The national accreditation system for higher educational institutions ...

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The national accreditation system for higher educational institutions ...

    The national accreditation system for higher educational institutions in Russia

    Yu. P. Pokholkov, A.I. Chuchalin & S.B. Mogilnitsky

    The Russian Association for Engineering Education

    Tomsk Polytechnic University

    Tomsk, Russia

    ABSTRACT: The paper presents the national accreditation system for higher educational institutions in the Russian Federation. The procedure of the integrated assessment of university activities, which is provided by the Ministry of Education, is described. The paper looks at licensing and attestation requirements and the

    procedure in achieving state accreditation. The requirements for gaining public professional accreditation are examined, as well as the tasks of the Russian Association for Engineering Education in this field. Experience of Tomsk Polytechnic University in the field of the development of the internal attestation system and quality assurance for the educational process, its involvement in international cooperation is also discussed.


    The problem of the quality of education has become more topical during the transition between the two centuries. It is obvious that the further development of society is impossible without the improvement of education and change of its routes

    and structure. Russia is not the exception to this rule.

    The processes of the decentralization of management, democratization, the intensive formation of institutional settings, the transition of the country to a market economy and the necessity of its integration into the international educational community, including the world educational system, crucially change the requirements for the development and functioning of the higher school. The realization of these processes is possible only under conditions of the broadening independence and development of the individuality of higher educational institutions. This fosters principal changes in the management system of higher education, which would be adequate to processes occurring in the society.

Relative to this, the evaluation procedure of university activities must undergo a

    cardinal reconstruction. This will provide reliable information about the results and process of university operationalisation, analysis and formulation of recommendations on reforming the national policy of education and making appropriate decisions on management [1]. With due regard for a temporary dominant position of the administrative forms of governing and limited resources assigned by

    the government for higher education, this procedure currently must concentrate




    Integrated assessment of institutional activities

    Licensing Attestation Identification of information resources, facilities and financial Identification of the level, content, support of educational institutions and quality of education to meet the to meet minimum requirements State Educational Standard

    State Accreditation

    Gives the right to confer Sate

    diplomas (degrees). Establishes the

    status of higher educational institution


    Independent Accreditation

    Recognition of the quality of education

    which meet the criteria of public, scientific,

    and industrial organizations


    elements of national evaluation and public examination of educational institutions’ activities.

    The system, which includes a national integrated assessment of institutional activities [2], satisfies these requirements most fully, as well as for public control for the quality of education or socio-vocational accreditation (Fig.1). The components of this system will now be discussed.


    The purpose of the integrated assessment of the higher educational institution is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of its activities and includes three procedures of licensing, attestation, and national accreditation. Carrying out three procedures at a time increases their effectiveness and minimizes institutional expenses.

    The procedure of the integrated assessment is as follows. The higher educational institution submits the due form application to the Ministry of Education of Russia. By the order of the Ministry of Education they form a group of experts, which


    includes subgroups for licensing and attestation. The group of experts visits the educational institution during the time-period stipulated by the order. The work of expert group results in the license and attestation conclusions, which stipulate the accreditation of the given educational institution (the central database attracted) at a session of the Accreditation College of the Ministry of Education.


    According to the legislation of the Russian Federation, the university performs its educational activities under license. The aim of licensing is to establish the right to perform educational activities and privileges indicated by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

    The right to perform educational activities and credits set by the Russian legislation come into action from the moment of granting a license to the educational institution. The national agency of education or the agency of local self-government with the respective discretion of the subject of the Russian Federation grants the educational license on the basis of the conclusion of expert group.

    The group of experts is created, as stated above, by the application of the educational institution and carries out its work during the set period of time. The group of experts includes representatives of national agency of educational management, a respective body of local self-government and/or local (city) body of educational management, current educational institutions and general public.

    The subject and content of the examination is to establish the equivalency of the educational process at the educational institution and national and local requirements for construction, sanitation and hygiene, health regulations for students and

     educational census, employees, and also the equipment for the educational process,

    and staffing. The content, organization and technique of the educational process are not the subject of the expert examination [3]. Expert requirements can not exceed

    average statistical indices for that territory where the educational institution is

    registered (Fig.2).


