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Greece:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

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Overview Greece

Contents

Greece:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Greece:Historical Development

Greece:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Greece:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Greece:Political and Economic Situation

Greece:Organisation and Governance

Greece:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Greece:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Greece:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Greece:Organisation of Private Education

Greece:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Greece:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Greece:Funding in Education

Greece:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Greece:Higher Education Funding

Greece:Adult Education and Training Funding

Greece:Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 4 years

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

Greece:Primary Education

Greece:Organisation of Primary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Greece:Assessment in Primary Education

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Greece:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Greece:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Higher Education

Greece:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Greece:First Cycle Programmes

Greece:Bachelor

Greece:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Greece:Second Cycle Programmes

Greece:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Greece:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Greece:Adult Education and Training

Greece:Distribution of Responsibilities

Greece:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Greece:Main Providers

Greece:Main Types of Provision

Greece:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Greece:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Greece: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Greece:Management and Other Education Staff

Greece:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Greece:Management Staff for Higher Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Greece:Quality Assurance

Greece:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Educational Support and Guidance

Greece:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Greece:Mobility and Internationalisation

Greece:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Mobility in Higher Education

Greece:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Greece:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Greece:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:National Reforms in School Education

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

Greece:National Reforms in Higher Education

Greece:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Greece:European Perspective

Greece:Legislation

Greece:Institutions

Greece:Glossary

The ongoing assessment and accreditation of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that have been accepted throughout the European Area of ​​Higher Education are serving  the basic quality assurance principles (ESG), which were formed by adopting the spirit of the Declaration of the European University Association (EUA, Gratz, July 2003), according to which 'the purpose of a European dimension to quality assurance is to promote mutual trust and improve transparency while respecting the diversity of national contexts and scientific areas ".

Quality assurance in higher education is specified by virtue of  Law 3374/2005,  whereby a single, nationwide ongoing evaluation process is established aimed at stock-taking, analyzing and systematically assessing teaching and research work, study programmes and other services of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

The law foresees:

  • The appointment of bodies in charge for the evaluation,
  • The specification ofwidely accepted criteria and quality indicators,
  • The establishment of standardized processes of internal and external evaluation.

The evaluation operates autonomously at the level of academic units and in institutions through their academic units. Its aim is to ensure and continuously improve educational quality offered by higher education institutions in the context of their mission.  

At a first stage, evaluation encompasses internal evaluation processes of the education offered by academic units of Higher Education Institutions corresponding to their profile, objectives and mission. At a second stage, external evaluation is developed by independent experts taking into consideration the outcomes of each academic unit’s internal evaluation report. In the context of external evaluation, Law 4009/2011 provides for accreditation processes of study programmes and internal quality assurance systems of institutions; the outcomes of these processes are associated with institution’s financing or with the admission of new students in the study programme or the institution.  

Evaluation outcomes can be utilized in many different ways:

  • In autonomous decision making by academic units themselves,
  • In autonomous decision making at the level of the institution, 
  • In decision making by the State to provide support to the academic units and the institutions if that is substantiated through the quality assurance process,
  • In formulating the national strategy for higher education.

Evaluation outcomes and action towards quality assurance and development are published in the most suitable way to ensure transparency of the national higher education system.

The evaluation processes of Higher Education Institutions are coordinated and supported at national level by the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency in Higher Education (ADIP), while the Quality Assurance Unit (MODIP), operating in every Higher Education Institution, takes care of the coordination and support of the institution’s evaluation processes. At academic unit level and exclusively during the internal evaluation, an Internal Evaluation Group (OMEA) is set up; Special Evaluation Groups (EOA) are set up for special cases.

Responsible Bodies

Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency in Higher Education (ADIP)

Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency in Higher Education (ADIP)”, an independent administrative authority, was established by virtue of  Law  3374/2005  and its mission is to ensure high quality in higher education. As laid down by Laws 3374/2005 and 4009/2011, it supports the state and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in formulating and implementing the national strategy for higher education and certifies HEIs quality. In particular:

  • It periodically certifies quality of:
    -internal quality assurance systems in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs),
    -study programmes in higher education, including short-cycle programmes, lifelong learning, distance learning, e.t.c.
  • It recommends an expert opinion to the Minister of Education and HEIs administration bodies, on approaches and instruments to assure top quality in higher education.

