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Rules and Regulations for Quality Assurance

Rules and Regulations for Quality Assurance

Thursday, July 23, 2015, Official Gazette No: 29423


Rules and Regulations From the Presidency of the Higher Education Council:

RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION

SECTION ONE

Purpose, Scope, Legal Ground and Definitions

Purpose and Scope

ARTICLE 1 - (1) These rules and regulations set forth the processes for  internal and external quality assurance and accreditation of higher education institutions’ academic and research activities, and administrative services, and the appointment of independent external evaluation organizations, as well as the principles pertaining to duties, responsibilities and powers designated for these processes.


Legal Ground
ARTICLE 2-
(1) These Rules and Regulations have been prepared pursuant to Article 7, Article 65 and Article 44, paragraph (b) of Higher Education Law No: 2547 dated November 4, 1981.

Definitions
ARTICLE 3 – (1) For the purpose of these Rules and Regulations, the following terms shall have the following meaning hereinafter:

a) Accreditation: An evaluation and external quality assurance process designed to assess whether academic or field-specific standards set forth by an external evaluation institution have been met by a higher education program,

b) External Evaluation: An external evaluation process conducted by  external evaluators authorized by the Higher Education Quality Board or independent external evaluation institutions recognized by the Higher Education Council and vested with the Quality Evaluation License in order to evaluate the quality of academic and research activities as well as administrative services of a higher education institution or a higher education program,

c) External Evaluation & Accreditation Institutions:  National or international institutions recognized by the Higher Education Council and vested with the Quality Evaluation License,

ç) External Evaluators: People designated by the Higher Education Quality Board to take part in external institutional evaluation of higher education institutions and qualified to be in charge of the external evaluation process,

d)General Board: General Board of Higher Education,

e) Internal Evaluation: Evaluation of the quality of a higher education institution’s academic and research activities, administrative services and institutional quality improvement efforts by evaluators designated by the respective higher education institution,

f)  Quality Evaluation License: The document which verifies that the independent evaluation institution(s) approved by the Council of Higher Education upon the recommendation of the Higher Education Quality Board are authorized to evaluate the quality of academic and research activities and administrative services as well as institutional quality improvement efforts at higher education institutions,

g) Quality Assurance: All planned and systematic processes undertaken to provide assurance that a higher education institution or a higher education program fully meets the requirements of quality and performance processes in compliance with internal and external quality standards,

ğ)Strategic Planning: The process of developing a strategic plan with participative methods and continuous monitoring of the relevant performance indicators in order to create the mission and vision of a higher education within the framework of development plans, programs, relevant legislations and its fundamental principles; to determine strategic goals and measurable targets for the respective higher education institution; to measure the institution’s performance based on pre-set indicators; and to monitor and evaluate this process,

h)National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education in Turkey (TYYÇ): The National Qualifications Framework set forth for higher education,

ı) the National Qualifications Framework: The system which explains the relation between qualifications for higher education on a national level or an education system level and arranges these nationally and internationally recognized qualifications in a specific order,

i)Higher Education Quality Board: The board established pursuant to these rules and regulations for organizing and undertaking quality evaluation and assurance as well as accreditation work at higher education institutions,

j) Higher Education Quality Commission: The commission established within higher education institutions pursuant to these rules and regulations for organizing and undertaking quality evaluation and assurance as well as accreditation work,

k) Status Report on Evaluation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education: An annual report prepared or commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Board based on the institutional evaluation reports submitted by higher education institutions undergone external evaluation within the respective year,

l)Performance Evaluation Report of the Higher Education Institution: An annual report prepared by a higher education institution which includes the results of the institutional evaluation and quality improvement efforts undertaken by the respective institution.

SECTION TWO
Higher Education Quality Board:
Establishment and Organizational Structure
ARTICLE 4 - (1) The Higher Education Quality Board is made up of at most 21 members, including

a)Five members elected by the General Board to represent higher education institutions,

b) Four members elected by the Interuniversity Board,

c)One member representing  the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology,

ç)One member representing the Ministry of Development,

d)One member representing the Ministry of Finance,

e)One member representing the Ministry of National Education,

f) One member representing the Ministry of Health,

g)One member representing the Turkish Academy of Sciences,

ğ) One member representing the Scientific, Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK),

h)One member representing the Presidency of the Turkish Health Institutions,

ı)One member representing the Vocational Qualifications Authority,

i)One member representing the Turkish Accreditation Agency,

j)One member representing the  Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey,

k) Student Representative.



(2)Members elected by the General Board and Interuniversity Board to represent higher education institutions are selected among faculty members each of whom serves at a different higher education institution and is from a different field including social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, health and fine arts with at least ten years of service in higher education institutions and holding extensive experience about the structure, operation and management of higher education and quality evaluation and improvement practices. Members to represent the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of National Education; Ministry of Health; Turkish Academy of Sciences; Scientific, Technological Research Council of Turkey; Presidency of the Turkish Health Institutions; Vocational Qualifications Authority, Turkish Accreditation Agency,  and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey are requested from the respective ministries related to or connected with these institutions. The Student Representative is determined based on the principles and procedures set forth by the Higher Education Quality Board.

