External partial review of the National Accreditation Agency of the Russian Federation (NAA) by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)
A review panel of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) carried out a partial review of the National Accreditation Agency of the Russian Federation (NAA) for awarding the Full Member status.
On 6 March 2015 based on the external review results, NAA was awarded the status “ENQA full member under review”. The agency was given two years to undergo a new review process that took place on January 23-24, 2017.
The review panel included a quality assurance professional, an academic and a student representative: Tue Vinther-Jørgensen (Chief Consultant, Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Denmark), Mati Heidmets (Professor, head of Educational Innovation Center, Tallinn University, Estonia), Beate Treml (Master’s student at University of Graz, International Officer at Austrian Students’ Union (ÖH), Austria). Agne Tamosiunayte (ENQA Reviews Manager) supported the Commission's work and ensured the compliance of evaluation procedure to ENQA requirements, not taking a direct part in the review.
The Review procedure consists of the following steps:
Formulation of the Terms of Reference and the Minutes of partial review;
Nomination and appointment of the review panel;
Self-assessment by NAA including the preparation of a self-assessment report;
A site visit by the review panel to NAA;
Preparation and completion of the final evaluation report by the review panel;
Scrutiny of the final evaluation report by the ENQA Review Committee;
Analysis of the scrutiny by the ENQA Board and their decision regarding ENQA membership;
Follow-up of the panel’s and/or ENQA Board’s recommendations.
ENQA visit began with the meeting of NAA’s executive management where NAA’s Director Lemka S. Izmaylova gave a short insight into the NAA’s history and introduced NAA’s heads of departments as well as their activities to the ENQA experts. The interview started with the issues devoted to the inclusion of international specialists into the Expert Register, students’ role in the declared state accreditation procedures and to the transparency and public availability of the results of external reviews of study programs. These positions were found as substantially or partially compliant during the previous visit in 2014. The panel also was interested in interaction with expert and educational organizations during external reviews as well as distribution of powers between the authorities responsible for making the accreditation decision.
The program of the site visit was continued by interviews with the representatives of the Accreditation Board, three Higher Education Institutions (which study programs underwent NAA reviews in 2016), with NAA reviewers / experts (including student experts).
The panel also met with the representatives of the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science: Sergey A. Bannikov (Head of State Services Department), Olga N. Yakimchuk (Deputy Head of State Services Department) and Alexander V. Troitsky (Head of State Accreditation Department).
At the end of the site visit, the review panel held a wrap up session outlining its preliminary findings. The panel discussed the positive changes made in the Russian education system for the last two years. They mentioned a large amount of work done to bring the Russian system of state accreditation in compliance with the selected requirements of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). The inclusion of the international experts into NAA’s pool of experts and involvement of students as full members of expert panels were noted as positive results.
The NAA’s review report will be sent to ENQA in March 2017. The ENQA Board will make its decision regarding NAA’s membership in April, 2017.
On the basis of the review panel’s findings, the review secretary will draft the report in consultation with the review panel. The report will take into account the purpose and scope of the evaluation as defined under article 2 of the Terms of Reference of the review. A draft will be first submitted to the ENQA review coordinator who will check the report for consistency, clarity and language and it will be then submitted to NAA for comment on factual accuracy. If NAA chooses to provide a statement in reference to the draft report it will be submitted to the chair of the review panel within two weeks after the receipt of the draft report. Thereafter the review panel will take into account the statement by NAA, finalize the document and submit it to NAA and ENQA.
NAA will consider the expert panel’s report and will publish it on its website once the ENQA Board has made its decision. The report will also be published on the ENQA website, regardless of the review outcome and decision by the ENQA Board. This review report will be annexed to the latest full review report.