Since 2006 students delegated by LSA can participate in evaluation visits as non-voting observers. The regulations dealing with the QA process in Latvia, have been thus far successfully put into practice. They advance the operation and development of LSA student-expert pool by giving students the opportunity to learn how to become knowledgeable and capable members of expert groups. Based on this practice and the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG), since 2017 students have been participating in initial accreditations of new programmes as experts with full rights.
Currently, the rights to delegate student-observers are determined by the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers. Despite objections by LSA and various social partners, the Ministry of Education and Science has proposed several amendments to the regulations, taking away the right of students to participate in quality assurance procedures as observers.
LSA opposed the suggestion of the Ministry of Education and Science to include LSA’s rights to delegate observers of QA visits in the newly developing methodology and guidelines of The Academic Information Centre of Latvia. ESU agrees with LSA’s position and sees the most worrying risk related to the proposed amendments to the regulations that the methodologies and guidelines are not binding normative acts. Thus, allowing the higher education institutions to reject delegated observers which in that case would prohibit the self-improvement of new non-expert participants through involvement in quality assurance procedures.
ESU strongly believes in the importance of student participation in external QA procedures. Thus, ESU stands together with LSA in their demand to the Ministry of Education and Science and the Cabinet of Ministers to preserve the current rights of students in QA procedures. Moreover, ESU urges the Ministry to define these rights in the Cabinet of Ministers’ regulations in order to make them clearly formulated, binding, and understandable to all.
Proposed by: LSA
Seconded by: SAMOK, UDU, LIS