CEENQA Workshop and General Assembly in Pristina
The Kosovo Accreditation Agency KAA has very kindly hosted this year’s CEENQA events in Pristina. A wonderful trip to the snowy caps of Šar Mountain and the Dinarides range, culminating in a delicious dinner in the historic town of Prizren, was heartily appreciated by all participants. To everyone’s regret, President Iring Wasser had to cancel his participation at the last minute for health reasons. Vice-President Alexander Kohler took over as chair with assistance from Board member and host Ferdije Zhushi Etemi.
The workshop on May 23 sought to explore “What Makes a Successful Quality Assurance Agency?”. Minister of Education, Science and Technology Rame Buja welcomed the participants, including guests Steve Bristow, a member of the KAA Board, the speakers Lukas Bischof of CHE Consult, Germany and André Govaert from KU Leuven, Belgium as well as CEENQA project manager Mila Zarkh, for whom this was the first CEENQA meeting. Mila Zarkh presented the procedure and preliminary results of the UNESCO/INQAAHE survey adapted to CEENQA on “Practices in External Quality Assurance”. She was followed by the presentations of Lukas Bischof, André Govaert and Ferdije Etemi.
May 24, the General Assembly discussed progress in the EU projects BIHTEK, on benchmarking in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and ALIGN, on aligning study programmes with qualification frameworks, in which CEENQA is a partner. The Romanian Agency ARACIS had also organised an EU-funded project hosting staff visits from two CEENQA agencies to study review methodology and accompany site visits for one week.
Four Board members had left their agencies and hence the CEENQA Board, so that new members, including the Vice-President and Treasurer, had to be elected at the General Assembly. The new Board members with two-year terms are
Continuing Board member Ivan Leban was elected Vice- President.
The 2015 meetings will be hosted by SQAA Slovenia, and in 2016 the two Polish CEENQA members would organize the event jointly, taking the occasion to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the formal founding of the CEE Network in Krakow in 2001.
Latvia No Longer a CEENQA Member
With the dissolution of the Latvian agency HEQEC, its membership in CEENQA is discontinued. CEENQA President Iring Wasser addressed a letter to the country's ministry, urging the establishment of a national agency in compliance with European Standards (ESG) and one that can join CEENQA in order for the country to continue to take part in the quality assurance assurance dialog.