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Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

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Overview Bulgaria

Contents

Bulgaria:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Bulgaria:Historical Development

Bulgaria:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Bulgaria:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Bulgaria:Political and Economic Situation

Bulgaria:Organisation and Governance

Bulgaria:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Bulgaria:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Bulgaria:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Bulgaria:Organisation of Private Education

Bulgaria:National Qualifications Framework

Bulgaria:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Bulgaria:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Bulgaria:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Bulgaria:Funding in Education

Bulgaria:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Bulgaria:Higher Education Funding

Bulgaria:Adult Education and Training Funding

Bulgaria:Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Bulgaria:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Bulgaria:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Vocational Lower Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Bulgaria:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Bulgaria:Higher Education

Bulgaria:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Bulgaria:First Cycle Programmes

Bulgaria:Bachelor

Bulgaria:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Bulgaria:Second Cycle Programmes

Bulgaria:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Bulgaria:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Bulgaria:Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Institutions Providing Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Main Programmes and Provision in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Teachers and Education Staff

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Management and Other Education Staff

Bulgaria:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Bulgaria:Management Staff for Higher Education

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Educational Support and Guidance

Bulgaria:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Bulgaria:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Bulgaria:Mobility and Internationalisation

Bulgaria:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Mobility in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Bulgaria:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Bulgaria:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Bulgaria:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Bulgaria:National Reforms in School Education

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Bulgaria:National Reforms in Higher Education

Bulgaria:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Bulgaria:European Perspective

Bulgaria:Legislation

Bulgaria:Institutions

Bulgaria:Bibliography

Bulgaria:Glossary

 


Responsible Bodies

Internal evaluation and enhancement of quality.

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have their own systems of quality assurance, consisting of evaluation of teaching staff and plans for human resources development. The internal quality assurance systems of universities are the targets of the evaluation activities of National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency (NEAA).


External evaluation.

The National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency (NEAA) was established in 1996. At present, it is the only governmental institution dealing with the independent evaluation of quality of Higher Education and accreditation of HEIs. NEAA should guarantee the standards and quality, as well as the public trust and credential fidelity in HEIs. Recently the efforts of the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency (NEAA) are focused on the complete implementation and alignment of the national system for quality assurance with the respective European standards and guidelines.  Since 2008 NEAA is a full member of ENQA (European Network for Quality Assurance) in Higher Education  and has entered the list of EQAR (European Quality assurance Register for Higher education).

Accreditation is the recognition by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency of the right of higher schools to offer higher education by educational and qualification degrees in certain spheres, professional areas and specialties related to regulated professions through the assessment of the quality of their activities. The objective of assessment and accreditation is to stimulate higher schools to develop their potential and to upgrade and maintain the quality of the education they offer. Accreditation results shall be taken into consideration in formulating the state policy in respect to the higher school. The NEAA shall evaluate all projects for opening and transformation of a higher school, a faculty, an affiliate and a college, as well as for opening professional areas and specialties related to regulated professions. The right of higher schools and organizations to conduct studies for a doctoral (Phd) educational and academic degree by academic specialties shall also be subject to accreditation.


The accreditation shall be institutional and programme accreditation. Programme accreditation may be requested by the higher school upon receipt of institutional accreditation. Evaluation of projects for opening of faculties, affiliates, professional areas and specialties related to regulated professional may be requested solely by a higher school that has successfully undergone institutional accreditation.


Approaches and Methods for Quality Assurance

The adopted criteria for institutional evaluation and accreditation are developed further in accordance with the standards set in the Guidelines for QA in the EHEA. Assessment under accreditation procedures is carried out on a four-grade evaluation scale comprising the following grades: Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory (Failed).

Accreditation has a six-year validity when the grade received is “Very Good” or “Good”, and a validity of three years in case of a “Satisfactory” grade. Accreditation shall be denied in the event of an “Unsatisfactory” grade. Higher schools are disallowed to offer training in specialties from unaccredited professional areas or unaccredited specialties related to regulated professions and shall not confer diplomas. Unaccredited higher schools cannot receive state subsidies and shall not be financed by the state in any way whatsoever.

Most higher education institutions develop and publish its rules and procedures, relating to examination and evaluation of achieved learning outcomes and granted credits. The main principles of the system for evaluation of academic achievements of students, introduced in every higher educational institution are:

  • Systematic approach of evaluation during the whole educational process;
  • Objectivity in the evaluation of diverse academic achievements of each individual student both at theoretical and practical level;
  • Transparency of the evaluation mechanism through criteria announced in advance, and indicating the importance of participation of each individual student in the study activity for the final grade on each separate subject;
  • Correspondence of the result from the evaluation with the level of acquired competence according to current educational objectives for each subject;
  • Educational achievements, comparable to those of other higher education institutions.

Different approaches are used for the inclusion of students in all stages of the evaluation process – in the preparation of the self-assessment report of the higher education institution, during the visit of the NEAA group, as well as participating as members of the expert group and of the Accreditation council. Students from all higher education institutions are given the opportunity to participate in the preparation of the self-assessment report and to talk to the members of the expert group. The NEAA has developed its own pattern which achieves encouraging results. It gives the students the opportunity to become part of the expert groups but not their full members. A student is nominated through a special procedure and presents an independent report which the expert group gets before issuing its statement. This approach takes into consideration the fact that the student is competent in some respects like training (for example the training plans and programmes, quality of teaching, etc), service (administrative service, the condition of the library, information centers), social and cultural environment, etc.

Experts for external evaluation. The Accreditation Council (AC) within its authority imposed by the HEA sets up a team of experts for external evaluation selected on documents grounds, consisting of: Experts from Bulgaria; Experts-representatives of the students or PhD postgraduates; International experts. There is a file of documents including a professional CV for each expert, which facilitates the selection of experts for a certain procedure. The order and method for nominating and approving the experts and setting up the team, as well, are regulated by the Statute of NEAA and the following documents: Requirements for selection of experts for procedures in institutional accreditation and evaluation of a project; Rules for students’ involvement in evaluation and accreditation procedure; Rules for international experts’ involvement in evaluation and accreditation procedures; Information card for setting up an expert team.

Leglastive References

Higher Education Act

Law for the Public Education