Public Administration Education Quality Enhancement (PAQUALITY)

Duration: September 1st, 2018 – August 31st, 2021 (36 months/ 3y)

Most impacted field: Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education

Relevant topics: Quality Assurance, New innovative curricula, Research and innovation

Main objective: Innovation

Priorities:The project aims to support changes in the area of public administration education in conformity with Bologna objectives, mainly:

• Promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance with a view to developing comparable criteria and methodologies, and

• Promotion of the necessary European dimensions in higher education, particularly with regards to curricular development, inter-institutional co-operation, mobility schemes and integrated programs of study, training and research

Project summary: On 30 May 2017, the European Commission presented its new strategy to support high quality, inclusive and future-oriented school and higher education. This project directly follows this strategy by focusing on the Public Administration (PA) education and its quality, which hasn't been targeted comprehensively yet. The present era and challenges of the European integration, globalization, and massive requirements on a good democratic governance, stimulating inclusive economic growth and social well-being, call for a new generation of public administration professionals capable to cope with these challenges. There is a huge demand on the educational and research institutions to provide human resources to fulfill this gap and to provide research outcomes, which could be applied as necessary background for development of good policies on national as well as supra-national levels. The mentioned demand requires a proper quality of high level PA programs.

The high level PA education is a relatively new field in the new EU members, because it has been re-established there since the early 1990s, when the Communist Parties´ regimes collapsed. Within this context, numerous national accreditation systems have not recognized these programs as an independent field of study yet. Over the past two decades many new PA programs have been developed, but they differ very much and are based on different national accreditation systems, which could be hardly comparable trans- nationally. The EAPAA was established in 1999 in order to promote the "European quality" in the field. But very few of the public administration programs from the EU new member countries have been involved in such an international quality evaluation of their programs yet, but there are numerous benefits that an effective quality assessment process can produce for the participating institutions. In addition there is no comprehensive mapping of these programs nor cooperation among them in terms of quality enhancement.

Therefore NISPAcee has created the Strategic Partnership with the EAPAA and additional eight partner universities from the new EU member countries with an objective to enhance the quality of high education in the public administration and related programs in the NMS of the EU towards the European quality level, and towards their relevance for the practice. Special focus will be on PA programs in the Slovak Republic, the location of NISPAcee and 3 project partners. EAPAA standards implemented directly through accreditation or certification, or indirectly through promotion and fostering of an adoption of EAPAA´s requirements into national quality assurance systems, will serve as a tool for an achievement of the project objective.

The innovative methodology of the whole project is based on mutual learning and cooperation of all partners. It will allow all HEIs to be involved in an international external evaluation in roles of evaluators. Traditionally are these programs only a subject of an evaluation by an evaluation agency. This will provide them with a knowledge and experience for fostering necessary changes on national levels, and EAPAA as well. Simultaneously they will become equipped with necessary tools and experience for self- assessment and an enhancement of their own programs towards European quality.

The goal of the project will be achieved within three years by an implementation of the following activities and outputs: 8 Intellectual Outputs which include 11 country studies on public administration education and national quality assessment systems, development of an open source for quality sharing in PA education, establishment of communication tools among the programs and relevant quality assurance agencies, implementation of 16 international evaluations of public administration programs and providing these programs with an advice for an improvement, development of at least 8 self-evaluation studies for an improvement of the partners' programs and 8 additional from other institutions, implementation of 6 multiplier events in 6 countries, implementation of two 3days learning events - workshops in two countries, analyzing opportunities of the EAPAA accreditation in the new EU member countries, and development of a summary study - an e-publication on The Policy Recommendations for Quality Enhancement of Public Administration Programs in the new EU Member States.

Management of the Project and Quality Assurance

The NISPAcee as an applicant, will chair and keep coordination of the whole project.

Main Coordinator of the Project (MCP) will be appointed by NISPAcee, and each partner will appoint its administrator and financial manger of the project, a Project Team responsible for the implementation of activities assigned for the respective partner, and a Project Team Head responsible for development of the project Intellectual Outputs.

Heads of PTs will create the Project Board Chaired by the NISPAcee Executive Director. The Board will be the main decision making body of the project and will meet at least once a year during the Transnational meetings.

A Project Quality Assessment Committee will be settled and it will include the most distinguished and recognized scholars participating in the project. The Committee will be responsible for the quality of the project outputs. The Committee would report to the project Board and to the NISPAcee Steering Committee, which consists of 7 highly recognized experts from 7 countries.