Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education

Internal quality assurance system for agriculture and biosystem engineering related HEI of Algeria / QUALS

Project management

The management of QUALS is designed in a way capable of ensuring coherent and effective academic and technological, administrative and financial coordination, while providing participants with the necessary support and user‐friendly tools needed to ensure project objectives and goals are attended. In order to manage efficiently and effectively a complex capacity building project over a time period of 36 months, a sound, professional, but also flexible management structure is needed. All partners of the Consortium are fully committed and agree to work together with the utmost cooperation for the timely fulfilment of their responsibilities. In order to achieve its goals in an efficient and effective manner, QUALS is organised in 6 Work Packages (WPs). WPs are further divided into Tasks. A dedicated Work Package Leader/Manager per WP and a Task Leader per Task are nominated, according to the project plan. Each WP/ Task is led by the partner most competent in the domain area concerned. WP leaders and Task leaders are responsible for coordinating efforts in the WP and Task level accordingly. The Project leader istaking the overal lead of the project activities, facilitates and and supervises the achievement of project results. The Chart presented below shows an overview of the project. It details the connections of Work Packages and demonstrates their tasks leaders in a comprehensive and complete way.

Motivation and specific needs or problems in each Partner Country organisation

The higher education in Algeria follows major international trends. The Algeria is experiencing: – Progressive growth of student numbers; – Diversification of teaching expected through the training offerings whose design is the initiative of institutions in relation to the user sectors; – Opening towards other sources of financing, including policy of encouraging HEI to valorize their products and to diversify their financial sources; – Existence of a high unemployment rate for graduates and the lack of studies on needs and requirements of the labor market and the professional future of graduates; – Increased requirement of quality and relevance in higher education by the community, public authorities and the economic environment. Apart from the massification and the lack of supervision and financial means, the main obstacles in improving the quality of higher education lie in the mismatch between education programs and the socio-economic needs. Quality assurance has become key issue for higher education in the last two year in Algeria. Managers of higher education systems are concerned about quality and how to put in place appropriate quality assurance mechanisms. The higher education ministry in Algeria is concerned by the quality issues and about the outputs of higher education institutions and the suitability of graduates to meet the needs of employers. Quality and accountability thus have become key elements in the efforts of the responsibilities of the higher education to become and remain internationally competitive in a world where interdependence in trade is rapidly growing. The specific needs of all Algerian partners in the quality implementation are: maintenance and improvement of levels of teaching, learning, research and scholarship; improvement in the quality and adaptability of graduates; how to define and measure quality; management approaches likely to improve outcomes from HEI; use of benchmarking and performance indicators; and, how to convince stakeholders that institutions and systems are doing a competent job in ensuring quality outputs. This can be done by maintaining academic standards according to some national or international norms, the improvement of levels of teaching and learning, and how to provide sufficient financial and other resources to achieve quality higher education and also by the establishment of appropriate internal management processes Fitting of Proposal fiting within the development strategies of the Partner Country. The Algerian Higher Education Ministry has engaged a new auto-evaluation process since 2016 consisting on an evaluation system to report on internal efficiency and external education effectiveness, in relation to universities missions and objectives, and in relation to quality of student preparation for employment. The evaluation system needs to be consolidated and strengthened through the establishment of the national evaluation committee. In addition, it must be based on a reliable information system extended to professional circles, and the professional future of graduates, former students and other instruments to be identified, which have become indispensable for measuring the learning effectiveness.

A Commission for Implementation of a Quality Assurance System in Higher Education Institutions (CIAQES) attached to the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has been installed in 2016. It is responsible for promoting any action to improve higher education in Algeria and support institutions in the implementation of their quality approach. The training of resource persons in the field of quality is a flagship activity of its missions.

