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 4 - Self-evaluation
- Self-evaluation constitutes the first stage of the evaluation, and consists in the systematic assessment and recording of tuition, research or other work completed by the academic units of the higher education institutions, in connection with their profile, objectives and mission.
- The self-evaluation is a periodically repeated, participatory procedure, which is jointly performed by the members of the teaching -research or educational and other scientific staff and the students of each academic unit by means of questionnaires, interviews, group talks and any other suitable sources of information. It reaches its completion with the preparation of the self-evaluation report concerning the academic unit in question.
- The self-evaluation is founded on the analysis of the cumulative data contained in the last annual internal report of each academic unit indicated in Article 2 paragraph 5, and the results of the procedures referred to in the previous paragraph. The self-evaluation is taken into consideration for the purposes of the external evaluation of the academic unit’s tutition,research or other tasks carried out by independent experts.
Article 5 - Self-evaluation Procedure
- The self-evaluation is performed care of each academic unit which is subject to evaluation, in cooperation with the QAU of the higher education institution where such academic unit belongs, and must meet the evaluation criteria and indices of Article 3 paragraph 1, as these are supplemented and specified on the basis of the guidelines and standards issued each time by the HQAA.
- By resolution of their General Assemblies, the academic units which are subject to evaluation (Faculties or Departments) appoint Internal Evaluation Groups (IEG), which consist of members of the Teaching -Research Staff or Educational Staff holding the rank of a Professor or Assistant Professor, with internationally recognized scientific work and, preferably, prior experience in quality assurance procedures. The IEG is joined by a representative of the students, nominated by the competent student representation body. The IEG is responsible for carrying out the self-evaluation procedure at the relevant academic unit, monitors the filling out of the questionnaires, informs the academic unit’s bodies and members about the responses and results of the dialogue with teachers and students, collects all the necessary relevant data and, on the basis of the above, draws up the academic unit’s self-evaluation report which is then forwarded to the institution’s QAU and through the latter to the HQAA.
- Should the programmes of graduate or postgraduate studies or other services provided by the academic units or higher education institutions be separately evaluated in the framework of their mission, Special Evaluation Groups (SEG) are formed, with the participation of a joint representative of the unit’s or institution’s other scientific and administrative staff, in addition to the members of the Teaching -Research Staff or Educational Staff and the representative of the Students.
- The responsibility and liability for the overall evaluation of the operation of each higher education institution lie with the QAU of the relevant institution, which operates as that institution’s Internal Evaluation Group.
- The questionnaires filled out in writing by the teaching staff and students pertain mainly to the quality and means of research and tuition, the structure and contents of studies, the students’ welfare, the administrative services and the technical infrastructure of the unit or institution and may be in the standard layout allowing for differences arising from the specifications of each academic unit. The replies to the questions provided by the students express their opinions on the quality of tuition, the optimal organization of the courses, their cooperation with the teaching staff and their expectations from their studies. The questionnaires are filled out by the students on a voluntary basis, anonymously and without prior notice in the framework of the compulsory courses offered during the semester, the whole procedure being monitored by the IEG with the cooperation of the teaching staff.
- The self-evaluation procedure lasts two running semesters.
Article 6 - Self-evaluation Report
- The academic unit’s self-evaluation report comprises all of the above data in conjunction with the unit’s profile, objectives and mission.
- The self-evaluation report contains, in particular, a critical-evaluative analysis of the course of implementation of the objectives for the work of the academic unit under assessment, the positive and negative points emerging from the evaluation, the measures which must be adopted in order for the objectives set by the unit itself to be accomplished, for the activities under assessment to be better organized, for the titles of studies awarded by the unit and its scientific activity to be upgraded as well as all other measures of assurance or improvement of the quality of the tuition, research or other work provided by the academic unit.
- The self-evaluation report is drawn up by the IEG of the relevant academic unit in accordance with the evaluation criteria and indices of Article 3 paragraph 1, as these are supplemented and specified on the basis of the guidelines and standards each time issued by the HQAA. In the cases outlined in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the previous article, the report is drawn up by the relevant SEG or the institution’s QAU.
- The self-evaluation report is taken into consideration, inter alia, for the adoption of resolutions by the competent bodies at all operational levels of the academic unit or institution.