The CEE Network held an extraordinary General Assembly on 28 May 2011 in Split, Croatia, for the purpose of founding the new legal entity CEENQA. The annual workshop attached to the annual Steering Committee meeting took place on 27 May.
The meetings were very kindly hosted by the Agency for Science and Higher Education (ASHE), Croatia. The list of participants to the General Assembly and workshop is attached to these Minutes as Annex 1.
Steering Committee Meeting
The outgoing Steering Committee held its meeting prior to the workshop on 27 May, where it discussed the items on the agenda for the general assembly. The Steering Committee presented its motions to the General Assembly under the appropriate agenda items (see below).
On the afternoon of 27 May 2011 the CEE Network held a workshop that discussed two topics, “External Reviews of Agencies: Lessons Learned” and “Evaluation of Joint Programs: Challenges for QA Agencies and Recognition of Degrees”. The workshop opened with a welcome by Vesna Dodiković Jurković from ASHE and a greeting from Professor dr. sc. Šimun Anđelinović of Split University. The chair was outgoing President, Aurelija Valeikiene, with invited speakers Nick Harris, David Cairns and Kaja Braathen. As an introduction to the workshop, Christina Rozsnyai presented the results of a short survey on the practices of CEE Network members in relation to the two topics. The outcome was that about 1/3 of the 26 member agencies are or have been involved in external reviews as well as the evaluation of joint programs. Both sessions were followed by lively discussions. The presentations can be accessed at the following lins: Nick Harris, David Cairns, Kaja Braathen.
A sight-seeing tour to Split and a pleasant dinner hosted by ASHE were a perfect ending to a fruitful meeting day.
The general assembly was chaired by CEE Network outgoing president Aurelija Valeikiene. The meeting proceeded according to the agenda sent to members prior to the meeting, a revised version of which was distributed at the meeting. The agenda of the general assembly meeting is attached to these Minutes as Annex 2.
1. Welcome by President
Outgoing president Aurelija Valeikiene welcomed the participants. She also warmly thanked ASHE for hosting the workshop and general assembly.
2. The agenda was accepted by unanimous vote.
3. Financial Report
Christina Rozsnyai presented the financial report, noting corrections to the copies the members had received by e-mail as a meeting document. The financial report with the corrections was approved by members by unanimous vote and is attached to these Minutes as Annex 3.
4. President’s report
The president noted the importance of CEE Network agencies to participate in ENQA events, most notably of agency members to take part in expert trainings and the Network’s visibility in the international arena, which is emphasized by Elisabeth Fiorioli, managing director of our member organization the Austrian Accreditation Council, being a member of the ENQA Board, moreover Iring Wasser (ASIIN), is on the Board of INQAAHE. She also noted the importance of making critical judgments when being invited to associate with international organizations and to ensure that they are reputable.
Further, she explained the legal situation of her agency, SKVC, which prevents it from becoming a member in the new CEE Network. She expressed SKVC’s dedication to the CEE Network, especially considering that it was a founding member of the CEE Network, and proposed a cooperation agreement to continue its presence in the Network in this form until the legal obstacles could be overcome. The membership approved the motion.
The Secretary General reported on the completion of the new CEE Network website.
5. Discussion on new Statutes
Members had received the draft Statutes as meeting documents. Changes were tracked by overhead projector.
It was decided that the new acronym of the network should be CEENQA. An Internet check showed that the acronym was not in use by any other entity. The logo would have to be redesigned accordingly, which would entail a minor fee to be paid as agreed on between the Secretary General and the website designer.
6. Dissolution of CEE Network and transfer of funds
Of the 26 member agencies of the CEE Network, 21 were represented at the general assembly.
Members present agreed to dissolve the existing CEE Network in order to form a new legal entity. Dissolution was approved with 1 abstention.
The transfer of funds from the CEE Network to the new legal entity was also approved with 1 abstention.
7. Adoption of new Statutes and founding act
18 members had declared their intention of signing the new Statutes as founding members, for which they had sent letters of intent to ASIIN, the agency carrying out the legal registration in Düsseldorf, Germany. Representatives who were not the legal representatives of their agency handed letters of authorization to Iring Wasser (ASIIN).
The 18 new members of CEENQA adopted the new Statutes. The founding act of CEENQA was concluded. CEENQA is the successor of the CEE Network (CEEN) founded on October 13, 2001 in Krakow, Poland, and formally established on October 19, 2002 in Vienna, succeeding the Regional Subnetwork of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education, established November 19, 2000 in Budapest, Hungary.
9. Setting up Vote-Count Committee.
For counting the votes for Executive Board, President and Vice-President, members named a Vote-Count Committee consisting of Thorsten Schomann, FIBAA and Mojca Ifko Pinosa, SQAA Slovenia.
