First Application from Public University
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. As an act of symbolism, the application has been submitted in the eve of the 20th anniversary of the University existence, what was evaluated by rector Novakovic as a process that rounds up the two decades of this higher education institution's work. Higher education accreditation agency acting director, prof. dr Miroslav Bobrek emphasised that the participation of University from East Sarajevo in the process of higher education quality assurance is of special importance bearing in mind the longterm tradition, as well as the number of students of this higher education institution. "Accreditation is the road to recognition of our higher education in the European higher education area", emphasised Prof. Bobrek, adding that the accreditation process in Republic of Srpska is entirely based and aligned with European standards in this area. Rector Novakovic evaluated this process as historical and emphasised that, five years in a row, University conducts the self-evaluation process with determination for continual development and improved work in the area of scientific-research work and all University areas of activities. University in East Sarajevo is the first public university to submit the application for accreditation and so far six applications for accreditation from the higher education institutions have been received by the Higher education accreditation agency.
College of Business Service Sokolac Submitted the Application for Accreditation
College of Business Service Sokolac Submitted the Application for Accreditation Higher Education Accreditation Agency received the application for accreditation from College for Business Service Sokolac. College for Business Service Sokolac submitted application for accreditation listing following study programs: public administration and security, entrepreneurship and finances, business informatics, law, political science and economy and business. College accreditation procedure should last till the end of the year, bearing in mind that academic year is soon to be finished.
Application for accreditation from University of Business Studies Banja Luka
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. Prof. Miroslav Bobrek, PhD also expressed hope that the other higher education institutions shall follow the example of University of Business Studies. Vice chancellor for education at the University of Business Studies, Prof. Zarko Ristic, PhD, emphasised the readiness of University for Business Studies to make new steps in the area of education and said that the working strategy of the University of Business Studies implies the response to the demands of the new and modern market.
Independent University of Banja Luka Submitted the Application for Accreditation
Independent University of Banja Luka submitted the application for accreditation to the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republic of Srpska. This higher education institution listed following study programs for accreditation: management, insurance and risk management, ecology, pre-school education, primary class teaching, international relations – diplomacy and politicology.
Application for Accreditation from Banja Luka College
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. "With reference to all contacts we have had so far, we expect applications from three more institutions in the next two months, which is a very positive fact since the Agency has been in existence for less than a year", said Mrs Radmanovic. She reminded to the fact that the accreditation process is especially significant from the aspect of international recognition of RS Higher education in the European Higher education area. "The process is defined so that the RS Agency conducts the accreditation procedure thus gaining the preconditions to become the member of European Associations and European Quality Assurance Register and provide the recognition of diplomas produced by accredited institutions, as well as recognition of the institution itself", explained Mrs Radmanovic. Svjetlana Dusanic Gacic emphasised that the application for accreditation is the quality improvement segment in terms of Banja Luka College quality of work and invited other higher education institutions to approach the accreditation process. "We are grateful to the Agency for all their support provided during the preparation of documentation, since we had the possibility of resolving all issues at the moment of occurrence", said Mrs Dusanic Gacic.
Procedure for the Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions proposal
11th August, 2011
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, were provided with the initial insight into the process. Interactive approach to the document is provided via the Agency web site.
The subject of the accreditation are higher education institutions and study programs taught, including higher education management procedures, study programs realisation processes, internal quality assurance system in higher education institution, capacities, resources and potentials of the higher education institution as well as capacities for changes...
The full text of the proposal can be downloaded as a Microsoft Word document.
Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions Starts in August
7th July, 2011
“During July Accreditation Agency shall complete passing all documents required for the accreditation procedure so the Higher Education Institutions in Republic of Srpska could start applying for accreditation process in August”, stated acting director of Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republic of Srpska, Miroslav Bobrek.
According to his statement, the accreditation process itself should be non-profit and higher education institutions shall pay only expenses for the services that Accreditation Agency provides to them.
“The purpose of accreditation is recognition of higher education in the Republic of Srpska within European framework. In the accreditation process, firstly participate higher education institutions that have previously implemented internal quality systems, completed self-evaluation reports, examined their deficiencies and possibilities for improving the quality within their scope of work and thus prepared themselves for the other step which is to be organized within the scope of Agency’s competence, i.e. external quality assurance”, Bobrek explained.
The procedure of external quality assurance is regulated by the Framework Higher Education Law of BiH and the Higher Education law of Republic of Srpska.
“Ministry of Education and Culture formed Accreditation agency with the aim of providing the independent accreditation process, harmonised with international standards. It is necessary to include academia in the process and thus provide expert assistance to the Accreditation agency, adjoining efforts in defining the accreditation procedure“, emphasized Head of higher education department in the Ministry of education and culture, Biljana Vojvodic.
The expert support to the Accreditation agency in defining accreditation processes and procedures for higher education institutions and study programs they perform is provided by just formed Accreditation forum.
“Forming Accreditation forum is the most efficient way to directly make contact with academia and realize efficient coordination. We have selected experts in the area of higher education who have affirmed their knowledge through various European projects and who will be the most powerful assistance to the Accreditation agency. The important task of this forum is to provide European recognition of the Accreditation agency in a reasonable, rational and efficient way“, stated Chairman of the Accreditation forum, Petar Maric, Ph.D.
Deputy Director of the Agency for the development of higher education and quality assurance in BiH, Boris Curkovic, welcomed the activities of Accreditation agency in the Republic of Srpska.
