Article 1 - Subject-Matter, Content and Scope of Evaluation
- Tuition, research and other work of higher education institutions is subject to continuous evaluation to the end of assuring and improving the quality of research and tuition, studies and other services provided by them in the framework of their mission.
- The evaluation consists in the systematic, documented and detailed assessment, marking and recording of the work of higher education institutions, with the use of objective criteria, and the critical analysis and establishment of any existing failings and divergences in connection with their academic profile, objectives and mission as these are specifically set forth in the provisions of the applicable laws. On the basis of the evaluation results, the academic institutions and the State adopt the necessary measures in order to assure and improve the quality of the work performed by higher education institutions in the framework of their mission to provide high quality higher education. The evaluation results and the quality assurance and improvement measures adopted in connection with the work performed are published in the proper manner so as to secure the widest possible transparency of the national higher education system.
- Subject to evaluation are the academic units (Faculties or Departments) which consist the higher education institutions, and through them each higher education institution in its entirety. The evaluation may also be focused separately on programmes of graduate or postgraduate studies or other services offered by individual academic units or all the higher education institutions in the framework of their mission. Each higher education institution is evaluated on the basis of the evaluation of its individual academic units and the evaluation of its overall operation as an institution.
- The evaluation procedures taking place pursuant to the provisions of this law may not be replaced by other forms of quality assurance and improvement which are not anticipated hereby.
Article 2 - Evaluation procedure and organs
- The evaluation of higher education institutions is carried out in two stages: the first stage involves the evaluation of the work performed by the academic units of the higher education institutions themselves in connection with their profile, objectives and mission (self-evaluation). After the completion of the first stage follows the second stage, which consists in the evaluation of the work performed by a committee of independent experts, which also takes into consideration the results of the self-evaluation report on the academic unit (external evaluation).
- The internal and external evaluation procedure is repeated at the latest every fourth year following the commencement of the previous evaluation. At the repeat evaluation procedure, the implementation of the findings of the previous evaluation, particularly the proposals, suggestions and recommendations of the external evaluation committee, is also examined. In particular, it is examined whether the failings and discrepancies noted in the course of the previous evaluation have been dealt with, and the course of implementation of the measures adopted towards the assurance and improvement of the quality of research and tuition, studies and other services provided by higher education institutions.
- Students participate in the evaluation of higher education institutions in accordance with the procedures and in the manner prescribed by the provisions of this law.
- The evaluation procedures pertaining to higher education institutions are coordinated and supported at a national level by the independent administrative authority entitled "Hellenic Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education" (HQAA), which is formed pursuant to the provisions of Article 10. A "Quality Assurance Unit" (QAU) is established, by resolution of the relevant supreme administrative body, in every higher education institution in order to coordinate and support the institution evaluation procedures. QAU meetings are presided over by the Deputy Dean or Vice President of Academic Affairs of the relevant institution. Its composition consists furthermore of three members of the Teaching -Research Staff (TRS) or Educational Staff (ES), one joint representative of the remaining scientific and administrative staff, one representative of the undergraduate students and one representative of the postgraduate students, appointed by the relevant bodies. The organization operation and responsibilities of the Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) are determined by resolution of the relevant supreme administrative body of each institution.
- The academic units of each higher education institution submit annually to the institution’s QAU an internal evaluation report containing cumulative information with quantitative data on the students, Teaching -Research Staff Members, Educational Staff Members, other scientific staff, administrative staff, curriculum, student welfare, administrative services, technical infrastructure and all other issues pertaining to the operation of the academic unit. On the basis of the internal reports of the individual academic units forming each higher education institution, QAU draws up every two years the pertinent internal report of the relevant institution. The contents of the internal reports submitted by the academic units or drawn up by the QAU of the Higher Education Institutions may be further specified and standardized by decision of the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs issued upon the proposal of HQAA.
Article 3 - Evaluation Criteria and Indices
- In order to assess the quality and effectiveness of the research and teaching, studies and other services provided by higher education institutions, the establishment of any failings and divergences in connection with their academic profile, objectives and mission as well as the comparability of the evaluation results in connection with the objectives of the national higher education system and the international standards, expertise and practices, generally acknowledged and objective criteria are employed, which are expressed in terms of corresponding quantitative and qualitative indices. The evaluation criteria and indices are, in particular, the following: (a) As to the quality of tuition: the efficiency of the teaching staff, the quality of the teaching process, the organization and implementation of the teaching tasks, teaching aids, media and infrastructures, the use of new technologies, the ratio of students to teachers and cooperation between teachers and students, the level and timeliness of the knowledge provided, the interrelation between research and teaching, the mobility of teaching staff and students. (b) As to the quality of the research work: the fostering of research in the framework of the academic unit, the scientific publications, research infrastructures, research programs, the effectiveness of the research work, the originality of the research, the acknowledgment of the research by third parties, the research partnerships, research distinctions and awards as well as the participation of students in the research. (c) As to the quality of curricula: the degree to which the curriculum meets the academic unit’s objectives and the society’s demands, the cohesion and applicability of the curriculum, the coordination of the syllabus, the rational organization of the educational institutions, the examination system, the support by available educational infrastructure. (d) As to the quality of the other services: the effectiveness of the administrative services, student welfare services, all kinds of infrastructures, the use of new technologies, the transparency and efficiency in the management of the financial resources as well as in the use of infrastructure and equipment, cooperation with other educational or research institutions, whether Greek or foreign, as well as with the community.