To achieve its mission, the Authority:

  • Formulates, organizes, specifies, standardizes and publicizes a priori the relevant processes, criteria and indicators, in the context of joint principles and guidelines of the European Area of Higher Education.
  • Develops an integrated information management system and database of evaluation, in cooperation with the Quality Assurance Units (MODIP) in Higher Education Institutions,
  • Supports HEIs in planning and implementing quality assurance and accreditation processes
  • Conducts studies and research related to its mission or assigns the elaboration thereof to other bodies.
  • Draws up, keeps and renews the External Experts Registry.
  • Communicates evaluation outcomes and informs the state and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on international trends related to similar issues.

Every year, the Authority drafts a higher education quality report for the previous year which is submitted to the President of the Hellenic Parliament and the Minister of Education.

The Authority proceeds to internal evaluation of its operation and work, pursuant to the provisions of its Organisational Charter; external evaluation is assigned by the Authority to prestigious and internationally acclaimed evaluators or organisations or other bodies that develop similar activity worldwide.

The Authority is administratively independent. It is supervised by the Minister of Education and is Member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).

Quality Assurance Unit (MODIP)

Pursuant to Law 4009/2011, the Quality Assurance Unit (MODIP) is the responsible body in every Higher Education Institution (HEI) for the coordination and support of quality assurance processes. In particular, MODIP is responsible for:

  • The development, organization, operation and continuous improvement of the institution’s internal quality assurance system,
  • The coordination and support of evaluation processes of academic units and other services in the institution and
  • The support of external evaluation and accreditation of study programmes and of the institution’s internal quality assurance system, in the context of principles, guidelines and directions of the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency in Higher Education (ADIP).

For all aforementioned objectives, the Quality Assurance Unit (MODIP) cooperates with the Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (ADIP); it develops an evaluation information system and is responsible for systematic monitoring and uploading on the institution’s webpage of relative evaluative processes and outcomes.

MODIP is set up by a decision of the institution’s Board and consists of the Rector, as President, or one of its deputies, five HEI professors, one representative from each personnel category with a voting right when issues of the respective personnel category are discussed; other members include one representative of undergraduate students and one representative of postgraduate students and doctoral students, if any, as specified in the Organisational Charter.

Internal Evaluation Group (OMEA)

The Internal Evaluation Group (OMEA) is appointed by the academic unit which is subject to evaluation, by its General Assembly decision. Members of the teaching staff, preferably with experience in quality assurance processes, and one students’ representative participate in this group.

OΜΕΑ: is responsible for carrying out the internal evaluation process in the academic unit, in cooperation with the related MODIP; It collects all data required for evaluation and on the basis of these data draws up the Internal Evaluation Report (self-evaluation) regarding the academic unit in question and forwards it to ADIP (Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education) through MODIP (Quality Assurance Unit);  finally, it cooperates with ADIP to organize and put in place external evaluation.

Approaches and Methods for Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance criteria and indicators

Pursuant to Law 3374/2005, the outcomes of quality assurance processes (both internal and external evaluation) are assessed in terms of four groups of criteria: (a) quality of teaching, (b) quality of research, (c) quality of study programmes and (d) quality of other services. Every group of criteria includes separate indicators, being further analyzed in the law (article 3, para. 3).  The criteria and indicators are standardized, completed and specified by the Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (ADIP) with the issue of clarifications, guidelines and standards. 

With regard to certification of study programmes and internal quality assurance systems, Law 4009/2011 determines specific respective groups of criteria (article 72).

External Evaluation Process

The external evaluation process is activated every four years following the submission of the academic unit’s Internal Evaluation Report to the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency in Higher Education (ADIP). It consists of a critical-analytical review of internal evaluation outcomes by an independent experts committee, the so-called 'External Evaluation Committee' (EEA), being established on ADIP’s responsibility. 

