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On 1 April 2011, the Quality Assessment Council of the Estonian Higher Education Quality Agency (EKKA) adopted new procedures regarding accreditation. EKKA, the quality assurance body of the Archimedes Foundation, will from this point forward adopt an institutional accreditation approach, whereby entire higher education institutions will be assessed and evaluated, not individual study programmes. Currently, only study programmes are subject to accreditation. EKKA sees this change as a way to ensure the security of students with regard to the fate of study programmes that lose accreditation.
The new accreditation procedure will emphasise university management, administration, teaching and research. It will examine whether academic and research environments are in compliance with legislation, and consider each institution’s expressed targets and overall higher education development plan. The first Estonian higher education institution will undergo the new institutional evaluation in autumn of 2011 and every higher education institution will be required to undergo institutional accreditation once every seven years.