European cooperation in ensuring the quality of education
Quality as an integral characteristic of the education system
At the heart of the EHEA is the so-called "golden triad of reforms", which involves the joint introduction of: 1) the cycle (level) structure of education in higher education institutions; 2) the credit system (ECTS); 3) the certification system for the quality of new programs (ie accreditation systems) . In this paragraph, we will consider the last component of the triads & quot ;.
According to the approach used by the European Association for the Assessment of the Quality of Education (ENQA), the process of assessing the quality of education includes the following components: accreditation Evaluation and Audit [186. S. 5].
The topic of ensuring the quality of education today holds leading positions in the Bolognese theme. The trust in national quality assurance systems of higher education becomes the main legal and ethical component of the Bologna reforms, and their goal is mutual recognition of national experience in quality assessment in higher education, including "by identifying the best samples and then promoting them" [139. P. 308].
In higher education, the term quality is understood ambiguously. There are various ideas about the structure of the phenomenon of the quality of education, as well as the ways to ensure it in the practice of higher education. At the core of the TUNING project, for example, is the understanding that the overall goal of higher education is to create, maintain and improve the conditions under which studies at the university will be most useful for the student and adequate to his needs. Such an understanding of the quality of higher education is correlated with the generally accepted definition of quality adopted in the international standard ISO 9001: "Quality is a collection of object characteristics related to its ability to meet stated and perceived needs."
In the system of vocational education, as a rule, three groups of characteristics of the quality of education are distinguished:
- quality conditions, ie. quality of the potential to achieve the goal of education;
- process quality the formation of professionalism;
- the quality of the result of education [57. 15].
With respect to results the quality of education is understood, in the most general case, to determine the degree to which the educational results actually meet the regulatory requirements, social and personal expectations of the trainees. In the system of vocational education, where the demands of the labor market come to the fore, the set of indicators of the result of education takes the form of a variety of competencies and is revealed in different ways depending on the areas (specialties) of training [57. P. 16].
Responsibility for the development, maintenance and improvement of the quality of higher education rests primarily on a particular institution and its employees, provided that students and other interested parties also participate in this process. If teachers and students do not take sincere and interested participation in quality improvement, external evaluators will only state the problems, but they will not be able to develop and implement a quality curriculum [200. P. 96].
A deep understanding of the fact that it is the quality that should become the cornerstone of the emerging European higher education area is reflected in the ENQA document "Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area" . This document was supported by the EUA, the European Association of Higher Education Institutions (hereinafter referred to as EURASHE), the National Student Unions in Europe (hereinafter referred to as the ESIB) and was approved at the European Ministers of Education Summit in Bergen in May 2005. It includes:
- a set of standards that establish quality assurance principles and values that need support;
- a set of guidelines defining the basis points against which the compliance assessment is conducted.
ENQA standards are divided into three groups: a) focused on the internal quality assessment carried out by HEIs; b) determining the process of external evaluation of the quality of higher education; c) activity-oriented agencies performing external quality assessment.
The A includes standards that define: 1) policies and procedures for assessing quality; 2) approval, monitoring and periodic reviews of programs and degrees awarded; 3) evaluation of students; 4) evaluation of the quality of the teaching staff; 5) verification of training resources for compliance with training programs; 6) the conformity of information systems to the goals of effective information collection, its analysis and use in the educational process; 7) informing the public.
Let's take as an example the wording of the fourth standard of the group "A": "The educational institutions should have ways to make sure that the teaching staff involved in the preparation of students are qualified and competent to perform this function. These methods should be accessible to external reviewers and commented on in their reports. "
The guidelines for the fourth standard prescribe the following: Teachers are one of the most important learning resources available to most students. It is important that the teachers have the full knowledge and understanding of the subject they are teaching, they had the necessary skills and experience to effectively transfer their knowledge and understanding to students within the learning contexts and could use feedback to improve themselves. Educational institutions should be sure that their procedures for selecting and appointing faculty members include means to make sure that the entire new staff has at least the minimum acceptable level of competence. The teaching staff should be able to develop and expand their professional capacity, and should be encouraged to make a fair assessment of their skills. Educational institutions should provide the opportunity to improve the skills of inexperienced teachers and have ways to remove them from teaching positions if they continue to demonstrate low efficiency [186. Pp. 6, 17].
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