The challenges of higher education quality assurance in Georgia

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University Press
Quality assurance of higher education in Georgia is one of the main challenges facing the country. There is a relevant legislative-normative base in the country, which regulates the process of implementing the educational and scientific research activities of the HEIs, and also determines the quality of internal and external assurance procedures. Authorization and accreditation processes are determined as the mechanisms of external assurance of quality. Authorization mainly covers the issue of obtaining the status of the HEI, and accreditation establishes compliance with the educational requirements of an educational institution. The quality of internal assurance is provided by the HEI through their Quality Assurance Service, which carries out quality assurance activities, evaluates and monitors the ongoing processes and promotes the improvement of the quality of higher education in the educational institution. The quality assurance of higher education based on its complex and multifaceted nature, implies a complex approach to the issue, namely in modern conditions, the HEI has been actively using the Total Quality Management System (TQM) that enables the HEIs to improve competitiveness both at local and international markets. Despite the fact that in Georgia there are determined external and internal procedures for higher education quality assurance, the mechanisms of their implementation are established, the quality of higher education in the country is still far from the desired condition; in particular, in the country, a significant part of the unemployed has higher education; in the world leading university rankings Georgian higher educational institutions occupy, in the best case, beyond the first thousand. Taking into consideration the current situation, in order to ensure high quality of higher education in Georgia, we consider it necessary to carry out the following measures: It is necessary to establish a stable, sustainable legislative-normative environment in the field of education and higher education in the country, since frequent change is particularly spontaneous, enables the HEIs to focus on new formal requirements, while the quality of education and its development becomes the secondary task; it is necessary to focus on the results of higher education quality assurance processes and remove the quality assessment mechanisms from excessive pressure; it is very important to maximize internationalization of quality assurance processes both at institutional and HEI levels. It is necessary to maximally separate the evaluation criteria used in the authorization and accreditation processes and the timely evaluation processes is required; continuous retraining of human resources involved in the evaluation process (including experts, board members and subjects participating in other processes); staffing of accreditation boards on fields basis; active support for the establishment of “quality culture” in the HEI and achievement of more transparency in quality assurance processes.
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Higher Education Institution (HEI); Quality of Higher Education; Quality Assurance Mechanisms; Authorization; Accreditation
Economics and Business, №1, 2019, pp. 146-157