Quality Assurance System in Bulgarian Higher Education – Development or Stagnation?

Magdalena Dybaś

Abstrakt


The paper presents the results of a study on the implementation of quality assurance system in Bulgarian higher education. Both formal and informal dimensions of the implementation of this key instrument of the Bologna Process have been considered. A two-aspect perspective of the reform implementation, that is including the opinions of the regular staff , is not a common attitude in studies on the Bologna Process. However, without this group’s participation in carrying out the policy of quality assurance, any improvement in the sphere seems out of question. The first part of the paper contains a description of two different concepts of education quality. The next sections pertain to the contemporary situation of the Bulgarian HE system, the key elements of the theory of institutional transformation and to the methodology of the study. The last and longest section presents two dimensions of the study: 1) an analysis of the formal framework of Bulgarian quality assurance system in higher education, based on Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area and the model: Phases of Quality Assurance System Development; 2) the second part of the study refers to Bulgarian academics’ expectations of QA system. Also in this case, the basis for the analysis was the above-mentioned model. Thus, the essential part of in-depth interviews was that the respondents define the most important problems of the Bulgarian higher education, which ought to be solved by the quality assurance system. The study showed that the Bulgarian quality assurance system has all the time been operating at the lowest technical levels, still, for a dozen or so years, it has failed to deal with basic problems that beset the HE institutions. QA is here an instrument of controlling and gaining credence by the Bulgarian universities internationally which is implemented in a top-down manner without consulting the academic circles. The knowledge on the QA mechanisms among HE staff is quite poor. They are not interested in these issues since they fail to experience their actual impact on the Bulgarian HE system.


Słowa kluczowe


quality assurance (QA) in higher education (HE); Bologna Process; Bulgarian higher education; academic staff

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Bibliografia


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