Educational Programs Accreditation in Pandemic Times: Challenges for NAQA (Ukraine)
Keywords:National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance (NAQA), accreditation, higher education, COVID-19
The article discusses the first-year results of Ukraine's NAQA work – the agency, whose activity is aimed at ensuring higher education quality. The results of the accreditation evaluation of the educational programs of Ukrainian universities are presented. More than 60% of the programs have been accredited, about 34% received conditional accreditation with the possibility to rectify the noted shortcomings within 1 year, and in more than 2% of cases HEIs have been refused in accreditation. The most changes in the accreditation process because of coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020. It was decided to use the provisional accreditation procedures using information technology tools and videoconferencing to respond to COVID-19 quarantine challenges. The current situation forces interview with stakeholders, discussions within the expert group, meetings with HEIs and NAQAs representatives to be done using videoconferencing and other IT tools (distance format). Given the uncertain situation in the world, it is argued that quality assurance agencies should be prepared to address these challenges and should develop alternative approaches and suggestions to pursue the same high quality of the accreditation procedures.
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