Opinions

Polish Accreditation Committee gives opinions pertaining to:

1. establishment of new HEIs and their academic units, fields of study and level of study;
Minister responsible for higher education is obliged to consult PKA in following cases:

  • establishment of higher education institutions and granting of authorisations to its unit (or a HEI if it does not have organisational units) to provide programmes in specific fields of study and at specific levels of study and
  • granting of authorisations to academic units of existing higher education institutions (or a HEI as a whole if it does not have organisational units) to provide programmes in specific fields of study and at specific levels of study.

Exception:
PKA does not give opinion in cases when basic organisational unit of a HEI plans to offer degree programme in the field of study corresponding to academic area in which given unit is authorised to confer post-doctoral degree (doktor habilitowany). In such cases resolution of the Senate of the HEI forms a basis for establishment of a degree programme.

Course and scope of the opinion giving process.

PKA gives opinion on a motion of minister responsible for higher education. Relevant documentation attached to a motion shall consist of data allowing for assessment:

  • of fulfilment of requirements laid down in Act of 27 July 2005 Law on Higher Education and executive regulations concerning conditions for providing education,
  • if applicant requesting for authorisation is able to provide proper quality of education .

Rules for selecting experts for opinion giving process.

An application is discussed by a Section for specific academic areas which are leading for a given application (based on a share of ECTS declared by the applicant). The largest share defines the coordinating section.
Secretary of PKA, in cooperation with chairs of sections, appoints reviewers of the applications who represent academic areas to which learning outcomes pertain. Secretary of PKA or chair of relevant section may decide to conduct a site visit and define its scope and course.

Procedure for giving opinions is described in menu “Templates and procedures”.

Scope of opinions.

    1. Study programme, including intended learning outcomes and process of achieving them;
      • relation between programme and strategy and mission statement of HEI
      • intended learning outcomes in relation to outcomes defined in National Qualification Framework (or in teaching standards or model learning outcomes, if applicable) and in standards for teachers training programmes (if such programmes are planned), consistency of learning outcomes;
      • study programme, including chances for realisation of learning outcomes and means of its verification;
      • fulfillment of core staff requirements and teachers qualification;
      • access to didactic infrastructure, access to literature indispensable for achieving learning outcomes;
    2. conditions for providing distance learning (if applicable);
    3. relation between intended learning outcomes and needs of labour market, including:
      • making use of potential employers’ and graduates opinions during the development of study programmes;
      • intended learning outcomes of practical placements (if applicable) and regulations concerning placements;
    4. adapting of study programmes to conditions described in teaching standards, if applicable;
    5. adapting of study programmes to conditions described in standards for teachers training programme, if applicable;;
    6. internal quality assurance system which shall cover given programme (in cases when existing unit applies for authorisation to provide another degree programme – complexity, functioniong and effectiveness of the system and means of its improvement);

Moreover in case of application for authorisation to provide second cycle or full cycle programmes:

  1. scientific research within the academic area(s) to which given field of study is assigned.

Detailed scope of opinion on application for authorisation to provide degree programmes is described in relevant templates (please consult menu “Templates and procedures” on the left).
Outcomes:

  • positive opinion (without recommendations) ,
  • positive opinion with recommendations – given in cases when noted deficiences can be corrected before provision of the programme and they do not have major impact on the quality of education,
  • negative opinion.

Course of appeal:

HEI which is not satisfied with resolution of PKA can submit (wihtin 30 days) request for reconsideration of the matter. Application shall refer only to those documents which PKA were aware of but – in the opinion of applicant – did not take into account. If applicant wants to add new documents or information he /she shall submit a new application to the Minister of Science and Higher Education.
Appeal which is submitted to PKA is passed to a proper section for academic areas as well as to dedicated body of PKA – Section for Appeals.

