The Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (HQA) began its operations in 2006 as the guardian of issues of quality in higher education, governed by its president and the plenary, which is comprised of 10 HEI professors (6 university, 4 TEI) and a representative of the country’s research centres. The HQA is an independent body, overseen by the Ministry of Education and is centrally responsible for quality assurance in tertiary education. The purpose of the HQA is to promote within the country’s Higher Education Institutions its guidelines for the procedure of evaluation as well as to oversee, coordinate and support all evaluation procedures in higher education institutes. The HQA is neither a controlling or intervening body in the operations, mission and nature of Higher Education. The purpose of the HQA is to develop and implement a unified quality assurance system, as a reference point for the achievements and work of the Higher Education Institutions. Also, to collect and codify the vital information that would guide the state in effective support for Higher Education in the country.
The academic accreditation procedure concerns programmes of study that are established after the passing of the law, while programmes of study offered by the academic units of HEIs at the time of the passing of Law 4009/11 are considered accredited until the completion of the quality assurance procedures of the academic units on the basis of Law 3374/2005, and their subsequent invitation by the HQA to be accredited.
Each Higher Education Institution is responsible for ensuring continuous improvement of the quality of teaching and research work, and for the efficiency of performance of services in accordance with international practices, in particular those of the European Higher Education Area, and the principles and guidelines set by HQA. For the fulfillment of the above purpose responsible in each Universities is the Quality Assurance Unit (QAU).
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The External Evaluation is the last phase of each cycle of the procedure for Quality Assurance and consists of the critical and analytical Evaluation of the results of the Internal Evaluation procedure by a Committee of Independent Experts. The External Evaluation is an iterative process aimed at the analysis of the data contained in the Internal Evaluation Report by a Committee of independent experts, following the on-site visit of the under-Evaluation academic unit.