Why? What? Who? Whom? When? Where?
The Hungarian answers.
Prof. György BAZSA, President
Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC)
Pécs, 28 July, 2008
Thank you for the invitation … and keep in mind:
quality of/in higher education institutions is the
responsibility and task of the institution itself,
quality assurance agencies contribute to this
quality through evaluation and accreditation.
First half of XX. century in US: self-defence of good
fame and interest of excellent HE institutions
against low level education and degrees.
Second half of XX. century: increasing importance
of quality (overproduction), therefore developing
systematic quality assurance system/culture.
In higher education: to ensure and improve quality
of education and training in interest of stakeholders (students, labour market, government).
For (the knowledge based) society: declaring
safeguarded and evaluated quality of programmes
and/or HE institutions, informing the public.
Why? – in a general background
Lisbon strategy (2000): to make the EU the most
dynamic and competitive knowledge-based
economy in the world capable of sustainable
economic growth with more and better jobs and
greater social cohesion, and respect for the
environment by 2010.
Bologna process (EHEA): between the two
2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness gathered the nation's premier leaders of
business, government and academia on what steps
the public and private sectors can take to secure
America's position as the most competitive
economy in the 21st century and beyond.
Why? – considering Bologna
Bologna Process’ special aims:
to provide readable, comparable and
to support mutual recognition of foreign
to facilitate mobility of students (and teachers)
to assist educational and research co-operation
to develop joint curricula and joint degrees
to attract non European students
The common background: increasing quality!
What? – to accredit
1. institutions as a whole, including all of their
programmes (combined or separate in time) national or international;
2. programmes (only) – national or international;
3. meta-accreditation → quality assurance by
- accrediting agencies or
- institutional QA systems.
1. Accreditation of institutions
Common in most countries.
a) National. Example: Hungary (see later)
b) International: (example)
The European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS),
which is the leading international accreditation for
business schools. (EFMD umbrella.)
EQUIS assesses institutions as a whole. It assesses all
degree programmes, all the activities and sub-units
of the institution, including research, e-learning
units, executive education provision, quality culture,
community outreach, degree of
internationalization. Institutions must be primarily
devoted to manage-ment education.
110 institutions in 32 countries have been
awarded EQUIS label.
2. Accreditation of programmes
a) National examples
ASIIN: Akkreditierungsagentur für Studiengänge der
Ingenieurwissenschaften, der Informatik, der
Naturwissenschaften und der Mathematik:
• to improve the quality of German higher
• to ensure that cross-disciplinary and subjectspecific quality standards are maintained,
• to make German academic structures and degrees
• to make higher education more flexible,
• to promote the diversity, quality and transparency
of degree programmes.
IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers (from GB):
Through its programme or course accreditation,
IChemE aims to recognize and share best practice
in the University education of Chemical Engineers.
Irish Engineers: Accreditation of Engineering
This procedure is designed to enable the
accreditation of the engineering education
programmes in a college, which are proposed to
satisfy the educational standard for the registered
titles of Engineers Ireland and to take place in
parallel and on a single occasion, every five years.
b) International initiatives
QUESTE-VET Quality System of European Scientific &
Technical Education: Assessment and Label of
excellence. (ENQHEEI + EFMD.)
EuroInf: Accreditation of HE Informatics/Computing
courses (programmes) – by CEPIS (Council of
European Professional Informatics Societies ) – EU
project. (At present temporary.)
EPAS is an international programme accreditation
system operated by EFMD. It aims to evaluate the
quality of any business and/or management
programme that has an international perspective.
3. Meta-accreditation: accreditation or mutual
recognition of national accreditation agencies, not
single institutions or programmes
ENQA (1999) European Association for Quality
Assurance in Higher Education (formally evaluates
only membership criteria)→ ESG →
EQAR (2008) European Quality Assurance
Register in Higher Education
(2003) European Consortium for Accreditation in HE. ECA aims the mutual recognition of
accreditation and quality assurance decisions.
(2001) Central and Eastern European
Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in HE
ENAEE (European Network for Accreditation of
Engineering Education) →
EUR-ACE (2006): EURopeanACcreditedEngineer
• Framework of accreditation standards for European
• Accreditation of programmes (learning outcomes),
not of Department or University
• National accreditation + „EUR-ACE Label” awarding
- 6 European Engineering Associations/Networks
- 8 National Associations/Agencies active in
CHEA: Council for Higher Education Accreditation →
A national advocate and institutional voice for selfregulation of academic quality through
accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000
degree-granting colleges and universities and
recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic
+ Accreditation of non-United States institutions and
National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and
The Purpose of NCFMEA is to review the standards used
by foreign countries to accredit medical schools and
determine whether those standards are comparable to
standards used to accredit medical schools in the
The NCFMEA does not review or accredit individual
foreign medical schools. The NCFMEA only reviews the
standards that a foreign country uses to accredit its
medical schools. The request by a foreign country for
review by the NCFMEA is voluntary.
Hungary: 1997, 2003 and now 2008 (in progress) Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC)
INQAAHE (1991): International Network for Quality
Assurance Agencies in Higher Education.
The main purpose of the Network is to collect and
disseminate information on current and developing
theory and practice in the assessment, improvement and maintenance of quality in higher
Who? - does accredit
General QA agencies:
• in most European countries one national agency
• in several cases (D, GB etc.) more agencies
Special QA agencies
• EU: ASIIN, Irish Engineers, EQUIS, …
• US: 60 recognized national accrediting bodies.
