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DOWNLOAD THE LICENSING AND ACCREDITATION UNDER THE LAW ON HIGHER EDUCATION IN KOSOVO '02-'09 REPORT

SETTING STANDARDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
ACCREDITATION OF PRIVATE HIGHER EDUCATION PROVIDERS CARRIED OUT BY BRITISH ACCREDITATION COUNCIL

The Kosovo Government (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology) in cooperation with the British Council in Kosovo asked the British Accreditation Council to carry out an accreditation project upon the country’s private institution sector, having regard both to Kosovo law, international standards and the Bologna process. The process required research and the subsequent preparation of a report which the government passed on to a panel of three independent experts to consider. Following the independent experts consideration the Government of Kosovo took the decision to fully endorse the report and its recommendations.

The British Accreditation Council (BAC) was established in 1984 and is itself accredited by the UK’s Office of Standards in Education (OFSTED) to accredit independent institutions of Higher and Further Education. It is a member of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), the principal global body for International consultation on the accreditation of HE. BAC’s Chief Executive chairs NARIC-UK’s Group on Qualifications, and its Head of Inspection Services sits on OFSTED’s Accreditation Standards and Consistency Group, and its INQAAHE representative sits on the Executive of INQAAHE.

The BAC’s part in the accreditation project has not been an arbitrary process, but has used all the mechanisms usually involved in accreditation exercises, except the observation of teaching. The observation was proceeded by an in-depth reading of Kosovo law on Higher Education.

The BAC has inspected the premises, interviewed key staff, and analysed a wealth of material submitted by the colleges.

Although none of the private Institutions (in total 32 providers) fully met the requirements to be accredited, the inspection team found much valuable educational provision, in terms of specialisation and geographical access, and has recommended the creation of a Kosova Council of Academic Awards (KCAA) to award Diplomas, Certificates and Degrees based on teaching and assessment in private colleges. The Council will work with the private colleges to ensure appropriate provision leading to respected and centrally validated qualifications, and to enable the best institutions to work towards autonomous status over a number of years.

For the time being, it is recommended that the KCAA should have the sole right to award degrees in the country with the exception of the University of Prishtina and The American University of Kosovo (which may continue to award degrees from accredited overseas universities). The KCAA will in due course judge the readiness and ability of other self-styled universities to teach to the awards of other overseas universities. The name “university” may only be used with KCAA permission. Bodies which have unlawfully named themselves “university”, “university college”, etc, should be encouraged to change their names in consultation with the KCAA.

It is also recommended that only institutions with their own degree-awarding powers (i.e. the University of Prishtina ad any other body granted such powers) should be allowed to confer academic titles such as “Professor”. Further, it is recommended that the University of Prishtina amend staff contracts when feasible to require its staff to notify the University of Outside Work which they undertake.

This report also recommends that the government of Kosovo work with private institutions and the KCAA to develop appropriate forms of government to enhance the public benefit status of educational institutions.

Further, recommendations are made in this report as to the better regulation of Higher, Technical and Vocational Education in Kosovo in such a way as to ensure a first-class, relevant and high-quality private sector for the years to come.

The work on Accreditation and setting standards in Higher Education has confirmed the UK’s leading role in the area of Education Reform and young people’s skills for Europe.

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