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ACA’s member CMEPIUS as key evaluator in the ECHE compliance monitoring

ACA’s Slovenian member CMEPIUS developed an evaluation methodology for the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) compliance monitoring, which is used to systematically evaluate the ECHE implementation in different higher education institutions (HEIs). In 2019, CMEPIUS plans to evaluate five HEIs and one consortium (consisting of 41 smaller institutions). While, in 2018, nine different HEIs, out of 90 ECHE holders, were evaluated.

The evaluation methodology was created in 2014, based on the ECHE monitoring Guide and on internal analyses and findings. Each evaluation consists of analyses of documents and data and of evaluation visits (1 or 2 days) carried out by a group of experts (evaluators) composed of internal (National Agency) and external experts. During the visits, interviews with representatives of internationalisation strategies and mobility projects at the institution are carried out, together with identification and sharing of best practices.

The evaluation is based on the following criteria: integration of ECHE into the institutional strategy, management and organisation of internationalisation, students, staff and quality assurance. A special focus is devoted to impacts and qualitative elements of internationalisation. After the evaluation visit, the group of experts prepares a written report for the beneficiary containing recommendations for further improvements, which is followed up by regular monitoring.

As shown by the ECHE evaluations, mobility of students and staff has become an integral part of study programmes and an important part of higher education development in Slovenia, by contributing to changing pedagogical approaches at home and helping institutions to internationalise (see also the Slovenian Strategy for internationalisation of higher education 2016–2020). Although HEIs sometimes find it challenging to measure all the impacts, CMEPIUS, through regular monitoring and by highlighting the quality of projects, constantly encourages institutions to develop appropriate mechanisms to recognise and measure impacts.