    ; Professional educational programs

    ; Educational process conditions

    ; Buildings and rooms

    Fig. 2


    The work of the expert group results in the license conclusion (Fig.3), which evaluates the educational process. In a positive conclusion, the educational institution


    License conclusion

    Evaluation of the educational process conditions

    Educational license


    is granted the educational license for the five-year period.


    Attestation of educational institutions is carried out by their application to the national attestation services or by agencies of the government, agencies of local self-government with attracting an advanced educational institution and the public. Attestation is conducted every fifth year if the legislation does not envisage anything else. The educational institution covers attestation expenditures.

    The aim and the content of attestation is the establishment of the equivalency between the content, level, and quality of education and the requirements of national educational standards. Attestation indices are the list of educational programs and their evaluation, prescriptive regulations for educational programs, information and methodical aids, and the quality of education (Fig.4).

    Attestation of the educational institution is stipulated by the positive results of the final attestation of not less than a half of its students who have graduated during the three consequent years.



    ; A list of educational programs and their evaluation

    ; Standards for the programs implemented

    ; Information support and teaching aids

    ; Quality of education

    Fig. 4

    First attestation of the newly established educational institution may be conducted

    according to its application after the first output of students, but not earlier than in

    three years after granting a license and in positive results of the final attestation of not

    less than a half of its graduates [3].

    The self-study process (Fig.5) precedes the work of attestation board. The results are


    Organization, resource base, faculty and students, 1. General information, rating educational and research activities, place of the university

    within the Russian system of higher education

    2. Elimination of weaknesses

     Exposed weaknesses, action taken, the results, the University exposed by previous attestation

    Development Program

    3. Primary educational programs, the Organization of education, specialist training, curricula, quality of education educational standards of the University, information supply,

    educational technologies

    Academic staff, subsidiary staff, managerial staff, service 4. Human resources staff

     5. Research and creative activity Main scientific lines of inquiry, fundamental research,

    student research

     International programs, joint institutions, foreign students, 6. International cooperation

    education and internships abroad

     7. Social and living conditions Housing, public catering, health care, culture and sport

     Intellectual labor marketing, employment and career 5 8. Demands for graduates

    opportunities for graduates


    submitted to the National Inspection a month prior to the beginning of the work.

    The attestation board is included in the Evaluation Committee. The result of its work is the attestation conclusion, which contains the appraisal of professional educational programs and information data on the institution examined on the basis of which the


    Attestation Conclusion

    Evaluation of educational Information data on the

    programs educational institution

    Conclusions and recommendations


    respective implications and recommendations are made (Fig.6).


    State accreditation of a higher educational institution is carried out on the basis of attestation by the order established by the Government of the Russian Federation.

    The certificate of state accreditation confirms the status of the educational institution, a list of engineering programs, which underwent state accreditation. It also defines the educational institution has the right to confer its diplomas on and also confirms stages of professional education and qualifications attained (Fig.7) [3].

    Governmental boards of managing education are competent in state accreditation of educational institutions and assistance in public accreditation [3].

    The following is in conformity with the Federal Law of the Russian Federation about the higher and post-university vocational education N 125-ФЗ, 22.08.96 and the

    interim regulations on the state accreditation of secondary and higher education [4].



    Attestation conclusion Centralized database Licensing conclusion


    stipulated by:

    Model of educational A kind of A list of primary

    institution educational engineering

    institution disciplines


    In the Russian Federation the state accreditation of educational institutions, which implement their educational programs independently of the jurisdiction and organizational-legal forms, is carried out by the federal agency of administering higher professional education: the Ministry of Education. The decision on accreditation of the educational institution is made by the public national agency: the Accreditation College of the Russian Ministry of Education.

    The state accreditation of educational institutions is carried out by the federal agency of administering higher professional education on the ground of the application of the educational institution and attestation conclusion [3].

    Each professional educational program is regarded in terms of meeting the requirements in conformity with the set list of accreditation indices. The appraisal given in the attestation conclusion is supported or denied, and the implication on the possibility/impossibility of the educational program to be submitted to state accreditation. This list is as follows:

    ; Analysis of organizational-legal support of educational activities. ; Evaluation of all educational programs (primary and additional) submitted to the

    state accreditation.

