Quality Assurance & Accrediting Agencies
Russia lays a huge emphasis upon its quality control and assessment in the education sector. This system of quality assurance in the Russian Federation consists of four distinct elements: the State Educational Standard,; Licensing,; State Attestation and Accreditation.
State Educational Standards
The standards set out by the State determine the content and structure of education programmes, the learning outcomes, the general course loads and requirements to be met by the students. The State Educational Standard of Higher Professional Education was formed by Teaching and Methodological Associations. Specialists from higher education institutes in related fields of studies form this association.
Licensing is a procedure where an educational institution is given the authority to carry out educational programmes in related fields of study at equivalent levels of education. An assessing team inspects if an institution has met the state requirements in terms of its educational facilities, laboratory equipment, expertise of teaching staff, and teaching materials. The institutes are given a permit to conduct unlimited educational activity but the license does not give it the right to grant diplomas of the state format. In case of any violations of the rights mentioned in the agreement, the Federal Service of Supervision in Education and Science appoints a commission for an evaluation.
Attestation is a procedure which is self-evaluative and is based on an external review given by a central or regional agency. The State Attestation Board the takes a decision on whether anthe institution meets the State Educational Standard for higher education with regard to the content, level and quality of its teaching activity. However, the right to issue diplomas is not given to an institution based solely on attestation.
When an educational institution proves to abide by the nationally established standards for the content and quality of education, it gets a formal recognition in the form of Accreditation. Once an institution (public or private) is successfully accredited, it is allowed to issue state recognized diplomas and to use a State seal of the Russian Federation. The state accreditation for higher education institutions is regulated by a decree of the Ministry of Education. All university level high education institutions have to pass licensing and accreditation procedures and on positive completion they are granted the Certificate of State Accreditation which is valid for six years. It is prohibited to start any education activity without obtaining formal authorization based on licensing procedures.The accreditation process is overseen by a number of state agencies. These are:
- The Federal Service of Supervision in Education and Science
- The Guild of Experts (established in June 2006)
- The Accreditation Board: (a public and state body , whose members include heads of education institutions, and representatives of public organizations and federal executive agencies)
- National Accreditation Agency of the Russian Federation (NAA)
- NAA is a candidate member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and a member of the International Association of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).