Α.ΔΙ.Π. EXTERNAL EVALUATION REPORT DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND EUROPEAN STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF PIRAEUS - PDF

Description
1 EΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ Α.ΔΙ.Π. ΑΡΧΗ ΔΙΑΣΦΑΛΙΣΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΙΣΤΟΠΟΙΗΣΗΣ ΤΗΣ ΠΟΙΟΤΗΤΑΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΝΩΤΑΤΗ ΕΚΠΑΙΔΕΥΣΗ HELLENIC REPUBLIC H.Q.A. HELLENIC QUALITY ASSURANCE AND ACCREDITATION AGENCY EXTERNAL EVALUATION REPORT

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 24
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Information
Category:

Funny & Jokes

Publish on:

Views: 19 | Pages: 24

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Share
Transcript
1 EΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ Α.ΔΙ.Π. ΑΡΧΗ ΔΙΑΣΦΑΛΙΣΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΙΣΤΟΠΟΙΗΣΗΣ ΤΗΣ ΠΟΙΟΤΗΤΑΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΝΩΤΑΤΗ ΕΚΠΑΙΔΕΥΣΗ HELLENIC REPUBLIC H.Q.A. HELLENIC QUALITY ASSURANCE AND ACCREDITATION AGENCY EXTERNAL EVALUATION REPORT DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND EUROPEAN STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF PIRAEUS January 2014 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS External Evaluation Committee p. 4 Introduction p. 5 I. The External Evaluation Procedure Brief account of documents examined, of the Site Visit, meetings and facilities visited. II. The Internal Evaluation Procedure Comments on the quality and completeness of the documentation provided and on the overall acceptance of and participation in the Quality Assurance procedures by the Department. Α. Curriculum p. 8 APPROACH Goals and objectives of the Curriculum, structure and content, intended learning outcomes. IMPLEMENTATION Rationality, functionality, effectiveness of the Curriculum. RESULTS Maximizing success and dealing with potential inhibiting factors. IMPROVEMENT Planned improvements. B. Teaching p. 13 APPROACH: Pedagogic policy and methodology, means and resources. IMPLEMENTATION Quality and evaluation of teaching procedures, teaching materials and resources, mobility. RESULTS Efficacy of teaching, understanding of positive or negative results. IMPROVEMENT Proposed methods for improvement. C. Research p. 16 APPROACH Research policy and main objectives. IMPLEMENTATION Research promotion and assessment, quality of support and infrastructure. RESULTS Research projects and collaborations, scientific publications and applied results. IMPROVEMENT Proposed initiatives aiming at improvement. 3 D. All Other Services p. 19 APPROACH Quality and effectiveness of services provided by the Department. IMPLEMENTATION Organization and infrastructure of the Department s administration (e.g. secretariat of the Department). RESULTS Adequacy and functionality of administrative and other services. IMPROVEMENTS Proposed initiatives aiming at improvement. Collaboration with social, cultural and production organizations E. Strategic Planning, Perspectives for Improvement and Dealing with Potential Inhibiting Factors p. 22 Short-, medium- and long-term goals and plans of action proposed by the Department. F. Final Conclusions and recommendations of the EEC p. 25 The development and present situation of the Department, good practices and weaknesses identified through the External Evaluation process, recommendations for improvement. 4 External Evaluation Committee The Committee responsible for the External Evaluation of the Department International Relations and European Studies of the University of Piraeus consisted of the following four (4) expert evaluators drawn from the Registry constituted by the HQAA in accordance with Law 3374/2005: 1. Professor Nikolaos Zahariadis (Coordinator), Professor and Director of Political Science, Department of Government, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA 2. Professor Joseph Joseph, Professor of Political Science, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus, Cyprus 3. Professor Dino Kritsiotis, Professor, School of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom 4. Professor Savvas Katsikides, Professor of Sociology, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus, Cyprus 5 Introduction I. The External Evaluation Procedure According to the guidelines provided to the External Evaluation Committee (EEC), its mandate is to: verify the objectivity of information appearing in the Department s Internal Evaluation Report, checking, where necessary, the original data collected for evaluation purposes; assess and evaluate the results of the work done by the academic unit and to compare it with current, internationally accepted best practices; advise and suggest specific alternative practices and improvements. The EEC visited the Department of International Relations and European Studies of the University of Piraeus (Department hereinafter) from January 13-15, 2014, and worked on its External Evaluation Report (Report hereinafter) until Friday January 17, Documentation in the form of the Internal Evaluation Report (IER) and ancillary material were made available to the EEC on January 2, 2014 and during its site visit. The EEC was under the impression that documents would be provided in English based on the language of communication between the HQAA and committee members, as well as the language of the invitation to be members of the EEC. Because the IER and supplementary documentation were written in Greek, and in light of the delay in providing the IER, the EEC had insufficient time to thoroughly read and assess the IER. The host department worked diligently and with very short notice to accommodate the request for presentations and material in English, and, again at short notice, to put on the services of an interpreter who was a member of the Department. This task was assumed with enormous efficiency and professionalism. The EEC s report acknowledges the stress imposed on the Department and thanks the Department for its work. The Report is based on the information furnished during the in situ meetings as well as information contained in the various documents supplied to the EEC. The EEC met at HQAA headquarters for a brief introduction and logistical support at 9:30 am on Monday, January 13, It was then picked up by a member of the Department and driven to the University of Piraeus where meetings were held with various department members and the University Rector until mid-day Wednesday, January 15, The meetings included presentations by various faculty on activities they were engaged, presentations and a tour by secretarial staff of the facilities including the library, one meeting with students without the presence of faculty and two meetings with student in the presence of faculty. Presentations were followed by brief question and answer sessions. II. The Internal Evaluation Procedure The EEC was provided with the Department s IER