SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT
The project „Development and implementation of system for performance evaluation for Serbian HEIs and system – PESHES“ has wider objective Improvement of management, operation and quality of higher education institutions and system in Serbia. In order to fulfil the general objective project has specific objectives to define and implement indicators and measures for performance based evaluation of higher education institutions and system as a basis for value based management in Serbian HEIs and system; Structuring and pilot implementation of the system for ranking of institutions and study programs and Introduction of performance measurement in accreditation and reaccreditation of study programs and HEIs. The project is structured as project of structural measures and project is national (Serbia). Project is under priority of “Improving management and operation of higher education institutions” in category Quality assurance processes and mechanisms.
The idea of the project, as well as goals and outcomes are connected with two the most important documents in Republic of Serbia. The first one is “Education Development Strategy in Serbia until 2020” (http://www.mpn.gov.rs/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/strategija_obrazovanja_do_2020.pdf) and second one “Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy for Development of Education in Serbia by 2020”.
Analyzing the document “Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy for Development of Education in Serbia by 2020”, this project is focused on the first place on “Higher Education – Joint action”, particularly action with code VO-ZD 09 “Introduction of quality indicators in Higher education”. This particular action has following implementation action (according to Strategy and Action plan): (1) Definition of set of indicators for monitoring of condition of HE, (2) Improvement of accreditation standards, (3) Development of model for implementation of indicators (information system). We developed project proposal that is strictly focused on this action so our work package 2 corresponds to (1) and working package 3 corresponds to (3) and working package 4 corresponds to (2). In addition this project partly covers set of actions from “Higher Education – Joint action” (VO-ZD 08 Improvement of public responsibility of HE for quality of education, VO-ZD 21 Improvement of approach students’ centric education, VO-ZD 24 Improvement of cooperation with employers, business and industry, VO-ZD 25 Improvement of research component of HE and VO-ZD 26 Improvement of innovation potential and innovation outcomes). On the second place project is focused on “Academic studies (bachelor and master), action VO-AC05 “Introduction of ranking of study programs” with implementation actions: (1) Definition of set of indicators, (2) Analysis of different ranking programs (based on opinion of employers as well as based on knowledge of students), (3) Systematic inclusion of employers in procedure of evaluation and ranking (4) Establishment of Manual for ranking of study programs. All this implementation activities are covered by specific working packages and results of specific project activities will define these outcomes. (Please refer to working packages 1, 2 and 4). On the third place the project will contribute to “Financing of Education – University education”, action FO-VO14 “Development of model of financing with integration of indicators for measurement of quality of education process”. The results of the project will contribute to decision and regulations of Ministry of education, science and technological development of Republic of Serbia and to experts’ teams.
According to this analysis it is clear that project proposal has goals and aims to fulfill specific actions stated in “Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy for Development of Education in Serbia by 2020”.
In addition in order to underline importance of this topic of education, science and technological development of Republic of Serbia in cooperation with Expert team for reform of Higher Education organized conference “Informative day about indicators for measurement of performance of higher education – the road to the new model of financing and ranking of study programs” that was held on November 24, 2015. The goal of the meeting was beginning of discussion about possible models of financing of higher education based on indicators as a part of introduction of Higher education law. The minister of Serbian government open that meeting stating importance of performance based management as well as introduction of quality indicators in Higher education (http://erasmusplus.rs/odrzan-informativni-dan-%D0%BE-indikatorima/?langkl=lat).
From everything stated above it is absolutely clear that proposed project with its goals, working packages, and potential outcomes strictly corresponds to actions and priorities of Action Plan. The suggested project idea is very important for Serbian higher education institutions and systems as whole and this fact has been stated by Minister of Serbian government as well as stated by support of Ministry for realization of this project
The participants in the project have been carefully selected in order to provide specific skills, expertise and competences relating to planned project activities. On the first place all Serbian state Universities are included in this project (University of Belgrade, University of Novi Sad, University of Nis, University of Kragujevac and University of Novi Pazar). Singidunum University is included in the consortium as the representative of privately owned higher education institutions. All this universities need to ensure that project results will be implemented at all state universities as well that all different point of view will be included in the development phase. In the process of definition and implementation of approach based on indicators, in evaluation of higher education institutions different stakeholders should be involved according to both “Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy for Development of Education in Serbia by 2020” and experiences of EU countries’ partners.
The following partners will be included: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia in order to provide different statistical information that are important In the process of setting key performance indicators as well as in the process of monitoring of different indicators; National Employment Bureau that will provide data about employability, unemployment and provide connection with employers; Ministry of education, science and technological development will support the realization of the project on the one side and will use project results in implantation of different actions on the national level; Serbian Universities and CPN will provide dissemination of the project results on all academic institutions in Serbia, CAASS Conference of vocational educational institutions in Serbia will use experience gained in the project for setting the environment for vocational studies; National Council for Higher Education that will monitor and use results in development of regulative and suggestions for higher education. The following EU partners will contribute to realization of this project: University of Twente, (Center for Higher Education Policy Studies) Holland has large experience in the field of higher education financing, trends, strategies and performance orientation as well as management of the project U-Multirank and its uses for institutional management; University of Rijeka, Croatia was selected because Croatia has recently developed specific system for performance measurement and interconnected that system with financing of HE, so Serbian Ministry of education science and technological development suggested Croatia as model; Univeristy of Valencia has great experince in defining European indicators and ranking methodology for University and finally University of Torino, Italy was selected because their experience in this filed. It is clear that all partners have been selected according their skills and potential role in the project, national models and leading roles in similar projects.
