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Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency

The purpose of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (H.Q.A.A.) is to formulate and implement a unified system of quality assurance, as a reference system to the achievements and work done by the Institutions of Higher Education. Furthermore, to gather and codify the critical information that will guide the State to effectively support the country’s higher education.

H.Q.A.A. is neither a controlling nor an intrusive mechanism to the operation, mission or profile of the Higher Education. To achieve its objectives, the Agency, cooperates and supports the efforts of the HEIs for the improvement of the education quality, in order to ensure the confidence of the Greek society towards the higher education system.

H.Q.A.A. is by definition an independent multi-member institution. Its composed of senior civil servants, who are suggested by the Higher Education Institutions and cover the entire range of disciplines that compose the country’s higher education. The assessment procedures, the operating regulations, as well as the procedures of the quality assurance of the function of the Agency itself are transparent and open to public control.

In particular, the H.Q.A.A.:

  1. Guarantees the transparency of the evaluation procedures
  2. Standardizes, supplements and specifies the evaluation criteria and indicators
  3. Supports the academic units in the implementation of the procedures that aim at ensuring and improving the quality in higher education
  4. Establishes, maintains and renews the Registry of External Experts
  5. Organizes, plans, coordinates and supports the assessment procedures of the Higher Education Institutions
  6. Publishes the results of the evaluations and brings up to date the State and the HEIs on the latest international developments in relevant subjects
  7. Conducts studies and promotes the research in the field of Quality Assurance

H.Q.A.A. implements an effective, internal quality assurance system of high requirements, which will allow it to secure international recognition of both the work of the quality assurance organization, as well as –most importantly- the work of the academic units of Greek Higher Education.

As acquired by Law (Law 4115/2013, 4076/2012, 4009/2011, 3374/2005):

  1. The mission of the Agency (H.Q.A.A.) is to ensure high quality in higher education. In the framework of its mission, the Agency supports the State and the Universities in the formulation and implementation of the national strategy for higher education and certifies the quality of the operation of Higher Education Institutions
  2. The Agency ensures the transparency of all its actions in the framework of the evaluation and accreditation of the quality in Higher Education Institutions

Responsibilities of quality accreditation:

  1. As part of its mission, the Agency applies, in particular, the following Accreditation practices:
    1. Periodically certifies the quality of:
      1. the internal systems of quality assurance of HEIs as defined in the Article 14 and
      2. the curricula of higher education, including short-cycle programmes, lifelong learning, e-learning, as well as collaborations with other domestic or foreign educational or research institutions
    2. Suggests to the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, as well as the governing bodies of the HEIs, ways and means for the continuous ensure of high quality in higher education.
  2. To achieve its mission and to apply its responsibilities, the Agency:
    1. forms, organizes, specifies, standardizes and publishes in advance the relevant procedures, criteria and indicators, particularly, in the framework of the common principles and guidelines of the European Higher Education Area,
    2. develops an integrated information management system and assessment database, in collaboration with the Quality Assurance Units (MODIP) of the universities,
    3. supports the universities and their units in the planning of the quality assurance and accreditation procedures and
    4. conducts studies and researches related to its mission or has other institutions make them for it
  3. Within its activities, the Agency can:
    1. Differentiate the procedures and criteria certifying the quality of the curricula, as defined in the Articles 71 and 72, for:
      1. institutions that have received accreditation of their internal quality assurance systems and institution that have not received a similar accreditation
      2. new curricula and curricula that are already operating
    2. Postpone or suspend the assessment and accreditation of a curriculum or an internal quality assurance system, if the request for assessment or accreditation does not go along with the required informational material and the necessary documentation
    3. Define one more language, except for Greek, for the implementation of its activities
  4. The Accreditation is a process of external evaluation based on specific, predetermined, internationally accepted and publicized in advance, quantitative and qualitative criteria and indicators. The purpose of accreditation is the external quality assurance in higher education and the efficiency and transparency of the overall function of the Higher Education Institutions.

Composition of the H.Q.A.A.:

  1. Evaggelos KOUFOUDAKIS, Professor, Chairman
  2. Georgios STAMELOS, Professor, University of Patra
  3. Stylianos STAMATOPOULOS, Professor, Democritus University of Thrace
  4. Maria LAZARIDOU, Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  5. Euthymios TSIONAS, Professor, Athens University of Economics & Business
  6. Emmanuil KOUKIOS, Professor, National Technical University of Athens
  7. Ioannis GEROTHANASIS, Professor, University of Ioannina
  8. Cleomenis OIKONOMOU, Professor, TEI of Athens
  9. Vasilios TSIANTOS, Professor, TEI of Central Macedonia &Thrace
  10. Prodromos GIANNAS, Professor, TEI of Piraeus
  11. Ioannis KAPOLOS, Professor, TEI of Peloponnese
  12. Dimitrios NIARCHOS, Researcher