EXTERNAL EVALUATION VISIT WITHIN THE STINT PROJECT
External evaluation visit within the ERASMUS + project called STINT- Strengthening of Internationalisation in B&H Higher Education was held on the 9th November, 2017 in the premises of Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska. The visit was coordinated by representatives of KU Leuven, international project coordinator. The meeting was attended by Geert De Lepeler and Catherine Verriet, on behalf of KU Leuven, Nenad Markovic on behalf of local project coordinator, University of East Sarajevo and Tatjana Radakovic, representative of RS HEAA, on behalf of the Agency project team that actively participates in the project realization.
The topic of the meeting was interim report, activities realised within the project as well as the report on the activities realised within the WP1 of the project which is to be produced by RS HEAA as a leader of the WP1. The report should be in form of comprehensive analysis of internationalisation and mobility. Dissemination of project results in public and private higher education institutions was also discussed at the meeting.
CEENQA General Assembly and Workshop 2017
This year, the CEENQA held its general assembly and workshop in Zagreb, kindly hosted by the Croatian quality assurance agency ASHE. The Workshop explored the "WAYS FORWARD TO MAKE EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE A MORE EFFICIENT PROCESS " with a number of higher education experts as speakers.
In the general assembly, Dr. Iring Wasser’s term as president of CEENQA ended and CEENQA members expressed their thanks to Dr. Wasser for his energetic leadership and the number of international projects he saw through or initiated during his office. Nora Skaburskiené was elected to the post. Two Board members, Ivan Leban and Martina Vidlakova, were re-elected for another two-year term and a new Board member, Duska Radmanovic, was elected. Christina Rozsnyai stepped down from the position of General Secretary and is succeeded by Marleen Roggan.
In addition, CEENQA accepting a new member, ANQA, from Armenia. A long-standing member, UC Poland, resigned from CEENQA as it ceased operations.
More information on the event, agenda and presentation can be downloaded from the CEENQA web site: http://www.ceenetwork.hu
ENQA PANEL ON-SITE VISIT TO RS HEAA
RS HEAA has just undergone a three-day long on-site visit of ENQA Panel of experts within the course of the external evaluation.
At the beginning of 2016, RS HEAA has submitted the application for full membership in the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) as well as application for registration in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR).
Panel of experts was appointed in order to establish whether RS HEAA acts and conducts its activities in accordance with European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in European Higher Education Area (ESG 2015). With reference to this, RS HEAA was obliged to prepare the self-evaluation report in accordance with ENQA guidelines and present its entire operations over the past five years.
Appointed members of the Panel are: Bernard Coulie, Panel Chairman (University of Leuven, Belgium), Stephen Jackson, Panel Secretary (Quality Assurance Agency, UK), Durdica Dragojevic, Panel member (Agency for Science and Higher Education, Croatia), Paula Ranne (ENQA Coordinator) and Oana Onicas, student (Romania).
On site visit to the Agency took place from Monday, 20th February 2017 to Wednesday, 22nd February 2017. The first day of the on-site visit comprised meetings and interviews with Agency employees, members of the Steering Board, Agency director and team for self-evaluation.
Interviews with representatives of stakeholders took place on the second day of the on-site visit. Minister, Dane Malesevic, PhD, Radmila Pejic, PhD, Assistant Minister for higher education and Head of Higher Education Department, Sanela Dojcinovic represented the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska. Representatives of higher education institutions' management who took place at interviews were: Aleksandar Bogdanic, PhD (College Kapha Phi, Banja Luka), Prof. Dejan Bokonjic, PhD (University of East Sarajevo), Prof. Strain Posavljak (University of Banja Luka) and Prof. Marijana Ziravac, PhD (University of Business Engineering and Management, Banja Luka). Representatives of HEIs' management have been selected so to represent both, public and private HEIs, universities and colleges. The interview that followed was the one with quality assurance coordinators at HEIs: Jelena Curguz, MA (College Kappa Phi), Ozren Trisic, MA (University of Banja Luka) and Nenad Markovic, MA (University of East Sarajevo). Experts, members of Panels from our country were represented by Prof. Zdravko Todorovic, PhD and Prof. Dejan Bokonjic, PhD as representatives of the academic community, Bosko Borojevic, MS as an expert representative of the labour market and Gordana Visekruna, representative of students in expert panels. Representatives of students were Predrag Govedarica (University of East Sarajevo), Goran Vucic and Borislav Mandic (University of Banja Luka). Representatives of other stakeholders who took part in interviews were also Olivera Radic, representative of Republika Srpska Chamber of Commerce, Milenko Malinovic, representative of City of Banja Luka Administration, Miroslav Savija, representative of MAHLE Letrika company, Laktasi and Prof. Enver Halilovic, PhD, representative of Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance of BiH.
