MOOC Content

Module 1: Governance and accountability and strategic planning 

Module coordinator: University of Evora

The University’s governance is an important driver of change: how institutions are managed is one of the most decisive factors in achieving their goals of reform in the KHI HEIs. There are a wide variety of governance models; however, most of them can be defined based on the tension or balance between three main forces: the state, market forces, and academic excellence and the capacity to exert academic freedom. The implementation of good governance practices in Kurdish HEIs, also means enforcing institutional values such as autonomy, and accountability. This first module will include a description of how EU universities are managed based on academic governance including the participation of students.The HEI strategic planning is the process of the institution that allows it to realize its mission and its vision, and describes the ideal future. It is a guidance that defines specific goals of the HEI and not only for academic activity. Strategic planning is a helpful tool to structure and contextualize information leading to institutional decisions, both long-term and day-to-day, and makes sure that decisions and operations are carried out according to the institutions’ mission, vision and values, and comply with the mandates and regulations of government, accreditation bodies etc.

Module 2: Learning outcomes 

Module Coordinator: University of Pisa

Learning outcomes are defined as a statement of what an individual should know, understand and/or be able to do at the end of a learning process, which are defined in terms of knowledge, skills, responsibility and autonomy. The learning outcomes perspective is used for a number of different purposes, such as qualifications frameworks and their level descriptors, curriculum development, assessment and validation, quality assurance and teaching and training. For all these purposes, the learning outcomes approach strengthens the focus on the individual learner and the level of knowledge, skills and competence s/he is expected to achieve. This balances a traditional focus on education and training input, notably on the duration and location of learning.

Module 3: European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and credits recognition

Module Coordinator: University of Murcia

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) has been adopted by most of the countries in the European Higher Education Area as the national credit system and is increasingly used elsewhere. It is a central tool in the Bologna Process, which aims to make national education systems more comparable internationally. The ECTS is a tool for making studies and courses more transparent and enhancing the flexibility of the study program. ECTS credits represent learning based on defined learning outcomes and their associated student workload. ECTS also supports the planning, delivery and evaluation of higher education programs. ECTS also helps make other documents, such as the Diploma Supplement, clearer and easier to use in different countries. Credits recognition procedures are part of a coherent institutional recognition policy based on the principles and procedures of the Lisbon Recognition Convention (1999). The internationalization of higher education and the strong institutional commitment to student mobility underline the need for procedures specifically addressing recognition issues in higher education institutions. Recognition of foreign qualifications should be granted unless substantial differences can be demonstrated between the qualification for which recognition is requested and the relevant qualification of the State in which recognition is sought. Credits Recognition should be formulated on standards and clear guidelines on all aspects of the recognition of foreign qualifications to ensure the mutual recognition of qualifications and learning periods abroad completed at other universities

Module 4: External Quality Assurance 

Module Coordinator: University of Pisa

Provide training related to the management of external quality assurance according to the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) and the Bologna process. A key goal of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) is to contribute to a common understanding of quality assurance for learning and teaching across borders and among all stakeholders. The external quality assurance processes allow European higher education systems to demonstrate quality and increase transparency, thus helping to build mutual trust and better recognition of their qualifications, program and other provisions. The ESG is used by institutions and quality assurance agencies as a reference document for external quality assurance systems. Moreover, they are used by the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR), which is responsible for the register of quality assurance agencies that comply with the ESG.

Module 5: Internal Quality Assurance 

Module Coordinator: University of Oslo

Institutions should have a policy for quality assurance that is made public and forms part of their strategic management. Policies and processes are the main pillars of a coherent institutional quality assurance system that forms a cycle for continuous improvement and contributes to the accountability of the institution. Quality assurance policies are most effective when they reflect the relationship between research and learning & teaching and take account of both the national context in which the institution operates, the institutional context and its strategic approach. The European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) are used by institutions as a reference document for internal quality assurance systems in higher education.

Module 6: Learning mobility 

Module Coordinator: University of Murcia

The Bologna Process includes as a key action the promotion of learning mobility, improving cross-border academic cooperation and the mutual recognition of study periods and qualifications earned abroad. Learning mobility is an opportunity for students to develop valuable skills and expand their horizons by going abroad to study or undergo training. Going abroad to study or train helps people develop their professional, social and intercultural skills, as well as enhance their employability. Higher education students who undertake a mobility period abroad are more likely to find employment one year after graduation. In order to facilitate mobility and its recognition, the three parties involved -the student, the sending institution and the receiving institution, organization or enterprise – should agree to the program abroad. Opinions and experiences of students about learning mobility will be included in this module.