on January 2, The very short time given to the EEC prevented the EEC from thoroughly and rigorously assessing the document. Nevertheless, several conclusions may be drawn from the IER. 6 Despite the fact this is a very young and quickly growing Department, the host Department has made remarkable progress in achieving national prominence. It is to be commended for working with such exceptional speed and diligence to reach the type of academic success (especially among entering and continuing students) that it currently so richly enjoys. The IER sources of documentation were appropriate. The department used annual departmental and individual reports to document research, teaching, and service indicators. The IER was very long. It includes information required by HQAA, but it does not contain an executive summary or a way to highlight the important information. Because of its density, important information may be difficult to identify as it remains buried in a sea of data. Perhaps a page limit of pages imposed by the HQAA in addition to appendices might serve as a useful guide as to the appropriate length. The IER stresses, and the EEC concurs, that the temporal dimension of the documentation requirements of the IER are inconsistent. For example, the IER notes discrepancies in being asked to provide information on the basis of the last two academic years ( and ) even though individual annual progress reports (Tables 15 and 16) are based on calendar years. This makes it comparisons difficult in order to adequately document annual progress. The IER is asked to draft the report on the basis of the last two available years although tables noting research accomplishments are supposed to reflect work done in the last five years. In some instances, the department also provided publication dates that went back seven years and in one instance sixteen years. Such inconsistencies pose significant challenges to the Department and the external evaluators in assessing progress. Two important items are missing. This is no fault of the Department because the IER does not require them, the legal framework does not facilitate their collection, and estimates are not routinely collected. Information on student/faculty ratios (both enrolled and active students) is important to assess the adequacy and stress on human and physical capital. Data are provided so one of these ratios may be calculated (enrolled but not active students over faculty), but there needs to be more singular focus on annual trends of this important information. In addition, the IER does not contain numerical data on resources either provided through departmental funds or acquired through external or internal research grants. The EEC was informed that funding for travel to professional conferences is provided, but no mention was made on additional resources. The EEC was orally informed the Department makes every effort to imaginatively find resources for worthy projects. The Department s research output is impressive but mention of actual funds relative to output would more easily and clearly point attention to potential institutional strengths and weaknesses that may be items for more systematic scrutiny and improvement. 7 Despite serious problems associated with the external environment, especially in light of the current financial crisis, and the general paucity of funding of Greek higher education, the Department appears to have made significant progress in accomplishing its goal of providing high quality research and teaching in European and international affairs and to promote and enrich Greek presence and participation in many aspects of European integration and global society. The atmosphere during the visit was cordial and collegial, while remaining at a professional level. Faculty were friendly and helped the EEC's work by answering questions, engaging in dialogue, and providing information and data wherever possible. The EEC expresses its gratitude to the leadership team, faculty, and staff of the Department and the University for facilitating the visit. 8 A. Curriculum APPROACH Undergraduate The goals and objectives of the Department s undergraduate curriculum are to provide high quality studies in the fields of International Relations and European Studies. Its main aim is to combine a strong social science background with emphasis to Political Science and Economics with the more applied elements of Public Policy, Law and Business. The curriculum is designed in manner that supports the education of highly qualified graduates that are able both to pursue careers in professions akin to the subject matters and to continue their studies at a graduate level. As has been pointed out during the interviews, the Department has shaped a fourfold plan to achieve its objectives: (1) a well-structured Curriculum, (2) the inclusion in the Curriculum of specialized skills that improve the qualifications of its graduates, (3) the attraction and enrollment of highly qualified academic staff able to support the Curriculum and the goals of the Department and (4) the incorporation of research and teaching as the basis of education offered. The objectives had been decided by the Department and are shared by all its academic community. During our site visit we had extensive discussions with the faculty members and the students of the Department and it was apparent that they shared a common vision well communicated. Both the Dean of the School and the Rector of the University shared the significance of the Department s objectives. The Department has successfully incorporated in its Curriculum all standards for offering high quality higher education in the disciplines of International Relations and European Studies that is provided in top European and American Universities. The Curriculum is directly linked to the general objectives set by the Department. Based upon the information derived from both the Internal Evaluation Report and our on Site Visit we have ascertained that the Department s Curriculum is able, realistic and effective in offering the intended objectives. It is this realistic dimension in the Department s objectives and curriculum that offers added value to society. As noted above, all constituents and stakeholders of the Department have a direct role in shaping, deciding, implementing and reviewing the Curriculum. The collective element is particularly strong in the Department. Every spring the Department reviews the Curriculum and discusses the recommendations of the Curriculum Committee. The Chair of the Department and the Curriculum Committee after consultation with the faculty members along with the evaluations reports of the students makes proposals to the General Assembly of the Department that is the responsible organ to decide on the matter. Additionally, the revision according to the functionality of the programmes is a standing process and the leadership of the department is aware and committed to new ideas, innovative concepts and new ways of thinking. 