- Project Management based on the detailed Action Plan
- Organising Management Meetings (5 meetings)
WP2 Overview on Quality Assurance (QA) in Armenia
- Designing a Comparative Study on students involvement in QA in EU and Eastern Neighbouringarea
- Producing the State of Art on Studentsinvolvement in QA in Armenia
WP3 Students Empowerment in QA
- Organising awareness raise event on the role and involvement of students in QA
- Designing and providing training sessionsfor students on QA – 2 sessions – 25 participants
- Designing the Students participation QA Handbook
WP4 QA Review Simulation
- Preparing and organising the review simulation exercise at the programmeand institutional level (5 days at each partner university– teams of 5 trained students for AM and teams 6 for EU, accompanied by a coach)
- Preparing and organising the review exercise at the National QA Agency(3 days – 6 trained students + coach)
WP5 Capacity Building for students organisations to ensure students participation in QA
- Preparing and organising the students exchange(4 flows x 5 AM students in LT; PL; NL; UK and 4 flows of students from LT, PL, NL, UK to AM)
- Developing students QA networking (Support for participating in QA events; Prepare a paper for EQAF about student participation in QA in Armenia and even in the neighbouring countries; Encouraging and supporting the Regional networking ).
- Designing the Students' guide to improving learning experience
WP6 Dissemination Activities
- Organising 2 dissemination events
- Developing Online dissemination
- Short videos
- Students engagement in QA – campaign materials (creative visual competition)
WP7Project Quality Assurance and Evaluation
- Designing the Quality Assurance and Evaluation Plan
- Preparing the Quality Assurance and Evaluation Reports
- Advisory Board meetings
WP8 Exploitation and Sustainability
- Creating the national students pool of experts on QA
- Defining the legal framework for ensuring the students participation in QA in Armenia
- Preparing the Sustainability plan
The project consortium has developed a number of Work packages, which have links with each other. The task of the Management team and partner(s) responsible for Quality assurance is to make sure there are visible links between the work packages, all partners are aware of their tasks, they report to the rest of the consortium accordingly, also in case of meeting any difficulties. It is also important to ensure proper dissemination of the project activities during the lifecycle of the project itself, not only on its final stages.
Even though ESU and the other EU partners have good understanding about the Armenian higher education thanks to the various reviews and policy documents or study visits to Armenia, there is still lack of information on student perception on quality education and students’ engagement in its assurance/ enhancement. The lack of information extends to the Neighboring region as well. Therefore the first activity to be delivered is a comparative study on student involvement in QA in EU and Eastern Neighboring area. Such study will help to identify general trends and good practices to be used on the later stages of the project.
It is important to have an in-depth survey on Armenian students’ perception to Quality and their involvement with QA processes (State of the art of students’ contribution to QA). The survey will be running in Armenian language to get better response rate, as English language proficiency is not yet common in the country. There also will be a number of focus groups to tackle the academic and management staff of HEI, employers to find out their perceptions on the role of students in QA.
The outcomes of the survey(s) and advice from Sparqs Scotland will help to develop a fit-for-purpose action plan to tackle awareness among general student population on quality and QA (WP3); skills and competences for the external reviews (WP4) and organizational set-up for student-experts in Armenia (WP5).
1. Awareness raising event to start a public discussion on the role of students in enhancing learning experience/ QA
2. Tackling barriers for student participation (to be identified in the process of delivering the study)
3. Campaign towards the students and student representatives on their role in enhancing quality of education
Training block 1: Training students to participate in QA on the institutional level/ training students representatives(WP3)
Know three areas of what is Enhancement of Student learning experience:
• How is the curriculum, in its broadest sense, shaped and delivered?
• Who is it for - how is the student body changing?
• What support is required for/ from staff?
Skills to be developed during the training programme:
• Be able to identify key events and activities that they need to participate in
• Have begun to develop a strategy to engage students at your own institution
• Have started to think about how you can shape the development of the theme at a national level
Methodology: Participative workshops, input sessions, individual/ group work, feedback sessions, skill building exercises (i.e. how to run a campaign). A handbook to further support student engagement will be produced within this work package.
Training block 2: Piloting QA assessment exercises - training student-experts for the external reviews (WP4)
Skills to be developed during the training programme:
• Know what is the purpose of external reviews
• Understand the difference between the program and institutional reviews
• Understand what are the tasks of the national QA agency, how its policy and procedures are being designed and how students could influence it
• Find out how the review reports can be used by the institution to achieve an impact of the external QA
• Learn how to apply the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG)
• Know, how to act being a member of the panel (where to find the relevant information, how to formulate the questions)
• Develop the skills to multiply the knowledge – organize the trainings to other student representatives
Methodology is build around role-play exercises: assessment exercise at course/ program level; assessment exercise at HEI level; assessment exercise at QAA level.
Separate focus will be put on strengthening capacity of student organization to build up a sustainable model for students’ engagement (WP5). In a number of countries in Europe we have existing student experts’ pools on QA, which are usually run by the National students’ unions. The work package will encourage sharing good practices on students’ involvement in QA in Europe, legislative practices and organizational structures. Exchanges will be supported by setting up an e-learning/ e-communication platform, where students can find advice on further students’ engagement, receive tips on how to act on the review panel and other. All the research materials from WP2 will be found on this platform as well as other training and campaign materials. WP2, 3, 4 and 5 will be directly feeding into the WP8, which will sum up all the efforts to the logical resolution.
Dissemination (WP 6) will target both students/ student representatives and wider range of stakeholders (HEI, government officials). Dissemination tools will be chosen to reach the respective target group (social media to reach the students, news articles to reach the academics, etc.). Dissemination events will aim at bringing both students/ student representatives and other relevant stakeholders together. Even though students are the core target group of the ESPAQ project, they would not be able to exercise their right to fully participate without the recognition from the HEI and government representatives. Therefore, on various occasions, project activities will involve both students and other stakeholders.
One of the desired outcomes of the project is having a functioning legislative framework, which allows students to participate in QA procedures independently and nominate the experts for external reviews (currently the QA agency can select the prospective PhD student for their procedures, avoiding the nomination from ANSA). It should also encourage better recognition of local students’ unions on the HEI level, especially when it comes to designing and approving curricula, setting up institutional QA procedures and other.
Another functional outcome would be setting up a national QA experts pool/ community of practitioners on QA, with a developed action plan, engagement strategy and training plan. The pool will emerge after the consultation with ANSA, with the support of other ESU members and ESPAQ consortium members.
The set objectives and the methodology to achieve the planned objectives is clearly defined and laid out across the eight work packages (WPs). For each Work Package a WP Leader will be responsible for implementing the activities and producing the deliverables planned.
The quality of the deliverables will be double checked through internal evaluation ensured by the project partners and through the feedback from the Advisory Board members.
The set of indicators (quantitative and qualitative) will be defined in detail in the Quality Assurance and Evaluation Plan, to measure the project performance.