Last day of the visit comprised another interview with the Agency director, Prof. Miroslav Bobrek, PhD, internal Panel meeting and final address to all Agency representatives.
The Panel emphasized that the final decision on Agency membership in ENQA is passed by the ENQA Steering Board, but surely based on the report to be made by the Panel.
Bernard Coulie, Panel Chairman has thanked all Agency employees, as well as all representatives of stakeholders for their openness and stressed that the dedication towards the quality improvement of higher education is reflected through the work of the Agency as well as with other participants in the system what is a result of Agency activities.
He has also stressed that the on-site visit represents the most significant part of the external evaluation since it is the opportunity to have an overview of the whole situation in the Agency, meet people who work in the Agency, gain an insight in the implementation of procedures and, through interviews with stakeholders, comprehend the manner in which the Agency contributes to the development and improvement of the higher education in the country.
The report of the Panel should be submitted to the Agency for comments by the end of April, this year whereas the scrutiny of the report and the final decision of the ENQA Steering Board should be made known on the 13th September, 2017.
Membership in ENQA and EQAR, besides representing recognition of the higher education system in Republika Srpska in the European Higher Education Area, Panel report and recommendations shall be an important guide to the Agency in the further development of procedures and planned activities.
RS HEAA PARTICIPATION AT THE ERASMUS+ STINT PROJECT CONSORTIUM MEETING
One of the project partners within the STINT project (Strengthening of Internationalisation in BiH Higher Education), Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe, Great Britain, has organised the project consortium meeting. Meeting was held between 30th November, 2016 and 3rd December 2016 in the premises of the Great Missenden Conference Centre within the university.
All partners' activities at the end of the first year of the project were presented at the meeting. SWOT analyses of all partners with regards to internationalisation of institutions and recognition of qualifications have been presented in details. Plan of the activities for the forthcoming period has been presented at the meeting as well as steps that await partners, especially public universities in terms of creating the Strategy of Internationalisation of all institutions.
RS HEAA has presented Agency's activities completed in the first year of the project as well activities on internationalisation in terms of quality assurance.
After the official part, project participants had a tour of Buckinghamshire New University, i.e. one of the campuses and had an opportunity to get familiarised with the internationalisation practice of the hosting university, human resources required for those activities, way of planning activities and results achieved so far in the area of internationalisation.
All presentations from all events and information on the project can be found at the project web site: http://stint-project.net
CEENQA WORKSHOP AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska has participated on the CEENQA Workshop and the General Assembly session held from 13th to 14th May, 2016 in Krakow, Poland. The topic of the workshop held on 13th May, 2016 was Quality Assurance in Transnational Education and the participants discussed the cross border cooperation between higher education institutions, practices and challenges that accreditation agencies face in terms of accrediting institutions that work outside the national higher education area and their study programs.
The session of the CEENQA General Assembly was held on the second day of the event and it was the opportunity for all member agencies to report on their activities within the previous year. Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska reported on applying for the full membership in ENQA and EQAR, followed by contract signing with ENQA, changes in internal Agency's procedures that resulted in analyses of completed accreditation processes, new quality assurance instruments that higher education institutions of Republika Srpska get encouraged to implement with the purpose of improving their internal quality assurance systems, course of new external evaluation and accreditation processes as well as on accreditation of study programs. By its active participation in the work of this network, our Agency has already confirmed its status and ensured recognition in the European higher education area.
One of the topics that agencies have discussed was also the forthcoming staff exchange with the purpose of getting familiarised with other agencies' practices.
The whole event was organised by Polish Accreditation Committee and University Accreditation Committee and it has been held in historically significant ambient of Collegium Maius, Jagiellonian University, Krakow.
This is the fourth year of Agency's full membership in this network.
NEW APPLICATION FOR ACCREDITATION
On 24th June, 2015, by submitting the application for accreditation, University of Business Engineering and Management from Banja Luka has entered the accreditation process. This was the last university to apply for the first round of institutional accreditation in Republika Srpska, so all universities are now in some phase of the process. Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska continues to fulfill its mission through all phases of external evaluation and accreditation process as well as through other quality assurance instruments.
APPLICATION FOR ACCREDITATION
PAN-EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY “APEIRON” submitted application for accreditation to the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska on 17th June 2015, thus officially
starting the process of institutional external evaluation and accreditation conducted by the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska.
