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About us

The Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education (ASHE) was modelled after the best European practices in quality assurance in science and higher education. Becoming a full member of ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) and being listed in EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education) in 2011, the Agency proved its reliability as a quality assurance agency working in the European Higher Education Area. 
ASHE independently performs tasks within its competences and purview as established by the Act on Quality Assurance in Science and Higher Education (Official Gazette no. 45/09), Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education (Official Gazette no. 123/03, 105/04, 174/04, 2/07 i 46/07) and the Act on Recognition of Foreign Higher Education Qualifications (Official Gazette no. 158/03, 198/03, 138/06 and 045/2011).

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Purpose

ASHE is guided by the following principles in the achievement of its mission and vision: 

  • Preserving academic standards and the credibility of qualifications in higher education; 
  • Improving the quality of higher education and science, as well as opportunities for obtaining educational degrees;
  • Dissemination of reliable information on the quality of academic standards to students, higher education institutions’ management and the public;
  • Fostering equitable access to higher education;
  • Ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of the existing and developing new tools and methods of internal and external quality assurance;
  • Encouraging cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and good practice of quality assurance among the institutions in the system of higher education and science;
  • Comparing the achieved standards and quality levels with the quality and standards of similar institutions in the country and EU;
  • Supporting and implementing CROQF;
  • Fostering fundamental academic values, such as the general value of education, cooperation and academic freedom.

ASHE values

ASHE fosters the following values in its activities:

  • Reliability - ASHE employees perform their tasks independently, objectively, fairly and honestly, in compliance with rules and the Code of Ethics;
  • Professionalism - ASHE employees strive to reach high professional standards in their work;
  • Accountability - ASHE is accountable for its work to the society as a whole;
  • Flexibility - ASHE adapts easily to the needs of stakeholders and trends in higher education and science in order to respond to all the challenges which support the diversification of higher education institutions and scientific organisations;  
  • Cooperation - ASHE encourages mutual cooperation of all employees in common problem solving and responding to challenges arising from the introduction of new activities as well as cooperation with stakeholders in the system of science and  higher education;   
  • Openness - demonstrated through the transparency of ASHE work and building the trust of users of ASHE services. ASHE regularly publishes the results of its work online and in print (brochures, reports, analyses).

Organization

ASHE currently has 64 employees. The ASHE bodies are the Management Board, the Director and the Accreditation Council. The Agency Director is prof. dr. sc. Jasmina Havranek, and the Management Board President is prof. dr. sc. Mile Dželalija. The Accreditation Council is the ASHE expert body which adopts the documentation for external evaluation procedures and issues the final opinion on the quality of higher education institutions and scientific organisations.

Activities
According to the Act on Quality Assurance in Science and Higher Education the Agency performs a part of the procedure of initial accreditation, procedures of reaccreditation, thematic evaluation and audit, collects and processes data on Croatian higher education, science and related systems, which serve as a basis for analyses necessary to establish standards and criteria of evaluations carried out by ASHE, as well as a basis for informed and evidence-based strategic decision-making of bodies in the system of higher education and science.
ASHE also provides information and unifies data on the conditions of enrolment to higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia.

ASHE carries out recognition of foreign higher education qualifications and provides information on foreign and Croatian higher education system.
One of the ASHE tasks is to administer and support the activities of the National Council for Higher Education, National Council for Science, Council for Financing Scientific Activity and Higher Education, Ethics Committee in Science and Higher Education, Area Councils, Scientific Field Committees, Humanities and Arts Committees and expert panels.

International activities
ASHE is working on its inclusion in the international quality assurance system in science and higher education and is its recognized and active member.

ASHE is actively involved in the activities of European and global networks fostering mobility and recognition of foreign higher education qualifications (ENIC and NARIC network) and is a member of ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), INQAAHE (International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education), CEENQA (Network of Central and Eastern European Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education) and  OECD IMHE (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – Programme for Institutional management in Higher Education), as well as listed in EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education). ASHE is also a member of the European Consortium for Accreditation - ECA, a project-oriented association of European agencies for external quality assurance in higher education and  has an observer status in the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN).

From September 2012 ASHE is also a member of the CHEA International Quality Group.

Since April 2015 ASHE has also been a full member of the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence, an international institutional non-profit association of ranking organizations, universities and other bodies interested in university rankings and academic excellence.

 

Timeline

 

AZVO Timeline-EN

 

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