(3) The Higher Education Quality Board elects a chair from among the members elected by the Higher Education Council of Turkey with the absolute majority. The chair selects one of the members elected by the Interuniversity Board as Vice Chair.

(4)The term of office of the members of the Higher Education Quality Board is four years, excluding the Student Representative whose term of office is one year. Members are not allowed to serve on the board for more than two semesters.

(5)The term of membership cannot be terminated except of those who fail to attend four meetings in a year without a justified reason and who are unable to serve for more than six months due to sickness, accident or any other reason.

(6) Should any member of the Higher Education Quality Board leave board due to any reason, a new member is elected/appointed within one month by the respective institution/organization with the same method which was employed to elect/appoint the previous member. The newly appointed/elected member’s term of office is four years.

(7) The Higher Education Quality Board convenes at least once a month on the dates specified by the Chair or at any time required upon the summon of the Chair or the written request of at least one third of the members of the Higher Education Quality Board. In the absence of the Chair, the vice chair presides the meetings.

(8) The quorum is the simple majority of the members of the Higher Education Quality Board and decisions are made with the simple majority of the attendees. In case of an equality of votes, the Chairman’s vote is the casting vote.

(9) Members elected by the Higher Education Council of Turkey and the Interuniversity Board cannot attend the meetings in which the topics of discussion are related to the institutions they represent, or are affiliated with or are employed at.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Higher Education Quality Board

ARTICLE 5 - (1) The roles and responsibilities of the Higher Education Quality Board are as follows:

a)To determine the national policy and strategy for quality assurance and accreditation in higher education and submit them to the General Board for approval,

b) To promote the establishment of internal quality assurance systems in higher education institutions and, to that end, to provide guidance to higher education institutions,

c) To organize training programs, meetings, workshops and similar other activities to develop and promote the quality culture,

ç) To monitor all activities pertaining to quality assurance systems in higher education on a national and international level and enter into national and international collaborations,

d) To determine the principles, quality indicators and rules of external evaluation and accreditation and submit these to the General Board for approval,

e) To inform higher education institutions and to make publications about the procedures approved by the General Board for external quality evaluation and accreditation,

f) Following the internal and external evaluation processes higher education institutions have undergone, to review external evaluation reports and to prepare and submit to the General Board a final report which includes recommendations for quality improvement

g) To request the General Board to conduct an external evaluation on any higher education institution that has failed to undergo an external evaluation which must be conducted at least once in five years,  by charging the cost of the evaluation to the respective higher education institution,

ğ) To submit external quality evaluations conducted on higher education institutions throughout the year, any problems faced during these evaluations and recommendations for quality improvement to the General Board at the end of every year,

h) To review and provide an opinion to the General Board about the licensing applications submitted by private entities to the Higher Education Council of Turkey to obtain a license within the framework of principles and rules set forth to operate in the field of external evaluation and accreditation, to monitor the activities of these entities and, when required, to ask information from or warn these entities, or make a recommendation to the General Board to revoke their licenses.

ı) To represent the Board before the international institutions pertaining to quality assurance in higher education,

To share the report and opinion submitted to the General Board as per the paragraphs i) (d), (f), (g), (ğ) and (h) simultaneously with the public on the official website of the Board,

To fulfill any other roles and responsibilities the Higher Education Council of Turkey might assign in accord with the purpose and scope of these rules and regulations.

(2) The Higher Education Quality Board, when necessary, might establish commissions or advisory boards. In such a case, the working principles and procedures of these commissions and boards will be determined by the Higher Education Quality Board.

Office and Personnel Needs and Administrative and Current Expenses of the Higher Education Quality Board

ARTICLE 6 - (1)The cost of office buildings, specialists and administrative personnel required for the services rendered by the Higher Education Quality Board are covered from the budget of the Presidency of the Higher Education Council of Turkey while the administrative and current expenses of the Board are covered from the budget of the Higher Education Quality Board.

SECTION THREE

Establishment of a Quality Commission at Higher Education Institutions,

Its Roles and Responsibilities

Quality Commission at Higher Education Institutions

ARTICLE 7 - (1) Higher education institutions establish a Quality Commission for their internal and external evaluation and quality improvement efforts.

(2) The commission is chaired by the Rector of the respective higher education institution. In the absence of the rector, the commission is chaired by the vice rector.

(3) Members of the commission are determined by the university senate provided that each member is from a different faculty, school, and vocational school and from a different field of science. Members of the commission also includes the Secretary General of the higher education institution, the student representative, Head of Strategy Development at public higher education institutions and the corresponding department heads responsible for the relevant processes at foundation higher education institutions. The number of members and their term of office as well as the working principles and procedures of the commission are determined and announced to the public on the university website by the University senate. In higher education institutions which do not have a senate, these are determined and announced to the public by the University Executive Board. The term of office set forth by the Senate or the University Executive Board must be at least two years.  The student representative is determined based on the principles and procedures set forth by the University Senates. The term of office of the student representative is one year.

