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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS   versione testuale
1. BOLOGNA PROCESS

1.1. What is it?
1.2. Is it legally binding?
1.3. Who does it involve?
 1.4. When will it be completed?

► 2. INTERNAL EVALUATION

 2.1. What are the stages of the evaluation process as suggested by AVEPRO?
 2.2. What is internal evaluation? Why is it necessary?
2.3. Who performs it? 
2.4. How is it performed?
2.5. How long does the experts’ visit last?
 2.6. How often does it need to take place?
 2.7. What role do students play in the evaluation process?
 2.8. Are students involved in the evaluation process?

► 3. EXTERNAL EVALUTATION

 3.1. What are the stages of the evaluation process as suggested by AVEPRO?
3.2. What is external evaluation? Why is it necessary?
 3.3. Who performs it and how is it done?
 3.4. How long does the experts’ visit last?
 3.5. How often does it need to take place?
 3.6. What are the criteria for evaluation?

► 4. EXPERTS

 4.1. Who selects them?

► 5. REPORTS 

5.1. Self-Evaluation Report (what it is and who prepares it)
5.2. Peer review group internal evaluation report (what it is and who prepares it)
5.3. External evaluation report (what it is and who prepares it)
5.4. Are the reports published?
5.5. Do the reports contain personal information such as names?

► 6. STUDENTS

 6.1. What role do students play?
 6.2. Does AVEPRO have legislative powers?


► 1. BOLOGNA PROCESS

► 1.1. What is?
The Bologna Process is a European process of academic reform, the original aim of which was to create a single European Higher Education Area by 2010. 47 countries are currently involved, with the support of various international organizations and the direct involvement of all European institutions. The process seeks to converge the university systems of the participating countries to organize higher education systems and individual institutions throughout Europe, and involves:
• the adoption of a system of academic degrees which are easy to read and compare, to allow for their mutual recognition;
• the adoption of a system based on three cycles and a new system of credits, the ECTS;
• making higher education in Europe more attractive to non-EU students;
• promoting the social dimension of the Process;
• promoting cooperation within the EU on quality assurance and the implementation of the criteria and guidelines proposed by ENQA.

► 1.2. Is it legally binding?
Two aspects of the Bologna Process need to be clarified. Firstly, it is not based on an international treaty that binds the governments of the countries involved: although the relevant ministers have signed various documents, each country – and its academic community – adheres to the common principles on a voluntary basis. Secondly, the process does not seek to standardize the individual European systems of higher education, but aims to preserve their diversity within a common framework, while building bridges between them.

► 1.3. Who does it involve?
The 47 European countries that have adhered to the Bologna Process so far are: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

► 1.4. When will it be completed?
As not all the objectives have been achieved in full, the original deadline of 2010 has been deferred until 2020.


2.  INTERNAL EVALUTATION

2.1. What are the stages of the evaluation process as suggested by AVEPRO?
Diagram illustrating the stages of the evaluation process (pdf).

► 2.2. What is internal evaluation? Why is it necessary? 

In the process of internal evaluation, the unit under evaluation seeks to respond to four fundamental questions (What are we trying to do? How are we trying to do it? How do we know if it is working? How can we improve?). These questions prompt the unit to reflect on its mission, purpose, objectives, strategic priorities and procedures, with the aim of bringing about improvements.

► 2.3. Who performs it?
One of the first fundamental stages in the organization of quality evaluation is the creation of an appropriate internal QA body within each institution.
As most ecclesiastical institutions are small, it would not make sense to insist on such a body in all cases: another appropriate solution should be adopted.

► 2.4. How is it performed?
The method includes various stages for each unit:
• the preparation of a self-evaluation report under certain headings, to explain the work and activities of the unit in detail. The emphasis is on reflection, analysis and self-criticism;
• an international group of external experts reads the self-evaluation report and spends a few days visiting the unit. This group writes a report of the visit, highlighting any recommendations for improvement;
• the report is made available to all interested parties;
• a plan of action is agreed upon to implement the recommendations contained in the external experts’ report.

► 2.5. How long does the experts’ visit last?
The duration of the visits by experts depends on the size of the unit under evaluation; an average of two to three days is generally sufficient.