“Quality assurance in higher education is conducted per unique model, defined in Europe by the document European Standards and Guidelines in the European Higher Education Area from 2005, which is obligatory for Bologna process signatories, amongst which is also BiH. The unique model is based on four steps: self-evaluation report, independent experts who visit higher education institutions, external report and follow-up activities. That model shall also be established in BiH. Republic of Srpska has made a step forward by establishing the Accreditation agency“, Curkovic emphasised.
Higher education institutions from Republic of Srpska shall apply for accreditation with the Accreditation agency of Republic of Srpska, while the external evaluation procedure shall be conducted by independent experts from the Agency for development of higher education and quality assurance in BiH list of experts, and the accreditation procedure shall be conducted by the commissions comprised of experts from both agencies.
Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area
7th July, 2011
In the European Union forming processes the significant role belongs to quality
of products and services affirmation principles. International standards (ISO,
European norms, European directives etc.) appear at the beginning of 90s,
defining quality assurance models and systems in various economy and social
sectors, including the higher education sector. Quality assurance in higher
education is surely not only the European issue. The whole world shows growing
interest for quality and standards, accepted as a basic framework and concept
for the total higher education development process.
In realising attempts to become the most dynamic, knowledge based world economy (so-called Lisbon strategy), Europe starts initiatives directed towards the higher education quality improvement. Since 1994/95, the European Commission starts so-called “European Pilot Projects” for quality assurance in higher education thus recognising two levels of activities:
- Internal quality assurance within the higher education institutions by means of applying appropriate methods and its interaction into the unique Management system and constant quality improvement, and
- External quality assurance by means of external monitoring over the efficiency and efficacy of internal Higher Education Quality Assurance Systems, using independent evaluations methods by local and foreign evaluation bodies.
Procedures of internal and external quality assurance are completed with
reference to relevant international and national standards, and with reference
to set goals and higher education institution policy. The relevant document
for the area of higher education in Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina
is “Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher
Education Area”, adopted in 2005 by the European Association for Quality
Assurance in Higher Education-ENQA. These standards are well known by the
acronym ESG (European Standards and Guidelines) and have a generic concept,
with the intention to leave the space for national structures to create specific
requirements in terms of political, social, cultural, lingual, traditional,
educational and other diversities. That provides the wide-spread acceptance
of these standards in the total European higher education area.
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.
Mission and Vision of the Agency
The basic task of the Agency is organisation and implementation of the external
quality evaluation process and accreditation of Higher Education Institutions
and applied study programs. This procedure is also conducted in accordance
with European standards and procedures published in the aforementioned ESG
document, requiring Agency to possess required resources, competent staff
and expert knowledge for its implementation.
International visibility and recognition of Higher Education of Republic of Srpska in European higher education area depends on available resources, validity of conducted measures and issued accreditations.
It is clear that realisation of international recognition of Higher Education in Republic of Srpska represents especially important and responsible social task of higher education institutions, as well as all stakeholders who comprise the unique RS Higher Education System.
Therefore, it is very important to reach so-called “social consensus” at the very moment of forming the Agency, regarding good intentions, determination and social aims in terms of higher education quality assurance.
Policies and Goals
With regards to Mission and Vision set in such way, there are three general goals determined in the initial operational phase:
- Recognition within the Academia
Proper start and provision of trust and recognition by the academia and competent authorities in the Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the first year.
- Development of Higher Education Institutions’ Quality Assurance System
To provide affirmed significance of establishing the quality system and its internal and external evaluation by means of analysing the current situation and public expert consultations, as a precondition for successful accreditation in the next two years.
- International Recognition
To conduct the accreditation process which is in accordance with European standards by professional work conduct and appropriate organisational structure and resources, thus providing full international recognition within the next 3-5 years.
Realisation of set goals is possible with the engagement of all participants in the accreditation process and by affirmation of following policies:
- Professional profile
Agency should be more of an expert body, compared to administrative one.
Employees should be sufficiently familiar with ENQA, BiH and RS standards,
criteria, norms and other methods and techniques of implementing the Higher
Education Quality Assurance System.
At the very start of its work, the Agency should have a small number of employees and great number of expert associates already available in Republic of Srpska and the region. The Agency should plan the formal forms of including these experts in the internal organisation of the Agency, through forums, expert bodies, commissions etc., so the knowledge and competences of these experts are formally the Agency’s resource.
- Scope of Activities
With the aim of providing independence and professional competence, besides all other activities planned by the Higher Education Law in terms of external evaluation and accreditation, the Agency should perform other activities in the area of quality assurance, such as:
- organisation of expert meetings,
- organisation of trainings and certification of staff for the area of quality assurance,
- issuing of information, statistical reports, publications and magazines in the future,
- participation in international projects from this area,
- other activities according to the needs of higher education institutions.
- Public and Transparency
Set goals are surely of general society character and cannot be reached without the transparent approach and all forms of public participation. In that respect, when it comes to issuing all acts and key decisions, there shall be public consultations organised with all stakeholders. All relevant information shall be available on the Agency web site and e-education portal. Interest and pro-active role of the media is surely expected.
Acting Director Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republic of Srpska
Prof. Miroslav Bobrek, Ph.D
Banja Luka, Juny 24th, 2011.
Accreditation institutions of higher education by the Law on Higher Education. Excerpt from Official Gazette of Republic Srpska no. 73/10.
The document is in PDF format.
Banja Luka, Juny 24th, 2011
Draft of the Statute for the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska. The working version of the draft.
The document is in Microsoft Word format.
Banja Luka, Juлy 10th, 2011
Draft of the Statute for the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska. The working version of the draft.
The document is in Microsoft Word format.