- In the course of the evaluation the complementary operation and discrete physiognomies, roles, objective and mission of the two parallel higher education areas, as these are differentiated in accordance with the applicable provisions on the university and the technological education sectors, are taken into consideration.
- Evaluation criteria and indices are standardized, supplemented and further specified on the basis of the guidelines and standards to be issued by HQAA, at the latest within one year from its establishment, depending on the subject-matter of each academic unit. The revision of evaluation criteria and indices follows the same procedure each time, should this be deemed necessary.
Article 7 - External Evaluation
- External evaluation constitutes the second stage of the evaluation process and consists in the critical-analytical examination of the results of the self-evaluation by a committee of independent experts (External Evaluation Committee).
- The external evaluation is a periodically repeated procedure, in the course of which the data contained in the self-evaluation report is studied in depth by a committee of independent experts following an in situ visit to the academic unit under evaluation and talks and contacts with members of the teaching-research, educational and other scientific staff, the administrative staff and the students.
- The external evaluation takes into account an analysis of the information contained in the latest self-evaluation report of each academic unit and the supplementary data arising from the talks and contacts of the external experts with the members of the relevant unit. The external evaluation is completed with the preparation of the academic unit’s external evaluation report, which includes the independent experts’ analyses, findings, recommendations and suggestions concerning the measures to be adopted to the end of further improving the quality of the tuition, research or other work or dealing with any failings or divergences identified with respect to the profile, objectives and mission of each academic unit.
Article 8 - External Evaluation Committee
- The External Evaluation Committee (EEC) is formed within one month from the submission of the academic unit’s self-evaluation report and takes knowledge of its contents at the latest within one month from its formation. The EEC takes into consideration the self-evaluation report and makes an in situ visit to the academic unit under evaluation, of which it is required to facilitate as much as possible the Committee’s work with supplementary information, discussions and contacts with the members of the academic unit.
- The External Evaluation Committee (EEC) consists of five members, summoned from the register of independent experts kept at the HQAA. The register of independent experts is compiled on the basis of the recommendations made by the higher education institutions and the HQAA and is revised every four years. No expert may remain recorded in the register for more than two four-year terms, whether consecutive or not.
- One of the members of the EEC may be nominated by the academic unit under evaluation, from among the independent experts included in the HQAA register. The remaining members are elected by lot by the HQAA. HQAA members, as well as the special scientific staff employed by that Agency under any form of contract, may not be included in the register of independent experts or participate as external evaluators in any form of evaluation procedure.
- EEC members may not belong to or stand in any kind of educational, research or service relationship with the higher education institution whose specific academic unit is under evaluation, and are furthermore prohibited from having had such a relationship in the past five years.
- EEC members: a) must meet the following requirements: (i) the independent experts ’ field of specialization must be related to the subject-matter of the academic unit under evaluation; (ii) must be scientists of acknowledged prestige, preferably with experience in issues associated with the evaluation of higher education institutions, as well as with a reputation for unbiased judgment. b) Moreover, the following are desirable: (i) the participation of at least one foreign expert or specialist, being a top-rank professor, or distinguished researcher at a corresponding foreign higher educational or research institution, preferably with experience in issues associated with the evaluation of higher education institutions; (ii) the independent experts’ administrative experience in academic units of higher education institutions, (iii) the participation of one representative from as professional or other scientific union, sharing an interest in the subject-matter of the academic unit under evaluation, capable of assessing the contribution of the studies offered in practicing the profession.
- If a foreign expert or specialist participates in the Committee, then the evaluation may also be carried out in English, French or German.
- The amount of the emoluments payable to EEC members is determined by joint decision of the Ministers of National Education and Religious Affairs and of Economy and Finance.
Article 9 - External Evaluation Report
- The results of the external evaluation are summarized with any failings or divergences established in connection with the profile, objectives and mission of each academic unit.
- The EEC draws up the draft external evaluation report with the secretarial and administrative support of the HQAA. The draft report is then notified to the academic unit under evaluation, which submits its remarks within a fifteen-day time limit from the date of the notification of the draft. If no remarks are submitted within the above-mentioned time-limit, the draft report is considered to have been approved by the academic unit. The final external evaluation report is forwarded to the institution’s QAU and through that Unit to the relevant academic unit and the HQAA, which is responsible for its publication.
- The external evaluation is completed within four months from the date of submission of the self -evaluation report. The external evaluation report must be drawn up within this time limit.