► 2.6. How often does it need to take place?
The guidelines drawn up by ENQA suggest that the entire evaluation process be repeated once every five years.

► 2.7. What role do students play in the evaluation process?
During the self-evaluation process, students receive questionnaires to fill in. They can also request to speak to members of the external evaluation team during their visit.

► 2.8. Are students involved in the evaluation process?  
Students can be chosen by their university to take part in the evaluation of the unit (faculty, library, canteen, etc.).

3. EXTERNAL EVALUTATION

► 3.1. What are the stages of the evaluation process as suggested by AVEPRO?
Diagram illustrating the stages of the evaluation process (pdf).

► 3.2. What is external evaluation? Why is it necessary?
The process of external evaluation is intended to assess the realization and effectiveness of internal quality systems. The procedures used for external quality assessment are proportional to the size of the institution in question and reflect those used for the internal evaluation. Specifically, external evaluation seeks to:
• provide a brief but comprehensive summary of the unit’s vision of its strategic objectives and its ability to achieve them;
• illustrate the quality procedures and systems already in place, assessing their effectiveness;
• provide a critical analysis of the unit’s activities and act as a springboard for its development and improvement;
• help the unit to identify its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and suggest appropriate solutions when necessary;
• identify any procedural and organizational weaknesses in the definition of policies and other matters that are under the control of the unit and can be changed.

► 3.3. Who performs it and how is it done?
External evaluations are organized by AVEPRO, which selects a team of international experts to perform them. Having read the unit’s self-evaluation report and spent one or two days visiting the site, the experts write up a report which will be published. The institution then prepares an action plan based on the experts’ report and AVEPRO monitors developments during the implementation of the plan.

► 3.4. How long does the experts’ visit last?
The duration of the visits by experts depends on the size of the unit/faculty/university under evaluation; an average of two to three days is generally sufficient.

► 3.5. How often does it need to take place?
The guidelines drawn up by ENQA suggest that the entire evaluation process be repeated once every five years.

► 3.6. What are the criteria for evaluation?
The criteria are defined by the Sapientia christiana, the statute(s) of the institution, the ESG and the guidelines provided by AVEPRO. It should be pointed out that, with the exception of the general principles, the regulations may be subject to change according to the context in which they are applied.


4. EXPERTS

 ► 4.1. Who selects them?
The peer review group charged with carrying out the site visit at the end of the internal evaluation phase is chosen by the institution itself. The team of external experts who carry out the site visit is selected by AVEPRO.


5. REPORTS

► 5.1. Self-Evaluation Report (what it is and who prepares it) 
The self-evaluation report generally varies in length (from 5 to 25 pages) according to the size of the unit under evaluation. Its purpose is to provide a concise but comprehensive presentation of the activities and processes of the faculty or service unit in question, with the emphasis on self-analysis and self-criticism. The self-evaluation report should help the faculty/unit to identify and analyse its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and introduce the necessary improvements.

► 5.2. Peer review group internal evaluation report (what it is and who prepares it)

In this document the peer review group selected by the institution itself puts forward its recommendations, with the aim of encouraging quality improvement. The coordinator of the external peer review group is responsible for writing up this report.

► 5.3. External evaluation report (what it is and who prepares it)
In this document the group of experts selected by AVEPRO certifies the validity and precision of the self-evaluation report, puts forward any proposals to favour the institution’s development, and provides suggestions for further actions to be taken – both by the institution and by the relevant academic authorities.

► 5.4. Are the reports published? 

Only the external experts’ reports are published, following the external evaluation.

►5.5. Do the reports contain personal information such as names?
None of the reports contain personal information, ensuring complete anonymity. 


6. STUDENTS

► 6.1. What role do students play?
Apart from through questionnaires and conversations, students are selected by the university to join the unit’s (faculty, library, canteen) evaluation team, bearing in mind that this commitment must not take up too much of their time.

► 6.2. Does AVEPRO have legislative powers?
No. Regulatory competence remains with the Congregation for Catholic Education, as does responsibility for the accreditation of ecclesiastical universities or faculties and any administrative decisions. The Congregation also reserves the right to take corrective action, when necessary, concerning problems identified by the experts following the external evaluation.

© 2010 AVEPRO