PROJECT ACTIVITIES AND METHODOLOGY
The project activities and working methodology has been developed according to stated aim, wider and specific objectives in order to achieve the objectives as well as measurable milestones. The set of measurable indicators was defined in order to provide monitoring, quality control and management of project processes and results. The project consists of one preparation work package, three development forming packages as well as packages that have quality planning, dissemination and sustainability and management in the focus. Generally project is has tree parts: the preparation part with further analysis of present situation in Serbia, analysis of experiences from EU, the development part that cover development and implementation of set of performances, models as well as information and communication support, the pilot implementation will be carried out in this part. Finally the third part will have focus on provide normative solutions and acts.
In the first step the goal is establishment of infrastructure for the development of system for performance based evaluation in Serbia. This goal will be realized through several actions. In the first one, “Analysis of the needs and priorities in Serbian society and local economy”, will provide analysis and framework for dialogue with different stakeholders about actual needs and development directions in the field of value based management of Higher education institutions and system. On the other side another set of stakeholders will be included in this process through analysis of students’ and academics’ needs and priorities. In order to provide support from Universities it is important to improve capacities of Universities to monitor and measure specific performances. In this step the basis for development of ICT solution will be made, through purchase of specific equipment and starting of software solution development. Starting from the fact that different countries in EU have different systems it is necessary to provide analysis of performance based evaluation in EU. The second step Development of system for profiling and raking of institutions and study programs in Serbia will be based on the results and analysis from previous step. First of all it is important to define key processes and selected fields at HEI in Serbia, set of KPI (key performance indicators) at selected fields. Definition of key processes and its decomposition will provide the bases for development and optimization of the set of performance indicators for study programs, institutions and HIE system as whole. Finally, based on the previous activities it will be possible development of the model for profiling and ranking of study programs and HIE institutions in Serbia. The developed model for ranking of study programs and institutions will be based on the valid key performance indicators, which will be representation of specific processes. On the other hand the model for ranking of study programs and institutions will use the best practice gained through analysis of EU models and demands of specific stakeholders (government, employers, students and academic community as well). The third step is also connected with national Action plan and have goal to develop ICT for support of stakeholders needs and data presentation. It is very important to fulfil several objectives: to provide ICT support that will provide a software environment for ranking and presentation of the level of performances for different institutions and study programs as well as to provide data acquisition and public access to all information (for all interested parties). This goal will be achieved through: Development of ICT solution for data acquisition and ranking of study programs and institutions (Software); Training, organization and implementation of the ICT system at national level (Training); Presentation of the tools that will meet needs of students, labour market and society (Events); Pilot testing, verification and validation of the system on the selected study programs and institution (Events, Report) The final stage is development of institutional background for developed system as well as development of basis for value based management in Serbian HEIs and system. This will be achieved through: Development and adoption of performance based evaluation for HIE management at institutional and national level (Report); Introduction of performance measurement in accreditation standards (Report); Contribution to the HEI funding system (Report); Networking developed system with stakeholders (Other);
The dissemination of the project results will be very important from many different reasons. The first one because number of Universities will perform same activity in development and implementation of system for rakning of study programs and institutions which is very important issue not only for academic society but for society in large. Dissemination will be performed to organization of meetings with academic and nonacademic representative, organization of promotion activities and development of project web site that will contain all developed material, reports, directions that could serve to the public in Serbia but also to institutions and public at Western Balkan Counties (at least). All project results, outcomes, and activities will be measured and asset in order to fulfill certain quality, level. Team for quality assurance will be established with mentioned task as well as to control quality of management and financial management. External quality audit is also planned. The project, will be finally managed through Project consortium board (3 meetings), National consortium board (6 meetings) as well as every day activities at institution level. The financial management of the project will be submitted to external financial audit.
BUDGET AND COST EFFECTIVENESS
In order to achieve cost effectiveness numerous of measures will be implemented: organization of larger study visits to each EU university once, instead of several smaller visits with own bus transportation instead of air planes; combining of several activities within each mobility – every visit have its prime purpose but also other activities will be organized and realized (management activities, trainings, coordination, conferences and round table participations, quality control, etc.); staff cost is rationale bearing in mind activities number and volume that need to be realized; every deliverable have defined financial inputs but number of them have very small requirements as they would be combined with other, sharing resources fro staff, travel and P&P (meetings, promotions, trainings, workshops, campaigns, fairs,…); equipment purchase will be realized on base of joint purchase.
Budget for this project is balanced, harmonized among partners and among working packages. Domestic university partners have equal share in funds categories, except increased staff cost for UBG due to significant project management tasks. University of Belgrade as grant holder will have the main responsibilities in the project management and they will assure existence of external financial revision in order to provide the highest quality of financial and operational management. Some partners SORS and NES do not have staff cost because they are not eligilbe for staff costs from EU projects (according to their internal rules). EU partners are fully balanced among each other with significant share in complete budget and with no co-financing obligations, but on the other hand their budget is fully realistic compared to their tasks and obligations. Partners from Serbia will provide co-financing through participation in work, local mobility (in Serbia) as well as participation in printing and publishing costs for the materials that will be developed for the purpose of this project.