
– Svitlana Shytikova, National Erasmus+ office in Ukraine Coordinator.

Programme and documents:

Key information:
On 12-13 December, 2016 Higher Education Reform Experts (HERE) attended the Annual International Conference in University of Barcelona, which was organised by the European Commission and the European University Association. The event brought together representatives from 29 European and Mediterranean partner countries and Central Asia. The Ukrainian Delegation included Director of National Erasmus+ Office in Ukraine and three HERE team experts.
In order to identify common reform path for each country, participants discussed the policy matrix of higher education reform, which combined five major dimensions and seven key instruments.

Five central “dimensions” in which higher education reform can/should advance, or on which HE reform can be evaluated:
• Access/ retention/ study success
• Quality
• Employability
• Internationalisation
• Democratic Governance and Autonomy

Seven “instruments” that can/must be used in order to make HE policy reform advance in those dimensions:
• Teaching practices
• Staff
• Institutional infrastructure/ technology
• Quality assurance
• Legal frameworks/ laws and regulations
• Finance
• External partners

In part about «Access/retention/study success» experts discussed aspects of getting higher education at the national level, its structure, flexibility and personalization, students maintenance and monitoring, identification and measuring their success and relationships with alumni.

«Quality» dimension includes understanding, identification, assessment and promotion of quality in higher education, external and internal quality assurance, etc. Regarding the dimension «Employability» participants observed the role of institutions in its assurance, evaluation, public incentives on the graduates employment. The «Internationalization» focused on its relevance for all HEIs to correspond to state strategy, globalization, the impact on the quality of higher education and graduate employability. The «Democratic Governance and Autonomy» was recognized as a general problem of reform, ranging from understanding the importance of determining the relationship between the state and institutions, governance and policy-making mechanisms.

The conference was expected to enhance experts’ capacity:
– to analyze higher education reform policy according to experience from different countries;
– to understand reforms development and implementation, including the policy interaction between national and HEIs levels, organizations and other stakeholders;
– to create higher education policy with concrete and original implementation plans.

During the first session, all participants listened to welcome speeches from representatives of University of Barcelona, EACEA Head of Unit, European University Association (EUA) and SPHERE team. Former Minister of Higher Education of Portugal prepared report on «Development and implementation challenges in higher education reforms». While the second session participants discussed experience of Armenia and Lebanon in reforming higher education systems. Also, experts communicated on Analytical Framework on reform tools and dimensions, prepared by R. Torrent and HERE experts. The third session consisted of five parallel working groups, which were divided according 5 key dimensions. Next two plenary sessions were dedicated to group feedbacks, presentations and discussions of HERE teams’ results, experts’ report 2015 prepared by European Commission Agency, and priorities for 2017 were presented.

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