This is the second application for accreditation this year and the conclusion may be drawn that higher education institutions thus confirm their orientation towards improving the quality of their work through harmonization of their internal quality assurance systems in line with Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in European Higher Education Area and Criteria for accreditation of higher education institutions in BiH.
Part of the activities within the external evaluation of Pan-European University “Apeiron” shall be an on-site visit by the panel of independent experts that shall take place in the autumn this year.
ACCREDITATION PROCESS CONTINUES
Recognising the significance of the accreditation process and after consultations with Higher
Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska, the process of institutional accreditation started also for Business
and Technical College in Doboj. The application for accreditation was submitted on 18th May, 2015.
As it has been emphasised many times before, institutions starting the accreditation process firstly check whether the entrance criteria are met what was successfully done by this College. Agency then checks the completeness of the application for accreditation and the process is further on conducted according to the Rulebook on accreditation of higher education institutions.
Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska remains available to higher education institutions for all information on the process, whether on preconditions or follow up activities that precede the re-accreditation process of already accredited institutions.
SEMINAR ON THE TOPIC OF "ISO 9001:2015 AND ESG 2015"
The Chamber of Commerce of Republika Srpska and Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska have jointly organized a seminar on the topic of: "ISO 9001:2015 and ESG 2015 – Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area that was held on 24th June 2014 in the Chamber of Commerce of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka. Bearing in mind the forthcoming changes of the ISO 9001:2008 standard and adoption of the new ISO 9001:2015 standard, seminar was held for representatives of the quality assurance departments in higher education institutions and economy subjects as well as a numerous consultants, since they are the ones establishing, developing and improving their internal quality assurance systems. Seminar presentations were on the new standards, changes with reference to the previous versions, recognition of new possibilities of linking economy subjects with higher education institutions and improvement of mutual relations. Presentations from the seminar are available at the web site of Chamber of Commerce of Republika Srpska: www.komorars.ba/pkrs
NEW DECISIONS ON ACCREDITATION AND THREE NEW APPLICATIONS
Since the start of 2014, three higher education institutions have been awarded decisions on accreditation: University Sinergija Bijeljina, Banja Luka College of Communications Kappa Phi and College of Business Service Istocno Sarajevo-Sokolac. O 4th April, 2014, Higher Education Accreditation Agency has received an application from College of Applied Science and Law “PROMETEJ”, Banja Luka and Slobomir P University, Bijeljina has applied on 25th April, 2014. Submitting an application for accreditation on 8th May, 2014, College “PRIMUS” Gradiska has joined higher education institutions that entered the process of external evaluation and accreditation. This means the continuation of the higher education quality improvement process in Republika Srpska. Pursuant to the Rulebook on accreditation of higher education institutions, accredited higher education institutions are obliged to develop the plan of follow up activities. Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska is in charge of monitoring the implementation of the plan in cooperation with higher education institutions. The process of implementing follow up activities for five accredited higher education institutions from which the plan was submitted. Besides already successful institutional accreditations, Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska is in the final phase of developing Rulebook on accreditation of study programs.
SIGNED AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION IN THE AREA OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND ACCREDITATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION BETWEEN REPUBLIC OF SERBIA AND REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
Belgrade, 18th December – The Agreement on cooperation in the area of quality assurance between Commission for Accreditation and Quality Assurance and Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska was signed on 18th December, 2013 in Belgrade. The Agreement was grounded on the need for improvement of cooperation in the area of accreditation, quality assurance and other processes in the area of higher education pursuant to the Agreement on Special and Parallel Relations between Republic of Serbia and Republika Srpska with special reference the cooperation arising from the Memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska and the Ministry of Education of Republic of Serbia on cooperation in the area of education. The meeting was between representatives of CAQA: Prof. Endre Pap, President of the Commission, Prof. Vera Vujicic, Deputy President with associates and representatives of HEAARS: Prof. Miroslav Bobrek, Agency Director and Prof. Petar Maric, Chairman of the Accreditation Forum and the topic of the meeting were possible forms of cooperation between these two bodies in 2014. Result of the discussion was the arrangement on the permanent exchange of experts who participate in the processes of external evaluation of higher education institutions and study programs what is a good practice of agencies in the European Higher Education Area. The forthcoming process of study programs’ accreditation in Republika Srpska shall use experience and already implemented models from Serbia. Programs of professionalization of staff responsible for quality assurance in higher education institutions and experts who conduct external evaluation processes shall be subject of exchange and integration in accordance with European and national standards.