Appeal procedure:

President of PKA appointed dedicated Section for Appeals on 9 July 2012 until the relevant provisions will be implemented in the Act Law on Higher Education. Section is composed of 9 persons and prepares detailed opinions which are presented during the Presidium meeting where the cases subjected to appeal are discussed. Opinions are presented by the Chair of the Section and are confronted with opinions of the chairs of relevant sections for academic areas. Members of the Presidium take decision on the basis of arguments presented by both sections.
Procedure is published under the “Templates and procedures” section of the menu.

2. re-granting of authorisations to provide programmes in specific fields of study and at specific levels of study;
Opinions concern re-granting of authorisation to provide programmes suspended by a decision of the minister responsible for higher education:

  • on the basis of negative outcome of programme evaluation conducted by PKA;
  • on the basis of art. 11b (2) of Act Law on Higher Education (failure to meet requirements to provide degree programmes within 12 months since deficiences occured)

Course of opinion giving process, scope of assessment.

Opinions are given by a reviewer selected by a chair of proper section for academic areas.
Secretary of PKA or chairs of relevant sections for academic areas may decide that site-visit is required to issue an opinion and describe scope and course of the site – visit.
PKA formulates opinion on the corrective measures with reference to justification of negative outcome of programme evaluation or justification of decision issued by the minister responsible for higher education regarding suspendig of authorisation to provide degree programmes (in cases where it was not based on negative assessment of PKA).

Course of appeal.

HEI which is not satisfied with resolution of PKA can submit (wihtin 30 days) request for reconsideration of the matter. Application shall refer only to those documents which PKA were aware of but – in the opinion of applicant – did not take into account. If applicant wants to add new documents or information he /she shall submit a new application to the Minister of Science and Higher Education.
Appeal which is submitted to PKA is passed to proper section for academic areas as well as to dedicated body of PKA – Section for Appeals.

Appeal procedure.

President of PKA appointed dedicated Section for Appeals on 9 July 2012 until the relevant provisions will be implemented in the Act Law on Higher Education. Section is composed of 9 persons and prepares detailed opinions which are presented during the Presidium meeting where the cases subjected to appeal are discussed. Opinions are presented by the Chair of the Section and are confronted with opinions of the chairs of relevant sections for academic areas. Members of the Presidium take decision on the basis of arguments presented by both sections.
Procedure is published under the “Templates and procedures” section of the menu.

3. establishment of a higher education institution or a branch campus in the territory of the Republic of Poland by a foreign higher education institution;

Course of the process.

PKA gives opinion on a motion of the minister responsible for higher education. Establishment of a higher education institution or a branch campus in the territory of Republic of Poland by a foreign higher education institution can only be done on the basis of decision of the minister responsible for higher education having consulted the minister responsible for foreign affairs and Polish Accreditation Committee.

Conditions.

Higher education institution can be established by a foreign higher education institutions which was awarded positive quality assessment issued by a quality assurance agency recognised by national authorities or registered in European Quality Assurance Register or other agency which evaluations are recognized by PKA.

Criteria.

Regulations laid down in Act of 27 July 2005 Law on Higher Education are not applicable to higher education insitutions and branch campuses established by foreign higher education institutions with exception of regulation concerning course and conditions of establishing.

4. quality of education provided by the unit applying for the authorization to grant the doktor and doktor habilitowany degrees;
Opinions are given on a motion of units applying for authorisation to confer academic degrees by reviewers selected from panels of experts that conducted in those units:

  1. programme evaluations:
    • in the fields of study related to areas in which units apply for authorisation to confer academic degrees or
    • in other fields of study if above mentioned fields of study were not evaluated;
  2. institutional evaluation – if most recent evaluations concern units, not programmes.
5. draft bills and regulation concerning higher education and science.
Draft bills and regulations are passed to members of PKA who report concerns and remarks which are discussed during meetings of sections for academic areas. Chairs of sections present them later during meeting of Presidium of PKA. Presidium takes final decision on the scope and content of remarks which will be included in PKA’s resolution.