Innovative character

Project activities will be based on implementation Priorities of the strategy „Europe 2020” is smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of EU. The goal (with strategy „Europe 2020″ harmonized support to rural development for the period 2014-2020) will be implemented through one of the six priorities of the EU’s CAP – promoting the quality of knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas. In this project innovation is very important to strengthen partnership between higher educational institutions of EU and North Mediterranean countries in the fields of agriculture, life science and biosystem engineering. Using the experience and innovations of the EU countries the administrators and lecturers will acquire competence for initiating changes in HEI management ensuring higher quality of university education. Innovating elements of the project are: – in cooperation with European partners the project will allow to create new modern quality assurance system of Algerian HEI in the fields of agriculture, life science and bio-system engineering adapted for higher education requirements of Algeria; – project will allow to identify the features and tendencies of university management and quality assurance in HEIs of Algeria, the management abilities of quality assurance, ideas and support for establishing and developing internal quality assurance systems, preparing and implementing the administrative measures for ensuring the sustainable quality management system; – the modern European experience for establishing of self-assessment and quality management system by the implementation of internal structural changes, tuning of the study programmes management, preparation of the strategic development plans, regulations and according documentation will be transferred to Algerian HEIs; – project will install the tools for information technologies, the equipment of quality assurance units at Algerian HEIs, other material resources; – in cooperation with Education Ministry of Algeria the project activities will ensure the dissemeniation of project results to other HEIs of Algeria.

Aims and objectives

The concrete aim of the project is – to implement internal quality assurance for studies and research of HEI of Algeria in the field of agriculture and biosystem engineering. The objectives are:

  1. To develop internal quality assurance system (IQAS) within recipient HEI based on European and international standards;
  2. To build adequate capacity of recipient HEI to implementing IQAS;
  3. To prepare recipient HEI for external evaluation by the Algerian Ministry of Education;
  4. To contribute to the national policy of quality assurance in higher education.

 

Objective 1. Project is offering new institutional capacity in internal quality assurance system within recipient HEI. This capacity was not existing. It will be developed by local Algerian experts previously trained in European partner institutions, thus the ownership of results will be ensured. The European experience and the guidance by European experts will guarantee the modern system results implemented.

Objective 2. Activities will be based on transfer of European experience for local staff during training sessions in European universities and following update of skills in real case situations in implementing and testing the quality assurance system at home institutions.

Objective 3. The Algerian partner institutions will get the guidance and piloting in preparing selfevaluation reports and external pilot evaluation by the EUA2 , institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) , which is listed on the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education and is a full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

Objective 4. The exploitation of project results will include transfering of project recommendations to national policy makers in higher education contributing to the national policy and methodology of quality assurance in HEI in Algeria.

Project activities and Methodology

Project activities are structured in 5 Work Packages. Their cover activities, with methodologies and main outcomes as follows:

WP1.Preparation. This WP will cover the tasks and activities which have to identify the state of art of the Algerian HEI IQAS and specifically identify the situation in participating Algerian HEI. The analysis will be done for all three Algerian HEI using joint template elaborated by project experts. The plan for the preparation of IQAS will be drafted and adequate equipment resources related to project will be delivered. Main outcome-Problematic in target country regarding quality assurance identified

WP2.Development. This WP deals with the complex activities related to capacity building of local experts which will be engaged in IQAS preparation process. The experts will then be developing IQAS being guided by Programme countries experts. It includes training of right staff members for implementing IQAS at each institution.Main outcome-IQAS implemented in recipient HEI.

WP3. Quality plan. Pilot evaluation of ENSA study and research quality assurance system and preparation for external evaluation of Ministry Education of Algeria. That includes the institutional selfassessment and external services of pilot external evaluation of study and research of selected pilot HEI by European University Association.Main outcome-recipient HEI prepared for evaluation by the Ministry of Education.

WP4. Dissemination&Exploitation. The overall objective of this WP is to promote, disseminate and exploit project and its results widely and effectively to relevant stakeholder groups. To effectively disseminate results, an appropriate process at the beginning of the project will be designed. This will cover why, what, how, when, to whom and where disseminating results will take place, both during and after the project period. Exploitation is transferring successful results to appropriate decision-makers at local and national systems, and convincing individual end-users to adopt and/or apply the results. Results should be sustained after the project has finished.Main outcome-Project outcomes available to policy makers

WP5.Management.The objectives of this work package are to ensure that the project objectives are reached and milestones are achieved within the given project life time, to coordinate beneficiaries activities and monitor the work plan with regard to time, results, risks and costs., to ensure the quality control and manage a communication flow between beneficiaries and with the European Commission by setting up communication infrastructure and defining a clear and efficient communication flow between its bodies and relations between them. Main outcome-Project results, outcomes and impact achieved