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Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation of the QA Agencies in Higher Education

Within the Polish-Ukrainian Aid Project, on September 24, 2020, the second Polish-Ukrainian seminar “Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation of the QA Agencies in Higher Education and Doctoral Training” took place.

The seminar was moderated by the President of the Foundation of Rectors of Poland prof. Jerzy Woźnicki, project coordinator of the Warsaw University of Technology Iryna Degtyarova and President of the National Council for Science and Higher Education of Poland prof. Zbigniew Marciniak. The honourable guests and participants were representatives of the Embassy of Ukraine in Poland, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland, the Polish Accreditation Commission, the Directorate of Higher Education and Adult Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, NAQA – Vitalii Bilyi, Izabela Kwiatkowska-Sujka, Wojciech Dziedzic, Liliia Hrynevych, Yuriy Rashkevych, Oleh Sharov, Bohdan Morklyanyk and Albina Tsiatkovska.
During the first section of the seminar, the NAQA Head Serhiy Kvit presented the results of the agency’s work for one and a half years of activity. Professor Krzysztof Diks introduced the Polish Accreditation Commission (PKA) and spoke about the accreditation framework in Poland.
The second section was devoted to good practices and challenges in the accreditation process in higher education in Poland and Ukraine. Nataliia Stukalo, NAQA Vice-Head, reported on the NAQA’s good practices in conducting online accreditations of the study programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maria Próchnicka, Secretary of the Polish Accreditation Committee, shared PKA’s reflections on external quality assurance during coronavirus. Professor Łukasz Sułkowski, Vice-President of PKA in 2016-2019, spoke about quality assurance in post-COVID-era.
During the discussion, special attention was paid to the compliance of both agencies with the criteria of ESG-2015, in particular criterion 3.3 – “Independence” and the financing of accreditation of study programmes. The Polish experience shows that the agency should have full independence, in particular, the members of the agency do not have the status of civil servants, but remain to work in their academic institutions. In Poland, as in other countries of the European Higher Education Area, the state reimburses all accreditation costs from the state budget.

At the final part of the event, NAQA Head Serhiy Kvit and PKA President Krzysztof Diks signed a memorandum of understanding between the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance and the Polish Accreditation Commission.