National Quality Assurance (QA) Agencies in Malta and Montenegro are bodies formed by the Governments with the purpose of implementing quality assurance in higher education systems and teaching and learning processes. They are the bodies that conduct internal and external QA, perform reaccreditation procedures and the accreditation of study programmes.
These agencies currently do not include student representatives in their Executive Committees, since it is not specified in their legislation, and members are appointed by the founder of the QA agency.
KSU and SPUM demand the following:
ESU supports the inclusion of student representatives into the national QA agencies, as their contribution to the matters of QA is invaluable and gives perspective onto the matters involving students. ESU disagrees with the current practices of Maltese QA agency (the National Commission for Further and Higher Education) and Montenegrin Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education (ACQAHE) and emphasizes the need for the student inclusion, not only in the Executive Committee of each agency, but also in the working bodies of these QA agencies.
Currently, Article 69(1) of Chapter 327 of the Laws of Malta, the Education Act specifies the composition of the National Commission for Further and Higher Education in Malta (NCFHE) which ‘shall be composed of not less than seven and not more than ten members’. Furthermore, a brief description of the requisites which such members should have is given in Article 69(3) which includes that the members shall ‘possess leadership qualities, and have an understanding in further and higher education within the context of general socio-economic development, and shall include a person with disability’. Unfortunately, students, who should be at the forefront of such discussions within this Commission are not included as required members in the Education Act.
In November 2017 the Government of Montenegro founded the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education (ACQAHE), in accordance with the Law on Higher Education. According to the Statute of ACQAHE, it has the Managing Board that is composed of a President and another two members. One of the latter is a representative of the Ministry of Education and the other two are the representatives of the Government of Montenegro.
ESU urges the Montenegrin and Maltese Governments and Ministries of Education of both countries to initiate the process of amending the aforementioned regulations in order to include students and student organisations as relevant stakeholders. ESU points out that this is a prerequisite that should be implemented in order to achieve a higher standard in this field.
Proposed by: KSU, SPUM
Seconded by: CSC, CREUP, FAGE, SKONUS, SRVS, SKRVS