Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education / Sudiju kokyb e s vertinimo centras (SKVC)

Contact Information

Street name: A. Gostauto g. 12
Postal code and City: LT-01108 Vilnius
Country: Lithuania
Phone/Fax: +370 5 210 47 72
Introductory presentation:
SKVC Lithuania
Contact person: Almantas Šerpatauskas
Function of contact person: Acting Director
Founding year:  1995
Legal status:
Independent public authority
International Links and membership: ENQA, INQAAHE, EGQA, ENIC, NARIC

SKVC is an operationally independent public authority, established by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania.

According to the Statute of SKVC, the Council of the SKVC (collective strategic management body) and Director of SKVC (the sole manager), are jointly responsible for the management of the SKVC. The Council includes 11 members, representatives of universities, colleges of higher education, students, labor market representatives, civil society, and the founder of SKVC. Delegations to the Council are issued by a number of institutions, the Council itself is appointed by the Minister of Education, Science and Sport.

Three advisory bodies operate in the SKVC:
• Commission for Study Programme Evaluation (15 members),
• Commission of Higher Education Institutions’ Review (9 members)
• Commission for Appeals against Study Programmes Evaluation (7 members).
Members of the higher education institutions, students and representatives of employers are included into the formation of the three aforementioned commissions as the representatives of the main stakeholders in higher education. They are appointed by the order of the Director of the SKVC according to published principles. None of SKVC staff are members of the Council or three advisory bodies.

SKVC is divided into divisions: Study Programme Evaluation Division and Institutional Review Division carry out the functions of the quality assurance agency; functions of Lithuanian ENIC/NARIC are performed by the Qualifications Assessment Division. There is also a Division for Legal and General Affairs, and some specialists, directly reporting to the Director, not within a structure of Divisions.
As of 1 June 2019, the SKVC staff totalled to 32, out of whom 10 are working for the quality assurance agency (consisting of the Study Programme Evaluation Division and the Institutional Review Division). Most of employees are public servants, others (working on the projects) have fixed term contracts.

Long-term objectives of SKVC are as follows: to promote the quality of activities of Lithuanian higher education institutions through an external assessment and accreditation of institutions and study programmes; to create favourable conditions for the free movement of persons when carrying out recognition of higher education-related qualifications awarded in foreign institutions and providing information about education systems and qualifications.

SKVC carries out external assessment and accreditation of higher education institutions (state and private universities and colleges, branches of foreign institutions in Lithuania) as well as of currently running and new study programmes, also provides recommendations for the improvement. The activities of SKVC as a quality assurance agency:
• Institutional review and accreditation of HEIs in Lithuania and abroad.
• External evaluation and accreditation of new study programmes (ex-ante).
• External evaluation and accreditation of ongoing study programmes (ex-post) in Lithuania and abroad (this type of evaluation soon will be changed to evaluation of clusters of study programmes).
• Evaluation of applications for a license to provide higher education and perform activities related to higher education: the goal of this evaluation is to assess founders’ preparation to provide higher education, research (artistic) activities as well as to provide other services related to higher education.
• Advice regarding evaluation procedures.
• Facilitation in exchange of the best international practices.
• Analytical activities and proposals for the improvement of higher education quality, participation in the legislative process.
• Communication and cooperation with different target groups of SKVC (learners, students, employers, HEIs).

The role of the SKVC is to promote these processes by defining quality assurance aims, evaluation criteria and measurement indicators as well as analysing the impact of quality assurance. As member of ENIC/NARIC networks, the Centre also performs an important role in implementing the best practice of recognition of foreign qualifications and ensuring its consistency in Lithuania.