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Zagreb, October 30 2018

Addressing the changes in the global environment, specfically the challenges through which the higher education institutions face and respond to them, was the goal of the Conference The future of higher education: quality assurance as a promoter of change. Global, European and Croatian perspectives. The conference was held on October 30, 2018 in Zagreb, organized by the Agency for Science and Higher Education.

Eminent global and European educational policy experts Dr. Francisco Marmolejo, global lead of tertiary education (the World Bank), Dr. Judith S. Eaton, president of the Council for  Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in theUnited States Dr. Karl Dittrich, president of the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) and Ms. Tove Blytt Holmen, board member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), presented new insights on the role and position of independent quality assurance agencies in higher education that, through external evaluation processes, support higher education institutions in their continuous transformation into innovative institutions that successfully deal with contemporary challenges.

The quality of higher education is the only logical answer to the challenges that higher education institutions face around the world, as well as here in our country, emphasized the Director of ASHE, Prof. Jasmina Havranek, PhD. She also added that the Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education has made tremendous efforts over the past ten years in order for higher education institutions themselves to recognize the importance of quality and assume the responsibility for its improvement.

Higher education and education in general, are the axis of social and economic development. Therefore, the discussion, especially at the international level, encourages changes in order to increase and improve the system, stated in her speech Prof. Blazenka Divjak, PhD, minister of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia.

Presentations were also held by Croatian experts who especially focused on the opportunities and challenges in Croatia: Prof. Drazan Kozak, PhD Vice-Rector of Josip Juraj Strossmayer University in Osijek, Prof. Josip Faricic, PhD, Vice-Rector of the University of Zadar and Mr. Aleksandar Susnjar, representative of the Croatian Student Union and European Student Union. In their presentations they discussed the accreditation process, its contribution to the relevance of study programmes and the strengthening of the links between higher education and the economic sector.

The conference brought together almost 200 participants from all over Croatia and neighbouring countries: representatives of higher education institutions, the Ministry of Science and Education, the Rectors’ Conference, the Council of Polytechnics and Colleges, the National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development, the Croatian Students Union, economic and other stakeholders in the system of higher education and science.

By organizing this event, the Agency for Science and Higher Education wanted to encourage the debate on the necessity of an independent accreditation process, which takes into consideration the various stakeholder perspectives and emphasizes the potential of the accreditation process as an instrument for reform, which is a complement to other sectoral and national policies and measures.


Prof. dr. sc. Jasmina Havranek ravnateljica AZVO-a


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The conference was organized within the framework of the project SKAZVO– improving the quality assurance system and enhancement systems in higher education implemented by ASHE for the purpose of developing a new model of the external quality assurance system of higher education in Croatia. This project is co-financed by the European Union, with a value of 20,391,217.54 HRK of which 85% is allocated directly to ASHE from the European Social Fund.

This document reflects exclusively the views of the author and the European Commission cannot be held liable when using the information contained therein.