In the framework of the Erasmus+ project “Strategic Support on Strengthening the Quality Assurance Structures at the Private Higher Education Institutions in Albania”, representatives of Epoka University participated in the trainings held at the University of Salzburg on 14-16 December 2016.
The intensive trainings focusing on research evaluation, plagiarism testing, research guided teaching and teaching evaluation, were conducted by Prof. Mag. Dr. Peter Eckl - Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology; Prof. Dr. Fatima Ferreira - Vice-rector for research; Mag. Dr. Paul Lengelfelder – Vice-rector for teaching; MSc. Richard Posch - Center for Flexibility Learning. All participating private Albanian universities presented their own model in respective institutions, and it was observed that based only on the strong points of the already existing mechanism would serve as a good starting point to develop models that would also fit to the Albanian educational system. Representatives from institutions from Kosovo presented a complete picture of the system in Kosovo and the positive experiences. In the process of offering a service and maintaining the quality, the relative supremacy of the two aspects – offering the service and creating the structure to assess the quality of the service – was discussed. Evaluating a service is very costly and requires the and every step in the evaluation process has to have a reasonable price and in the end serve the purpose. In the last day a questionnaire and guideline for research evaluation was developed and was held the Consortium meeting where the stage of the project was analyzed and several decisions were taken.
The supportive structures and offered incentives such as the financial support for conference participation, the existence of the internal research funds and the incentives that support the research offered by our institution were seen by the experts as very strong points. Offering a service as a higher education institution at its best is a very challenging task and this requires a continuous evaluation of the situation in Albania and of the demand of the national, regional and international market. As an institution, we will continue to exert our current quality standards and improve further by adopting all the developing terminologies and assessing mechanisms by having at the same time a bottom-up approach involving all the academic and administrative staff, the students and the stakeholders.
More information on the trainings can be found here