Higher Education Institutions
Higher Education Reform
Higher education in Republic of Srpska and institutional structure of this social sector have been undergoing the constant transformation since the mid 90s, led by the principles of Bologna process. This transformation, known under the term “higher education reform” has been more intensively comprising total educational and scientific research processes in higher education institutions in the Republic of Srpska, thus approximating them to the unique European higher education area.
Its formal and obliging form, the higher education reform in Republic of Srpska obtained legally in 2006 through the Higher Education Law (RS Official Gazette 85/06 and 30/07), thus providing new institutional structure of higher education in the form of integrated universities and colleges. There have been 17 higher education institutions being operational in school 2007/2008 year: two public universities, six private universities, two public colleges and seven private colleges.
Quality assurance activities in higher education, as one of the segments of the Bologna process have been ongoing since the very start of the reform activities through the realisation of international projects and partnership activities between higher education institutions and universities in Europe and the region. Formal models and more intensive activities in the area of quality assurance have been present in Republic of Srpska since 2005, when “Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area”, adopted by the ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) appeared in the European region.
Institutions for Quality Monitoring and Improving the Quality of Higher Education in Republic Srpska
The Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance in BiH was formed in accordance with the framework BiH Higher Education Law. The Agency should establish standards for monitoring the quality of educational processes and accreditation in accordance with aforementioned ESG and national specifics. This Agency started working in December, 2008 and up to the present it has created documents that provide basic presumptions for the start of accreditation process.
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 (RS Official Gazette 41/07). By its methods, this procedure practically introduces the initial accreditation as one of the instruments for quality assurance thus presenting basic experiences in further steps regarding establishing external evaluation with reference to international standards (ЕSG).
With the purpose of further development of higher education system, and vocational as well as expert assistance to higher education institutions and competent authorities, there has been Council for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance being operational in Republic of Srpska since 2008, operations of which additionally intensify activities on improving the quality of higher education. Within its competence, the Council defined and improved the specific procedures in the area of higher education, especially in the licensing segment (Licensing Guidelines, Amendments and Addendums on Conditions for Forming and Initiation of Higher Education Institutions and the Procedure for Establishing the Fulfilment of Conditions) and quality assurance (Guidelines for Completing Self-evaluation Reports). The Council also considers the reports of the Commission for Licensing and elaborates on justifiability of founding new higher education institutions. It also considers the self-evaluation reports of higher education institutions and gives recommendations for improving the self-evaluation process.
Afore mentioned activities of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Council, in reality represent the introduction into the forthcoming accreditation and provision of international recognition of higher education in the Republic of Srpska. With this purpose, the new RS Higher Education Law (RS Official Gazette 73/10) plans establishing of the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republic of Srpska which is supposed to integrate and further contribute to the development of commenced activities on internal and external higher quality assurance in higher education, through the formalised process of accreditation.
Banja Luka, July 05th, 2011
The tool consists of a list of criteria applicable to the BiH level. Self-assessment to gain insight into the maturity of the institution for accreditation.
The document is in Microsoft Word format.