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The Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education (EKKA) is full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education ENQA since 2013. As a prerequisite for membership, a quality assurance agency has to undergo an external review against the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). Undergoing this kind of external evaluation is also a requirement for agencies who are included in the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR).
On 9-11 October, an international assessment panel is visiting Estonia to conduct interviews at EKKA. The assessment panel will include Jean Pierre Finance – Professor Emeritus at University of Lorraine, France; Marion Coy – higher education consultant, Ireland; Ronny Heintze – the commissioner for international relations at the quality agency AQAS, Germany; Olena Rusnak – student, Ukraine; and Lindsey Kerber as coordinator.
The agency review process is comparable to the reviews conducted by EKKA in its daily activities. The agency (in this case EKKA) compiles a thorough self-assessment report, reporting among other things on the developments since the last review. On top of that, the assessment committee is provided with a wide range of regulatory and working documents for analysis.
The assessment visit in Estonia will give the assessment panel an opportunity to talk to EKKA staff members, representatives of higher education institutions, experts who have participated in assessments conducted by EKKA, domestic and international cooperation partners etc., in order to verify compliance with Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. The assessment panel will, on top of assessing compliance, give recommendations to the agency for further improving its work. The assessment report on EKKA should be published next year.
More information on the review can be found at http://ekka.archimedes.ee/en/agency-review-ekka/