10. Election of Executive Board
Nominations for Executive Board members were sent to the Secretary General prior to the meeting. The list of nominees is attached to these Minutes as Annex 5.
Considering that according to the Statutes (§13(1)), Board members should be from different countries, Elisabeth Fiorioli (FHR Austria) and Marek Wasowicz (UAC Poland) withdrew their nominations.
In accordance with the Statutes (§12(1)), members voted for the Executive Board by secret ballot. The Executive Board is to have 7 members (Statutes §13(1)). Following the vote, the Vote-Counting Committee counted the ballots. The assembly president announced the new members of the Executive Board as follows:
- Alexander Kohler, AQA Austria with 13 votes
- Boris Curkovic, HEA Bosnia and Herzegovina with 13 votes
- Todor Shopov, NEAA Bulgaria with 16 votes
- Jasmina Havranek, ASHE Croatia with 13 votes
- Iring Wasser, ASIIN Germany with 17 votes
- Mieczyslaw Socha, PKA Poland with 15 votes
- Adrian Miriou, ARACIS Romania with 12 votes
11. Election of President, Vice-President and Internal Auditor, appointment of Secretary General
Iring Wasser accepted the proposal by the Executive Board to stand for President and Todor Shopov for Vice-President. Members voted by secret ballot (Statutes (§12(1)).
While the Vote-Counting Committee counted the votes cast, other items on the agenda were discussed.
12. Appointment of a Registered Office (Düsseldorf) and Secretariat (Budapest)
Members voted unanimously to have the registered office of CEENQA in Düsseldorf, Germany and the Secretariat to continue in Budapest, Hungary.
13. Membership fees for full and observer members 2011-2012
Members voted unanimously that the membership fee for full members should be €600 and for observer members €300 for the 2011/2012 year until the next general assembly meeting.
14. Membership applications
Iring Wasser noted that former CEE Network members who did not sign the founding Statutes at this meeting could join CEENQA at any time afterwards by filing a formal application with the Secretary General, who would forward it to the Executive Board and, on its decision, to the members for vote by e-mail (in accordance with Statutes § 14 (2) and §12(3)).
Application for membership from the agency Higher Education Planning, Evaluation, Accreditation and Coordination Council (YODAK) from Northern Cyprus was received prior to the meeting but considering the dissolution of the CEE Network the application could not be presented to the general assembly. It was discussed that CEENQA would consider the application on the merits of the applicant as a quality assurance agency and that CEENQA declares that it is a membership organization that does not consider the political circumstances of an application. Members would receive the application documents and vote by circular mail following the Split meeting.
15. Any other business
– Date and place of 2012 general assembly and workshop
Boris Curcovic (HEA BiH) announced that his agency would like to host the next general assembly and workshop in 2012 in Sarajevo. He will discuss the details with the Secretary General. Members gratefully accepted the proposal.
– Brainstorming on future projects
The legal registration opens the possibilities for CEENQA to apply for international funding for projects. Iring Wasser asked members to make proposals by e-mail for possible projects and cooperations.
– Report on INQAAHE Networks meeting
Iring Wasser, as Board member of INQAAHE, and Boris Curkovic reported on the meeting. The next INQAAHE conference will be organized together with ENQA and will be held 1-2 December 2012 in commemoration of Marjorie Peace Lenn. Boris Curkovic, who attended the Networks session of the conference, noted that the CEE Network was one of the oldest regional networks in the world. Iring Wasser noted the possibility for future funding in the framework of the GIQAC project, whose aim is to strengthen cooperation among agencies in a region, if a second round would be announced.
11 (cont.). Election of President, Vice-President and Internal Auditor, appointment of Secretary General
The voting results for Iring Wasser as President: 17 yes votes with 1 abstention; and Todor Shopov as Vice-President: 18 yes votes.
Thorsten Shomann (FIBAA, Germany) was named Internal Auditor by unanimous vote.
Members appointed Christina Rozsnyai as Secretary General with 17 votes and 1 abstention.
The new President thanked the outgoing President, Aurelija Valeikiene, for her excellent work in the past year and expressed his hope that SKVC would join CEENQA as soon as the legal circumstances permit. He also noted that CEENQA would sign a contract with the Secretary General or her agency, the Hungarian Accreditation Committee, to remunerate her work.
The new president noted that he would like Executive Board members to take on specific responsibilities in order to make CEENQA more dynamic and efficient. He would contact the Board members but meanwhile would welcome their suggestions for focus areas.
The president also thanked ASHE for its generous and efficient organization of the general assembly and workshop.
Budapest, 6 June 2011
These minutes were prepared by Christina Rozsnyai, Secretary General
Approved by Iring Wasser, President