Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education (ASCAL)

Contact Information

Street name: Rruga e Durrësit No. 219
Postal code and City: 1001 Tirana
Country: Albania
Phone/Fax: +355042243423 / +355042266302
Contact person: Dr. Xhiliola Bixheku
Function of contact person: Director
Founding year: 1999
Legal status:
Public entity
International links and Membership: full member of INQAAHE, affiliate member of ENQA

ASCAL operates in accordance with the Decision of Council of Ministers No. 109, dated on 15th of February, 2017 and in accordance with Law No. 80/2015, on Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Republic of Albania. The Agency has derived from the reorganization of the Public Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (APAAL), established by the DCM No. 303, dated on 1st of July, 1999. The Agency is the only institution operating in the higher education area in the Republic of Albania that monitors and evaluates the quality on higher education.

ASCAL is organized into three sectors and currently employs 15 employees.

ASCAL’s mission is the promotion and quality assurance in Higher Education Institutions and their study programs by providing external quality evaluation to public and private higher education institutions for accreditation purpose. ASCAL also performs analytical and comparative assessments of institutions, programs and fields of study in higher education according to set indicators and in relation to existing standards, local and European. ASCAL collaborates with public and private institutions of higher education for the establishment and functioning of their internal quality assurance systems, recommending criteria, methods and general indicators as well as appropriate criteria and methods for periodic self-assessment of the system. ASCAL instructs and guides internal quality assurance units and maintains ongoing communication with these units. Part of the functions of ASCAL is also the monitoring of HEIs and/or study programs to uphold state quality standards throughout the period of the accreditation validity

ASCAL collaborates with Higher Education Institutions in the country and related institutions, professional organizations, institutions related to the labour market, to exchange information and expertise actively involving them in the process of external evaluation. ASCAL also collaborates with student councils of HEIs and the National Student Council by also including these actors in the process of external evaluation, as well as in collecting information and data that serve the evaluation and quality assurance in HE in general.