Study Visit to SQAA, Ljubljana, Slovenia

NEAQA delegation participated in a study visit to the Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency (SQAA), in Ljubljana, in the Republic of Slovenia, from November 24 to 26, 2022, as part of the IPA project “EU Support for Education Reform in Serbia – REdiS 2030”. The purpose of this visit was to prepare NEAQA for the upcoming ENQA Review Panel’s progress visit.

NEAQA was represented by Director prof. Ana Šijački, PhD, President of the Commission for Accreditation prof. Milorad Milovančević, PhD, Secretary, coordinators and employees of the Secretariat, members of the Commission for Accreditation, Appeals Commission and the Management Board.

Our representatives had the opportunity to attend workshops dedicated to the principles of accreditation and quality assurance in higher education in the Republic of Slovenia, as well as a better understanding of ESG standards and, in general, the values on which the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) rests.

On the first day of the visit, the director of SQAA, prof. Franci Demšar, PhD, presented the mission and values, organizational structure and strategy of SQAA, as well as the key element of stability of any agency for accreditation and quality assurance in higher education – Independence, while his colleagues spoke about the internal system of quality assurance and self-evaluation, as well as information technologies available to the agency (working in special applications “eNAKVIS” “iNAKVIS”).

On the second day of the visit, our colleagues from Slovenia presented their standards and key segments of the accreditation and evaluation procedures of higher education institutions (HEIs) and study programs, with special reference to the role that SQAA plays in the development of the culture of quality in Slovenian higher education. Also, there were discussions about reviewers, their selection and training. The participants were also introduced to the work of the SQAA’s Agency Council, the highest body of this agency, which makes decisions and functions in accordance with the principles of preventing conflicts of interest and impartiality. At the very end, the work of the Appeals Committee was presented, including the method of selecting members, the rules of the appeals procedure harmonized with Slovenian administrative law and the experience of the second instance body in overcoming the main challenges in the appeals procedures of HEIs.

SQAA and NEAQA continue their friendly cooperation and are looking forward to participating in the “CEENQA Staff Exchange Scheme” next year.