THE FORTH MEETING OF THE HEAARS ACREDITATION FORUM
The fourth meeting of the Accreditation Forum was held on 12th November, 2013 in the Republika Srpska Academy of Arts and Science conference hall in Banja Luka. On that occasion, prof. Miroslav Bobrek, PhD presented certificates on accreditation to the representatives of five accredited higher education institutions in Republika Srpska: University of Business Studies Banja Luka, Banja Luka College, Independent University Banja Luka, University of East Sarajevo and University of Banja Luka. Based on the decision on accreditation issued by Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska, aforementioned higher education institutions have been listed in the register of accredited higher education institutions. Accreditation is the confirmation of the quality of work according to the Criteria for accreditation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in European Higher Education Area.
University Sinergija Submitted Application for Accreditation
On 16th November, 2012, Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republic of Srpska received application for accreditation from Sinergija university in Bijeljina. The handover took place at the university. The application was submitted to the Agency director, Professor Miroslav Bobrek, PhD by full university professor Dusan Regodic, PhD, on behalf of the university. The solemn handover ceremony was media covered and attended by the university teaching staff.
University of Banja Luka Submitted Application for Accreditation
On the 3rd August, 2012, Higher Education Accreditation Agency received the application for accreditation from University of Banja Luka. Application for accreditation was sumbitted by vice-chancellor for education and student services, Simo Jokanovic, PhD, to the Agency director, Miroslav Bobrek, PhD, in the premises of the Rectorate of Banja Luka University. Thus, the second of the two public universities in the Republic of Srpska submitted the application for accreditation. This shows their determination to affirm the results of the intensified quality assurance activities being conducted since 2005, despite the complex organisational structure of public universities.
Representatives of the higher education institutions from Banja Luka-University of Business Engineering and Management, Independent University, University of Business Studies and Banja Luka College, signed, with the Higher education Accreditation Agency, contracts for conducting the accreditation process on 11th July, 2012, in the premises of Higher Education Agency of Republic of Srpska.
The contract signing event was attended by the Minister of Education and Culture, Anton Kasipovic, who stated: "This is the significant event for the Republic of Srpska academia since it affirms the Republic of Srpska policy on higher education to keep this area competencies within the Republic. As for the relevant Ministry, parallel to accreditation, it is important to create condition for working on ranking study programs, since it will be reliable indicator to future students when deciding what and where to study."
Acting director of the Higher Education Accreditation Agency, Miroslav Bobrek, PhD said that the following step for the institutions that signed the contract today is process of external evaluation, meaning that the relevant commissions shall visit higher education institutions, examine all materials necessary for accreditation and evaluate concordance with European standards. Thus, Republic of Srpska entered the third out of four phases of the entire accreditation process, and before the end of this year we can expect to have the first accredited higher education institutions in the Republic of Srpska. "Accreditation is the first, the most important segment in the process of diploma recognition. In the first step of diploma recognition, European institutions, employers, higher education institutions, make an insight in the registry of accredited higher education institution", Bobrek emphasised.
Accreditation, i.e. quality assurance process, is envisaged by the Bologna declaration that BiH signed in 2003 and is applied in the Republic of Srpska since 2006.
University of East Sarajevo officially submitted the application for accreditation of this higher education institution. Delegation of the Higher Education Accreditation Agency led by acting director, Prof. Miroslav Bobrek, PhD visited the University of East Sarajevo Rectorate where Rector of East Sarajevo University, Prof. Mitar Novakovic, PhD, handed over the application for accreditation of this higher education institution.
Higher Education Accreditation Agency received the application for accreditation from College for Business Service Sokolac.
Banja Luka, 19th April, 2012
On 19th April, 2012, The University of Business Studies Banja Luka submitted application for accreditation to the Higher Education Accreditation Agency. According to the statement given by Prof. Miroslav Bobrek , PhD, acting director of the Higher Education Accreditation Agency, accreditation is extremely important from the aspect of international recognition of Republika Srpska higher education in the European higher education area.
Independent University of Banja Luka submitted the application for accreditation to the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republic of Srpska.
Banja Luka, 24th February, 2012
Higher Education Accreditation Agency received an Application for accreditation from Banja Luka College. Mrs Svjetlana Dusanic Gacic, Ph D solemnly submitted the application to the Agency on a press conference held on 29th February. During the occasion, Head of the Agency Department for Quality Assurance and International Cooperation, Mrs Duska Radmanovic, emphasised that the Agency organises consultation meetings and practical workshops with institutions that are in the final phase of preparing the application for accreditation.