(4) Office and personnel support services of the commission are managed by the strategy development directorate or the relevant department of the respective higher education institution.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Quality Commission at Higher Education Institutions

ARTICLE 8 - (1) The roles and responsibilities of the Commission are as follows:

a)  To build the internal and external quality assurance system of the respective institution in order to evaluate and improve the quality of the academic and research activities and administrative services of the institution, to determine institutional indicators, to take the required actions as per the principles and procedures set forth by the Higher Education Quality Board, and to submit these actions to the Senate for approval,

b) To conduct internal evaluation activities and prepare an annual institutional evaluation report which includes the results of the evaluation and quality improvement efforts of the institution, and submit this report to the Senate or the Executive Board, where there is no Senate, and to share the approved annual institutional evaluation report with the public on the homepage of the institution’s website.

c) To make the necessary arrangements during the external evaluation process and to provide all the necessary support to the Higher Education Quality Board and external evaluation institution.

SECTION FOUR

Internal and External Quality Assurance System at Higher Education Institutions

Establishment of internal quality assurance systems in higher education institutions

ARTICLE 9 - (1)Higher education institutions are responsible for the establishment and operation of internal and external quality assurance systems, and ensuring that the internal and external evaluation process is conducted as per principles and procedures set forth.

Internal Evaluation Reports and Calendar

ARTICLE 10 -(1) Higher education institutions prepare a strategic plan which includes their entire academic and research activities as well as supportive administrative services, and an annual internal evaluation report integrated with a performance review program and an activity report.

(2)Higher education institutions complete their internal evaluation work between January and March every year. Higher education institutions then send the Internal Evaluation Report they prepare to the Higher Education Quality Board by the end of April.

Scope of Internal Evaluation Reports

ARTICLE 11 - (1) Internal evaluation  conducted at a higher education institution include the following;

a)The institution’s mission, vision and goals  set forth in the light of the national strategy and goals for higher education as well as quality assurance policies and processes,

b) Measurable goals of its academic units as well as key performance indicators pertaining to these goals and their periodic review,

c) The institution’s ongoing efforts to structure its academic programs based on learning outcomes in accord with the National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education in Turkey and to meet the accreditation requirements,

ç)  The institution’s ongoing efforts regarding the areas identified as “areas for improvement” as a result of the prior internal and external evaluation.

External Evaluation Process and Calendar

ARTICLE 12 -(1) Higher education institutions are responsible for undergoing a periodic external institutional evaluation process conducted by the Higher Education Quality Board at least once in five years. The calendar for the external evaluation of higher education institutions is prepared and announced by the Higher Education Quality Board.

(2)The external evaluation of higher education institutions are conducted either by external evaluators recognized and assigned by the Higher Education Quality Board or independent institutions issued with the Quality Evaluation License by the Higher Education Quality Board.

External evaluation services provided for unit/program accreditation are rendered by a national and international independent institution holding the Quality Evaluation License and these services are limited to the respective unit/program.

Scope of External Evaluation Reports

ARTILE 13 - (1) The external evaluation of a higher education institution is completed in accord with the scope and contents specified in Article 11 of these rules and regulations.

(2) In the case that the external evaluation is conducted on a unit/program basis, the scope of the evaluation will be restricted with the field of activity/service of the respective unit/program.

Announcement of the results of internal and external evaluation

ARTICLE 14 - (1)  The results of internal and external evaluations conducted on higher education institutions are open to the public. Internal and external evaluation reports of higher education institutions are announced on the websites of the respective institutions.

Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance Expenditures

ARTICLE 15 - (1) All expenses incurred by higher education institutions to comply with these rules and regulations are covered from the relevant funds added to the budget of higher education institutions. Foundation higher education institutions must make sure they have sufficient funds in their budgets for the procedures specified in these rules and regulations.

SECTION FIVE

External Evaluation Institutions and Recognition Process

External Evaluation Institutions

ARTICLE 16 - (1) Other than the Higher Education Quality Board, independent quality assurance organizations and institutions with the Quality Evaluation License may also conduct evaluations on an institution, unit or program.

(2) The principles and procedures for the evaluation of reports prepared by independent quality assurance institutions and organizations, applications for the Quality Evaluation License, and periodic evaluation processes and activities are determined by the Higher Education Quality Board.

SECTION SIX

Miscellaneous and Final Provisions

Abolished Rules and Regulations

ARTICLE 17 - (1) The Rules and Regulations for  Academic Evaluation and Quality Improvement at Higher Education Institutions published in the Official Gazette No: 25942 on September 9, 2005 have been abolished.

Bridging Clause

PROVISIONAL ARTICLE 1 - (1) The Higher Education Quality Board determines the strategies, processes, principles and procedures pertaining to academic evaluation and quality improvement at higher education institutions and submits them to the Higher Education Council to have them approved and shared with higher education institutions as stipulated in Article 5 of these rules and regulations within six months from the date these rules and regulations enter into effect.

Effectiveness

ARTICLE 18 -(1) These rules and regulations shall enter into force as of the date of publication.

Execution

ARTICLE 19 – (1) These directives are executed by the President of the Higher Education Council of Turkey.