Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education (ASCAL)
|Street name:||Rruga e Durrësit, pranë gjim. Qemal Stafa|
|Postal code and City:||1001 Tirana|
|Contact person:||Elvin Gjevori, PhD|
|Function of contact person:||Director|
Q: What is the legal basis for your agency (non-profit organization, for-profit organization, foundation, association etc.)?
A: ASCAL is a central public institution, a legal person, which operates in the field of higher education. In accordance with the law, the Decision of Council of Ministers No. 109, dated 15.02.2017 was developed and entered into force in 14.03.2017, providing for the reorganisation of the existing APAAL agency into ASCAL and the establishment of the Accreditation Board to replace the previous Accreditation Council. The previously existing agency APAAL was established under the decision of Council of Ministers No. 303, dated 01.07.1999. It was a public state-funded institution, and its main task and duty is evaluation, accreditation and ranking of higher schools and study programs in Albania.
Q: Who are the members of your agency?
Q: Is evaluation/accreditation by your agency a national requirement? What procedures are mandatory – if any and what are chosen voluntarily/additionally?
A: Yes, obligatory by law. Law of higher education, national standards in higher education, European standards and guidelines.
Q: Is the agency involved in programme or institutional evaluation/accreditation or both? What are the consequences of evaluation/accreditation outcomes?
A: ASCAL covers a broad range of activities in fulfilment of its mission, where in addition to external assessment of institutions and their study programmes for accreditation purposes, it also operates using other quality assurance mechanisms, such as Teaching Assessments through periodical national student surveys, system wide and thematic analytical assessments, internal quality systems auditing and other instruments;
Q: Please describe the structure and the activity periods of the decision-making body and state who delegates/appoints its members.
A: The Accreditation Board is the final decision-making body for the accreditation of institutions and study programmes in higher education. lt is an independent collegial body and its decisions may only be appealed to thecourt. The board is composed of 11 members, 4 of which are international and 7 Albanian experts, selected based on their expertise in the quality assurance field and relevant academic and research experience in higher education. The Chairperson of the Board is Professor Arjan Gjorn;a, who is the international expert that led the National Higher Education Reform Team and the development of the new legislation in this field, füll professor at London School of Economics, UK for more than 10 years. The activity of the Board is supported by ASCAL with human, financial, and operational resources. The Accreditation Board continues its activities based on the experience and work of the Accreditation Council, the previous collegial body that made proposals on the final decision-making regarding the accreditation of study programmes and higher education institutions to the Minister of Education.
Q: Can HEIs in your country choose international services from EQAR listed agencies?
Q: Please mention the international links of your agency and especially list the international organizations your agency is a member in.
A: a). Membership status CEENQA Network: Full member, b). INQAAHE: Full member, c). ENQA member: Associate member since 2010, d). With QAA–Memorandum of collaboration for
accreditation of higher education institutions in Albania (2014–2016).