The forum for exchange of experiences in the quality assurance area and accreditation of Higher education institutions in Republika Srpska has been activated on 20th January , 2012. The aim of the forum is to provide the possibility to all stakeholders to find answers to most frequently asked questions, all at one place, and to exchange experiences, good practice examples or resolve some dilemmas reference the alleged processes in direct contact with other higher education institutions. It is open type of forum and one may access it following this link. Permanent link to this forum may also be found on the page Accreditation forum.
Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republic of Srpska received the first Application for accreditation, today, on 29th December, 2011. Application was submitted by the Business Engineering and Management University of Banja Luka. We believe that the first application, already submitted in the year 2011, is a result of the efforts of Higher education institution that was the first one to overtake the steps for approaching the accreditation process as well as those of the Agency that was striving to establish every day cooperation with Higher education institutions, to prepare procedures and acts for the immediate start of the accreditation process and to motivate the institutions to approach to accreditation process as soon as possible.
All presentations from the second meeting of Accreditation forum may be downloaded from Акредитацијски форум Presentations are in PDF format.
Accreditation of higher education institutions is part of the overall higher education reform conducted in accordance with the Bologna principles with the final goal of achieving recognition of the higher education of Republic of Srpska within the European higher education area. The procedure for accreditation of higher education institutions was established after conducting comprehensive expert consultations when all social partners, such as Accreditation forum, all higher education institutions, Agency for the Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance, as well as student representation bodies...
Forming the Higher Education Accreditation Agency completes the whole structure for efficient implementation of quality assurance procedure in Higher Education of Republic of Srpska, including the accreditation process which presents the level of applicability of standards and criteria in higher education institutions.
RS Ministry of Education and Culture and its Department for Higher Education provides specific contribution to intentions directed towards improving the quality of higher education in Republic of Srpska through the process of establishing the procedure of licensing higher education institutions by conducting the specific form of external evaluation with reference to the provisions of the Act on Conditions for Forming and Initiation of Higher Education Institutions and the Procedure for Establishing the Fulfilment of Conditions...
On the way towards completing Agency’s mission on improving the quality of higher education in Republic of Srpska, the specific role, in terms of expertise, belongs to Accreditation Forum as an informal expert group with references in the area of quality assurance in higher education. According to available information, we have recognised certain number of prominent experts in this area and, through the work of Accreditation Forum, asked them to make available their knowledge and experiences to the RS academia.
List of Higher Education Institutions in Republic Srpska
University of Business Studies - http://www.univerzitetps.com/
University of Banja Luka - http://www.unibl.org/index3.php
University of East Sarajevo - http://www.unssa.rs.ba/
Pan-European University Apeiron - http://www.apeiron-uni.eu/
University of Business Engineering and Management - http://www.univerzitetpim.com/a3/index.php
Slobomir P University - http://www.spu.ba/
University Sinergija - http://www.sinergija.edu.ba/
Independent University - http://www.nubl.org/newsite/
Banja Luka College - http://www.blc.edu.ba/
Prometheus College of legal sciences - http://www.prometejbl.com/
VŠPM Primus - http://www.primus-gradiska.com/
High School "College of care" - http://www.ubn.rs.ba/
Communication college - Kappa Phi - http://www.kfbl.edu.ba/
College of International Law - http://www.aubih.edu.ba/en/
High Business Technical School - http://www.vpts-doboj.info/
High medical school - http://vmspd.com/
College of Tourism and Hotel Management - http://www.thtrebinje.org/
Higher School of Economics and Computer Science - http://www.koledzprijedor.org/
High School "Dositej" - http://www.vsdositej.edu.ba/v2/
College of Business Service - http://www.vub.edu.ba/
Banja Luka, January 25th, 2017.
The document is in PDF format.
Banja Luka, Jun 28th, 2016.
The document is in PDF format.
Banja Luka, May 20th, 2015.
The document is in PDF format.
Banja Luka, 2013.
The document is in PDF format.
Banja Luka, May 19th, 2015.
The document is in PDF format.
Minutes from the HEAARS and HEA BiH meeting
Banja Luka, July 4th 2011
At the highest level meeting between the delegation and HEAARS HEA BiH, held on 21st June 2011 in the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of the Republic Srpska, issued are some very important conclusions. Attached is a document with the minutes of a given meeting.
The document is in PDF format.
Banja Luka, July 3rd, 2011
Higher Education Accreditation Agency of the Republic Srpska in their general intentions together with all stakeholders to build an atmosphere of constructive support to universities and colleges to apply for accreditation as soon as they are in position for its positive outcome. HEI should be in the process of preparing and submitting applications before review the implementation of the accreditation eligibility criteria, which is the practice of most European and international agencies.
The document is in Microsoft Word format.