9. Graduate The Graduate Curriculum on International Relations and European Studies is equally successful in attaining its goals and objectives. It provides a cohesive Curriculum for an interdisciplinary graduate student body. It is a rich Curriculum designed to offer high quality graduate education on its scientific fields for both career and research purposes. The Graduate Curriculum is formed on a collective basis by the Department s academic community. In this case also our site visit offered us the opportunity to discuss this matter with the faculty members and graduate students. The Department s Graduate Programme is compatible with the international standards for two-year long Graduate Programmes. This two years graduate programme aims to produce leaders. It is highly intensive and in fact it may be considered as a three masters in the package of one since it covers in depth international relations, international political economy and international and European law/institutions. Every year between candidates compete for 35 positions. Hence acceptance rate is between percent. The graduates of this programme pursue either an academic path (doctoral programmes) or careers in the public or private sector and international organizations. This Graduate programme is comparable to the top graduate programmes offered by US and European universities. The department is encouraged by the success of this programme and plans to offer an international Masters in Energy Policy and Security targeted to professional from the Eastern Mediterranean. The Department has the resources in terms of personnel and infrastructure to run such a programme. As with the case of the undergraduate Curriculum the Graduate one is directly linked to the objectives set by the Department. The demand for enrollment to the Graduate Programme from its very first introduction till the academic year demonstrated its import to society. The Graduate Committee and the General Assembly of the Department are responsible for reviewing the Graduate Curriculum. This point was repeatedly emphasized to members of the EEC, and we think it is appropriate that admissions levels have been stabilized for the time being. Doctoral Programme The Department offers Doctoral instruction according to the legal framework. It is very selective in Doctoral enrollment and always with direct reference to the availability of expertise in the faculty members. IMPLEMENTATION Undergraduate 10 The Department s goal is effectively implemented by the Curriculum. On our on site visit the discussion and the very high level and motivation of the students confirms the success of the introduced by the Department Curriculum. The Curriculum can be compared successfully with any high standard undergraduate Curriculum for the specific areas of study. It may even be accounted for a benchmark in its discipline at other institutions, and, in the view of the EEC, it can be compared to any top American and European Curriculum in these fields of study. It provides high quality higher education in the fields of study offered by the Department. Apart from being up to date in scientific terms it is well structured, well balanced and coherent. In particular, it has no courses of general interest but courses directly linked to the objectives of the Department. The great majority of the courses is compulsory and is distributed in a gradual manner according to the decree of specialization they offer. From these compulsory courses a small number are foundation courses while the rest are on subjects on the scientific fields of study. For supporting further specialization, the Curriculum provides for a limited number of specialized elective courses in order to allow the students to pursue their own preferred field of study and to increase diversification of its graduate degrees. These are structured according to the three main fields of study that the Department offers: International Relations, International Economics and European Studies and Institutions. Along with the courses on the main fields of study the Curriculum pays particular attention in furnishing its graduates with all the necessary skills to pursue successful careers. It provides as compulsory the instruction of two foreign languages adjusted to the needs of its fields of study. In particular, the English language is obligatory while for the second language the students may select among three foreign languages: French, German and Arabic, while the Department plans to enrich this diet with Chinese and Russian. In addition, a further strength of the Department s Curriculum is the options of extracurricular instruction available for its students in order to enrich their skills. These include IT and a series of specialized applied seminars based upon developing innovative methods of studying IR and European Studies. The concept of the Department s curriculum is exceptionally strong and well-articulated. All students we met on our on-site visit (even the ones we met by chance) demonstrated enthusiasm for their studies in the Department, and members of the Department were especially keen to draw to our attention at regular intervals students who we could speak with. This additional facility was very much appreciated, as was the enthusiasm and energy of all of the students we came into contact with. The Curriculum displays a high degree of coherence. The courses are instructed by highly specialized faculty members. All faculty members teach courses according to their expertise safeguarding the high quality of course instruction. The Department has fully implemented the ECTS. The educational material and the duration of the courses are absolutely 11 satisfactory, view that is documented further by the student evaluations. The Department meticulously follows the system of student evaluations, and the system that is in place for this feedback seems exemplary and incorporates best practices. Another impression is that the students at all levels are involved in the main procedures at the Department. Graduate The Graduate Programme s Curriculum is also coherent and lucid. It is relatively demanding but it is adjusted to the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary graduate student body that enrolls each year and the three main fields of specialization that it offers. The students are exposed to professionals (diplomats, CEO), visit international organizations (EU, UN, NATO) and participate in simulation games. Their instructors include personalities like the Secretary General of the banking association and a former general secretary of the minister of foreign affairs and ambassadors. RESULTS Undergraduate The Department is particularly effective and successful in implementing its goals and objectives. The high quality of studies that it offer
Related Search
Similar documents
View more...
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks