National Agency for Quality Assurance in Professional Education (ANACIP) at the request of the Government of Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Education announces the launch, on a priority basis, of the procedure of external quality evaluation of study programs for accreditation in the field of educational sciences. This request appeared in the context of the problems raised by the representatives of specialized local offices from the educational domain and refers to: the quality of initial formation of teaching staff, the quality and limited access to innovative programs of continuous training, as well as the deepening of the crisis in terms of providing teaching staff to general education institutions in the rural areas and the necessity to align to the provisions of the Education Code concerning the minimum qualification of teachers.

Quality assurance in education is impossible without the involvement of the beneficiaries of this process - the students. ANACIP shares the vision of the European Higher Education Area in which students are seen as full partners that can make decisions in higher education and encourages them to show commitment and responsibility in quality assurance process in education.

Tell us briefly about the evolution of ARACIS (purpose and mission of the agency, the defining moments).

The Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS), hereinafter ARACIS, was founded in 2005 by the Emergency Ordinance (EO) no.75/2005 concerning quality assurance in education for external evaluation of quality in education. The EO 75/2005 was approved, with amendments, by Law no. 87/2006. Subsequently, the Law 87/2006 has been changed through successive legislative procedures that related mainly to organizational and procedural matters with regard to the effects of the external evaluations on higher education institutions but have not affected the mission of the agency and its independence.  

On June 29th and 30th a training for ANACIP employees and external evaluators was held regarding external evaluation procedures, where two experts from Romania participated as speakers: prof. Dr. Iosifescu Serban Constantin, President of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-university Education (ARACIP) and prof. dr. Radu Mircea Damian, Director, International Relations, Projects Cooperation of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS).

Short historical background: When and how was the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-university Education (ARACIP) established and what is its mission?

As a result of the change of the regime in 2005, the leadership of the Ministry of Education (Minister being then Mr. Mircea Miclea), established by law the two agencies for external evaluation - ARACIS for higher education and ARACIP for pre-university education as part of a general policy and legislation on education quality assurance and evaluation. Under the law, ARACIP is a public institution of national interest, subordinated to the Ministry of Education, with legal personality, with its own budget of revenues and expenditures, and financed from own incomes (evaluation fees paid by schools and funds attracted via various projects).

On May 20th 2016, the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Professional Education (ANACIP) signed a cooperation agreement with the Agency for Quality Assurance by Accrediting Study Programmes (AQAS) in the field of quality assessment and accreditation in higher education. The agreement was signed by ANACIP president, Andrei Chiciuc, and by AQAS agency director, Doris Herrmann.