5 general in nature and national in scope:
DETC, ACICS, ACCET, ACCSCT COE
Specialized and professional accreditors:
Accr. Board for Eng. and Technology (ABET)
Ass. of Amer. Medical Colleges (AAMC), …
Trained accreditors are needed!
Aspects of evaluation: their recruitment, qualification,
performance, regular evaluation etc.
- At the input (by establishment, launching): ex ante
- During operation (in acting institutions): ex post
- At the output: performance → learning outcomes
Regularly (compulsory) – time scheduled (once in
3 to 10 years)
Occasionally (voluntary) – by request of the
institution (usually with terminus)
The radius of accreditation activity:
• In the country – national
• In regions (USA, Russia, Arabic countries)
• In a continent – EU (ENQA, Register)
• In-ternational (on request, e.g. by CHEA, ASIIN,
• academic (most common) or
• professional (rare)
Cost of accreditation (typically)
• state financed (if obligatory by law)
• self-financed (if self-requested)
Types of conclusions – the report is public
• accredited – (accr. with conditions) – not accred.
• quality label (cf. EUR-ACE label, EQUIS label)
• ranked (rarely)
• licensed (in most cases right of the state)
Hungarian answer: Higher Education Act (2005)
„through the improvement of quality assurance and
quality certification systems of higher education
institutions, to ensure that higher education
institutions mediate knowledge to students that
are exploitable on the national and international
labour markets, and are of high quality and serve
as solid bases for further development.”
The sectoral quality policy development system shall
- accreditation of the founding and operation of
- institutional quality development schemes.
108. § The Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC)
shall regularly, once in every eight years, evaluate
the education and research activity of higher
education institutions. Such evaluation shall extend
fulfilment of staff and
infrastructure requirements, and the
adequacy of the institutional quality
Tasks of HAC (HE Act 2005) -
[soft and hard]
a) participates in developing concept of sector
quality policy and monitors implementation [ESG!]
b) --c) accredits new and operating HEIs and its faculties
(domestic and foreign)
d) makes recommendations regarding general
requirements for appointing university professors
e) monitors harmonization of sector quality enhancement system with systems in the European
Higher Education Area
f) on request of HEIs provides opinion about their
educational, research and artistic activity
g) provides expert opinion prior
- to launching undergraduate and master’s
- about setting up doctoral schools,
- about doctoral regulations
h) on request of HEIs provides opinion about
awarding the title of university professor prior to
their appointment (mandatory)
i) sets up a register of higher education experts
HAC (MAB in Hungarian) decisions and recommendations are published on its website: www.mab.hu
HAC vis-à-vis Standards and Guidelines for Quality
Assurance in the European Higher Education Area
• HAC accepts ESG in general and in particular.
• HAC is an active ENQA member (HAC SG = ENQA VP).
• a new external review takes place by ENQA (2008).
• focus increasingly on the internal QA of institutions.
• produce and publish a quality policy document and
establish regular external feedback about its actions
and procedures, and actions taken in response to
BA/BSc MA/MSc BA/BSc MA/MSc
doctoral schools doctoral schools doctoral schools
Processes (standards are published in advance):
Ex ante accreditations (input conditions) in case of
founding institution/faculty, founding and
launching BA/BSc, MA/MSc and doctoral
• 2 experts (anonym) →
• disciplinary committees (15 members) →
• 3 colleges (humanities, life sciences, sciences) →
• resolution of HAC plenum!
Ex post accreditation of institutions/programmes:
• self-evaluation report (including C-SWOT) →
• site visit by a visiting team (5-9 members, incl.
student, QA specialist and stakeholder) →
• draft of the accr. report of the visiting team →
• comments of HEI →
• resolution of HAC!
New system: separate accreditation of
• HEI-s (mission, structure, management, QA,
infrastructure, IT, student services etc.) and
• programmes: parallel evaluation of similar
programme branches at all institutions in the
country (e.g. engineering, medicine etc.)
Appointment of professors: the Rector has to ask
for HAC’s opinion in all cases.
Board of Appeal of HAC (3 members): right of the
HEI for a second, revised evaluation
The Minister in cases of professors appointments has
the right to overwrite HAC’s opinion.
A unique case: parallel accreditation of all doctoral
schools (PhD programmes) in Hungary.
• a new, full and living electronic database, with free
access, covering all of the 25 Hungarian
universities: www.doktori.hu. (Information for
• ex post evaluation of 170 existing (old) and
• ex ante evaluation of 10 new doctoral schools, as
organizations of the 3rd cycle of Bologna system,
• documents of organization, of teaching and
research programme, QA
• >2300 staff members severally by qualification
Task for HAC
establishment of HEI/faculty
accred. of operating HEI
parallel accr. of programmes
accreditation of PhD schools
opinion for prof. appointm.
establishm. of BA/BSc progr.
launching BA/BSc progr.
establishment of MA/MSc
launching MA/MSc progr.
--8 – 10
--30 – 80
10 + 170*
120 – 140 yes: 90–100
10 – 15
10 – 15
The future of accreditation:
(„I have a dream!”)
internal programme accreditation
instead of external ones
based on accredited QA of HEI?
It requires a new and severe quality culture
in higher education institutions, where
- common values win against particular interest,
- high quality defeats mass quantity.
Thank you for your attention … and don’t forget:
quality assurance agencies contribute to the
quality of higher education through evaluation
and accreditation, but
quality of/in higher education institutions is the
responsibility and task of the institution itself.