The External Evaluation Committee is established within one month upon submission of the academic unit’s internal evaluation report and consists of five members drawn from the external experts registry kept by ADIP. 

The independent External Evaluation Committee is studying in depth the internal evaluation report data following on- site visit at the academic unit under evaluation and after discussions and contacts with members of the teaching-research personnel, education and other scientific personnel, administrative staff and students. 

The external evaluation is completed with the drafting of an External Evaluation Report. This report includes analyses, findings and recommendations by independent experts on the measures that need to be taken in order to improve the quality of teaching, research or other work or in order to cope with any weaknesses and deviations in relation to each academic unit’s profile, objectives and mission.

The report’s draft is notified to the academic unit under evaluation so that it submits its remarks within a deadline of fifteen days. The final External Evaluation Report is forwarded to the institution’s MODIP and through it to the relevant academic unit and to ADIP which takes care of its publication in the Greek and English language. 

Accreditation in Higher Education

By virtue of Law 4009/2011, as regards accreditation, ADIP sets up an accreditation committee to evaluate a study programme or the internal quality assurance system of an institution. The accreditation committee consists of independent experts drawn from the registry of independent experts being kept and updated by the Agency.  The accreditation committee evaluates the quality of study programmes or of the internal quality assurance system, on the basis of prefixed criteria; it examines all data submitted by the Agency and, when required, visits the respective unit or Institution. The accreditation committee draws up an accreditation report which is submitted to the Agency’s Board for approval. The Agency’s Board accreditation decision may be positive, positive on conditions or negative. Study programmes should be accredited in order to be implemented. Should accredited be negative, the Minister of Education may limit the institution’s funding and the admission of new students in the study programme or the institution, depending on the accreditation subject (study programme or internal quality assurance system of the institution); these students, however, are offered the possibility to further pursue their studies in another accredited study programme or institution. The validity duration of the accreditation decision is fixed per programme or per internal quality assurance system by the Agency and shall not exceed eight years. The accreditation reports by accreditation committees and the accreditation decisions of the Authority’s Board are notified to the institution and to the Minister of Education and are uploaded on the Agency’s webpage.

Internal Evaluation

Pursuant to the provisions of Law 3374/2005, internal evaluation is performed every four years by the academic units, on the decision of the relevant General Assembly, on the responsibility of the corresponding Internal Evaluation Group (OMEA); for this evaluation, the academic unit cooperates with all members of the academic community, teaching staff, administrative and technical personnel as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students.  Evaluation lasts two consecutive teaching semesters and should correspond to the evaluation criteria and indicators stipulated by Law 3374/2005 (article 1, par. 3), as these are specified on the basis of the guidelines and the standards issued by ADIP (Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education).  The objective of the process is to:

  • Highlight the academic unit’s achievements in a documented way,
  • Identify the points requiring improvement,
  • Determine and implement improvement actions within the unit or the institution.

The internal evaluation process is completed with the drafting of the Internal Evaluation Report, which is approved by the academic unit and is subsequently forwarded to the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency in Higher Education (ADIP), through MODIP (Quality Assurance Unit).

Nevertheless, internal evaluation constitutes an ongoing process being depicted every year on annual internal reports with aggregated data on students, scientific personnel, student welfare and any other issue pertaining to academic units’ operation. The annual internal reports of all academic units in the respective HEI (Higher Education Institution) are submitted every year to each institution’s Quality Assurance Unit (MODIP); the latter, on the basis of these reports submits biannually the corresponding internal report to the superior collective body of each institution for feedback and improvement of the education provided.

The Internal Evaluation Group (OMEA), appointed by the academic unit, is in charge of internal evaluation coordination and of drafting the Internal Evaluation Report. ΟΜΕΑ does not constitute a permanent body of the academic unit. Its tenure is fixed and valid for as long as internal and external evaluation last.

In accordance with Law 4009/2011, the institution’s internal quality assurance system is determined by the Board’s decision, issued following a proposal by the Rector; this decision is published in the Government Gazette and is uploaded on the institution’s website.  All above aspects are revisited at least every six years.