    ; Evaluation of conditions for educational activities on each educational program. ; Definition of the state accreditation status of the educational institution.


    The certificate of state accreditation is issued for the five-year period and confirms the state accreditation status, the level of educational programs and the equivalency between the content and quality of education and requirements of state educational standards.

    The educational institution has the right to issue educational diplomas from the moment of its state accreditation. In a reorganization (change of the organizational-legal form, status) of the educational institution, its charter, license, and certificate of state accreditation become invalid.

    In order to submit an application for attestation the educational institution must have the following:

; The status of juridical person.

    ; The license for realization of professional educational programs (disciplines). ; At least one student output.

    After the attestation conclusion, the educational institution may submit an application for the state accreditation.

    The annual presentation of data to the Central Database of state accreditation is a prerequisite for preparation to the state accreditation. The state accreditation indices consists of two groups, namely:

    ; Indices, which define the accreditation status of the higher educational institution. ; Indices used for the definition of the type of higher educational institution

    (institute, academy, university) (Fig.8).


Educational institution’s status Educational institution’s kind indices

    indices ; Educational engineering programs

    ; Content of education ; Scope for continuing vocational

    ; Quality of education education

    ; Information support and teaching ; Research

    aids ; Scientific and teaching activities

    ; Computerization

    ; Material and technical basis

    ; Student support





    As a result of reforms conducted in Russia, including education, the Coordination

    Board for Accreditation of educational programs and certification of specialists was






; The Ministry of Education PRESIDENT

    of the Russian Federation

    ; The Russian Union of

    Businessmen and Industrialists

    COORDINATION BOARD OF ; The Russian Association for

    DIRECTORS Engineering Education

    ; The Union of Scientific and

    Engineering Societies



    ;Creative Arts and Humanities





    Fig.9. established in 1992 [5].

    The system of professional public accreditation aims to determine the priorities of

    higher education in Russia. They provide the level of education, which is much

    higher than the standard requirements. Professional public accreditation means the

    recognition of significant achievements made by institutions in preparation of special

    accreditation structures for different professional communities.

    The Russian Ministry of Education, Russian Union of Manufacturers and

    Businessmen, the Russian Association of Engineering Education, the Union of

    Research and Engineering Communities, the Association of Russian Higher


    Educational Institutions have become the co-founders of the Coordination Board. Its organization is given in Fig.9.

    The Coordination Board includes the Centre for Specialist Certification and Independent Accreditation Centers for taught discipline groups. The goal of the Coordination Board is to unify and coordinate efforts of public corporations in the field of education, national system of accreditation and certification in order to provide the high quality of education and professional mobility (Fig.10). OBJECTIVES OF INDEPENDENT ACCREDITATION OF EDUCATIONAL


    PRINCIPAL GOAL: cooperation and coordination of the efforts of public associations for the development of education in the interests of the individual and society; development of a national public accreditation system for educational institutions and certification of specialists in order to provide high educational quality and assist in professional mobility.


    ; Participation in the formation of state policy in the educational domain and the maintenance of high quality of education and professional background necessary to meet national and international quality standards

    ; Implement vocational education legislation

    ; Formation of state and private support for accredited educational programs and disciplines (in conformity with the IAC ratings) on the part of the government, the community, and consumers and also assistance in their intensive integration in the world educational arena

    ; Identifying professional communities, prospective employers, governmental institutions and state examination boards and special educational programs which meet the minimum accreditation criteria

    ; Widening the influence of employers on quality of higher education

    ; Assistance in the international recognition of Russian diplomas in accredited disciplines

    ; Comparative analysis of the development trends in specific areas of education and Fig.10. specialist training in Russia and abroad

    The Independent Accreditation Centre (IAC) was founded in 1992. It was the first independent accreditation centre in Russia co-founded by the Ministry of Education, Support Fund for small research and research services enterprises, and the International Academy of Sciences [6]. The IAC includes Accreditation boards on discipline groups, expert and advisor groups, which are formed by accreditation councils for engineering programs, and expert database (Fig.11).


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