Executive Board


Vesna Dodiković-Jurković, ASHE (Croatia)

Vesna Dodiković-Jurković is the Deputy Director of the Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education, a quality assurance expert and an ISO 9001 lead auditor. Previously, she worked at the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports – Directorate for Science. Vesna holds a PhD in biology from the University of Zagreb. She is the author of a number of papers and conference presentations in the field of quality assurance, and a contributor to the development of the ASHE audit model. She has been a panel member in a number of audits in Croatia and abroad.

She has long supported the dissemination of good practice and the promotion of a quality culture among HEIs at the national level, and has also initiated the establishment of the National Network of Quality Assurance Units at HEIs (CroQAnet) – a platform for the dissemination of good practice and quality culture among HEIs. At ASHE she has headed the introduction and continued use of a QA system which is in line with the ESG, as well as the implementation of EN ISO 9001:2000, EN ISO 9001:2008 and EN ISO 9001:20015. In her managing position she has continuously fostered cooperation with other European and international agencies and networks responsible for external evaluation processes in the higher education sector.

Vice President

Diane Freiberger, FIBAA (Germany)

Diane Freiberger is the Managing Director of the international quality assurance agency FIBAA based in Germany. She has been involved in higher education for more than 25 years. She started as a lecturer at the Catholic Academy for Social Work in Munich. After that, she took a brief detour into business and was a PR manager for six years.  In 2006, she returned to the field of university management.

Executive Board Members

Péter Levente Lakatos, MAB (Hungary), Treasurer

Dr. Péter Levente Lakatos is a jurist and economist in the field of quality assurance of higher education and higher education policy. He is the Director of International Affairs at the Hungarian Accreditation Committee’s Secretariat, Member of the Board at ENQA, and Member of the Executive Board and Treasurer of CEENQA. He is a higher education expert in quality assurance-related projects both at the national and international level. He is a former and current member of several site visit teams for institutional and program-level evaluations in the EHEA. He is also the author of numerous higher education-related articles and actively participates in the work of European higher education organizations. Péter is currently conducting PhD research in higher education quality and is a member of the Hungarian Education Research Association and the Association of Hungarian PhD and DLA Candidates.

Simona Lache, ARACIS (Romania)

Simona Lache is director of the Accreditation Department of the Romanian Agency of Quality assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) and professor at Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania. Since 2008 she holds the position of vice-rector for quality evaluation and, since 2012, also for internationalization. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Precision Mechanics, a European Master in Energy Management and Mechanical Engineering and a Doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Simona has an extensive expertise in quality assurance of higher education, for instance as an international reviewer (IEP-EUA, ENQA, FINEEC), as member of the Steering Committee of IEP- EUA (since 2019) and member of the Label Committee of ENAEE (since 2015). Simona works with ARACIS as expert evaluator since 2007 and holds the position of executive board member since 2015. She was involved as quality assurance expert/ project manager in several projects dealing with the development, implementation, and external evaluation of HE system, the development of different policies and methodologies in the field of QA of HE, as well as to develop transnational cooperation between universities and enterprises, fostering entrepreneurship, open innovation, etc.

Benjamin Muhamedbegović, HEA (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Benjamin Muhamedbegović is an Assistant Director for Quality Assurance in the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance Bosnia and Herzegovina (HEA BiH) since 2009. He has 17 years’ experience in the area of higher education reforms in B&H. From 2004 to 2009 he was a Senior Officer for licensing of higher education institution in the Ministry of Education and Culture of RS. Last 12 years he was involved in a number of projects related to the QA, and in creating a documents and procedures for QA system in B&H which is a very complex due to constitution of the State. He is also a president of The Committee for quality assurance of the Agency, a permanent body of the Agency, with a task to conduct activities of internal quality assurance of the Agency and designing the Agency’s SAR annually in accordance with the II and III ESG groups.

Muhamedbegovic has a PhD in a food science and technology and is involved in teaching processes at the University of Tuzla as professor of Food packaging. Previously he worked in a food industry. Besides the area of quality assurance in higher education, he is involved in the process of HACCP (and halal) certification in food industry as a consultant and auditor.

Dinçay Köksal, EPDAD (Turkey)

Dinçay Köksal graduated from Ondokuz Mayıs University and Gazi University (M.A. & PhD) in English language education. He has worked as a school teacher and university lecturer and since 1995 he has been a professor at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. There, he founded the Center for Foreign Language Education and Research in 1996, the Educational Research Association in Turkey in 2008 and the International Association of Educational researchers in 2012. He organised many international conferences on English language education. From 2015 to 2021, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Fine Arts and since then he has been the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at his university. He has many articles published in journals and papers presented at international conferences and congresses. He is the author and editor of many books and co-author of a book on Intercultural Communication.

Ulkar Sattarova (Azerbaijan)

Ulkar Sattarova is the Director of the State Agency for Science and Higher Education in Azerbaijan. Prior to her current role, she served as the Chairperson of the Executive Board for the Education Quality Assurance Agency and as an Advisor to the Minister of Science and Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan. With over a decade of experience in higher education management and a background as a researcher at the Institute of Control Systems of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Ulkar Sattarova has established herself as a highly esteemed expert.

Ulkar Sattarova’s academic journey began with a B.Sc. degree in Applied Mathematics, followed by an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in ICT and system analysis. She subsequently pursued a joint D.Sc. program in ICT offered by the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and the University of Montpellier. Currently, she is actively engaged in a Ph.D. program in Education Governance at Maastricht University.

Throughout her career, Ulkar Sattarova has continuously fostered cooperation with European and international agencies, actively participating in impactful projects in her field.

Hasan Ali Bicak, STAR (Turkey)

Prof. Hasan Ali Bicak is the Founding Rector of Rauf Denktas University in North Cyprus. He obtained his Ph. D. degree in Economics from the University of Leicester, UK in 1990. He became an Associate Professor in 1996 and Professor in 2005. In 1998, 1999 and 2000 he lectured at the “Program on Investment Appraisal and Management” at the Harvard Institute for International Development and also in 2004, he thought at the John Deutsch International Executive Program of the Queen’s University in Canada, on Investment Appraisal and Risk Analysis. He was the first registrar of the first university in North Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean University, where he worked for almost 30 years at various positions as the head of Departments of Economics, Banking and Finance, and the Dean of the Business and Economics Faculty. Prof. Bicak served as the President of the Higher Education Assessment and Accreditation Council (YODAK) during 2009-2013. During his Presidency, in addition to affiliate membership to European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), YODAK became a full member of the INQAAHE, CEENQA and (founding member) Association of Quality Assurance Agencies of the Islamic World (QA-Islamic). Prof. Bicak served as a Board Member of CEENQA and represented CEENQA at an EU Project in Yerevan (2013), and INQAAHE Annual QA Networks’ Meetings in Taiwan (2013) and in Chicago (2014). Currently, Prof. Bicak is the chair of the Internationalization Committee of Social, Humanities and Basic Sciences Accreditation and Rating Association (STAR) in Turkey.