Accreditation of joint higher education programmes
Implementing joint higher education programmes significantly contributes to the deepening of cooperation between higher education institutions inside and outside the country. This is one of the preconditions for the development of the process of sharing/developing the quality culture and internationalization.
Joint programmes are a hallmark of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The purpose of creating these programmes is to do students and academic staff mobility, to promote opportunities for collaborative learning and collaboration and to create high quality educational programmes.
The European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes, adopted by the Ministers of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) at Yerevan Ministerial - 2015, is designed to facilitate external quality assurance of these programmes. It sets standards based on EHEA-agreed instruments without the use of additional national criteria. It aims to promote integrated approaches to quality assurance of joint programmes.
The European approach is mainly based on ESG and the qualification’s framework of European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA). In addition, the European approach considers distinctive features of joint programmes and therefore defines a "standard" approach to quality assurance of joint programmes.
The legal framework for higher education allows Georgian higher education institutions to develop joint educational programmes in Georgia using European approach.
Pursuant to Article 491 of the Law of Georgia on Higher Education, joint higher education programmes may be implemented by Georgian and / or foreign higher education institutions and scientific research institutes in order to consolidate and optimally allocate their resources, implement joint actions for integration into the international educational area and promote regional development. In case of a partnership with a foreign educational institution, the foreign educational institution must be recognized under the law of the country where it’s operating. The institutions jointly determine the rules of implementing joint higher education programmes.
According to the same law, in order to implement a joint higher education programme, an agreement is signed between the institutions implementing it. the draft version of agreement must be agreed with the National Center for Education Quality Enhancement (hereinafter - the Center). There is an Order № 74 (February 3, 2017) approved by the director of the Center - "Rule of agreement on the draft agreement, to be signed between the implementing institutions, for the implementation of joint educational programme with LEPL - National Center for Education Quality Enhancement". The rule is based on ESG-2015 and provides recommendations / criteria focusing on the legislative requirements of the Georgian higher education system and various features of the European approach to the joint programme.
The main feature of the joint higher education programme is that the student studies at two or more institutions. Upon successful completion of the study, if the requirements of the respective institutions are met, the student is awarded with a joint academic degree (i.e. the student receives one or more joint academic degrees). The student is also granted with a diploma supplement, which will specify exactly which part of the programme was studied at the partner universities.
According to the Law of Georgia on Higher Education - higher education institutions are eligible to implement 180-credit bachelor's and at least 60-credit master's programmes. The rule of elaboration of bachelor's (including not less than 180 credits) and master’s educational programmes (including not less than 60 credits) is approved by order №206 / N (September 30, 2019) of the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia. The order sets out preconditions for admission to these programmes, as well as the principles for allocating programme components and credits.
A programme including at least 180 credits can be developed / implemented:
• Only in case of joint implementation by a higher education institution of Georgia and a higher education institution recognized in accordance with the legislation of a foreign country.
• As an exception, first-level higher education programme, of at least 180 credits, in arts and creativity may also be implemented by higher education institutions of Georgia. In this case the rules for creating the programme shall be established by the above-mentioned order № 206 / N.
Master's degree programme, which includes at least 60 credits, can only be developed / implemented for the purpose of obtaining a Master of Science qualification in Business Administration / Management (EMBA).
EMBA (Executive MBA) is a master's degree programme in business administration that is primarily for the people working at executive positions.