The Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) is launching a new cycle of external evaluation of higher education institutions of Lithuania in 2020. The evaluation will be carried out according to the new procedure, which is regulated by the legal acts that came into force in March 2020: The Description of the Procedure of External Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions and Branches of Foreign Higher Education Institutions approved by the Order of the Minister of Education, Science and Sports of the Republic of Lithuania and the Methodology for the Evaluation of Higher Education Institutions approved by the Order of the Director of the SKVC.
The purpose of external evaluation is to determine the quality of the performance of a higher education institution based on an external evaluation report, to create prerequisites for the improvement of the performance of a higher education institution, to promote a culture of quality, and to inform founders, academic community and the public about the quality of higher education institutions.
“The external evaluation of higher education institutions is entrusted to the SKVC, which organizes the evaluation process with the help of external experts. However, it should be noted that higher education institutions have the autonomy conferred on them by the Constitution, and that the quality of the performance of each higher education institution is therefore primarily the responsibility institution itself. We will take into account the mission of each higher education institution, we will involve students, representatives of the business world and other stakeholders in the evaluation process in order to evaluate the performance of higher education institution fully and objectively” says Aurelija Valeikienė, Deputy Director of the SKVC.
The external evaluation of higher education institutions is initiated by the Order of the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, which approved the schedule of external evaluation of HEIs. It specifies the periods of time for the external evaluation of specific higher education institutions. SKVC will carry out evaluations in accordance with this schedule. The evaluation will be started only when SKVC receives the Self-Evaluation Report, which must include data for the last 5 years of study. Deadlines to submit the Self-Evaluation Report to the SKVC are published on the SKVC website.
The external evaluation of higher education institutions will be carried out in the following stages:
- Submission of the Self-Evaluation Report to the SKVC;
- Composition of the expert group and the examination of the Self-Evaluation Report;
- Visit of the expert group at higher education institution;
- Preparation and publication of the External Evaluation Report;
- Follow-up activities which aim to improve the performance of the HEIs, taking into account the external evaluation report.
The expert group will evaluate the performance of higher education institutions in four areas: management, quality assurance, provision of studies and implementation of research (artistic) activities and the impact on the regional and national development. According to the law, external evaluation of higher education institutions of Lithuania shall be carried out at least once every 7 years.
The higher education institutions shall start preparing the activities of external evaluation, the first Self-Evaluation Reports shall be submitted in 2021.
The higher education institutions accredited up to 1 March 2020 shall be considered to be accredited until the decisions on their accreditation are done under the new procedure.