International accreditation of educational programs is one of the tasks defined by the Strategic Development Plan of Lviv Polytechnic. The First Vice-Rector of Lviv Polytechnic National University, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Oleh Matviikiv, tells how this process takes place in our institution.
«There are two types of accreditation: accreditation of individual educational programs and institutional accreditation, when the institution as a whole or its individual unit is accredited. Our University implements both types of accreditation. It is worth noting that the international accreditation of educational programs is a new, rather complicated and financially expensive procedure for us. Accreditation guarantees that the educational program meets international quality standards of higher education in terms of quality, content, teaching methods and technologies. Thanks to international accreditation, the educational program increases the chances of attracting the best Ukrainian and international students to study here. Precisely because of this, four educational programs of the master’s degree within the specialty 122 «Computer Science» were selected for international accreditation. They include «Information management systems and technologies» (ACS Department), «System design» (CAD Department), «Systems of artificial intelligence» (AIS Department), and «Computer systems for managing moving objects (motor transport)» (CAS Department).
The next step is to choose an accreditation agency. A comprehensive analysis of National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance requirements for international agencies, the experience of these agencies in the Ukrainian market of educational services, as well as a comparative analysis of financial conditions led to the choice of the Central Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation ZEvA, Hanover, Germany. ZEvA has experience in accrediting Ukrainian higher education institutions and is included in the list of agencies whose certificates are recognized by the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance. In 2021, an agreement was concluded between Lviv Polytechnic National University and the Central Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation ZEvA, and a step-by-step accreditation plan was developed», says Oleh Matviikiv.
For successful accreditation, two Polytechnic representatives, namely Anna Helesh, Head of the Sector of Monitoring the Quality of Educational Programs, and Serhii Shcherbovskykh, Professor at the Department of Computer-Aided Design, underwent online training conducted by the Alfred Nobel University according to the procedure of accreditation of educational programs by the ZEvA agency. As of February 2022, the working group prepared four sets of accreditation cases, which were handed over to ZEvA specialists for review.
«With the beginning of a full-scale war, Lviv Polytechnic faced many challenges. The accreditation process was stopped for a whole year. Now we are agreeing with the management of the German agency on the new terms of the expert group’s visit to Polytechnic and correcting the schedule of further stages of the accreditation procedure. We hope that in 2023 the working group will be able to complete the accreditation procedure and receive an international certificate», said the First Vice-Rector.
The Institute of Economics and Management, Lviv Polytechnic National University, continues to actively work on institutional accreditation through the world-renowned business school accreditation agency Association of MBAs, London. AMBA is a European organization founded in 1967 in Great Britain that accredits MBA programs of business schools around the world. The accreditation procedure involves the acquisition of the Institute of Economics and Management (IEM) of certain membership levels. In 2021–2022, IEM obtained the status of a bronze member of the Business Graduates Association, BGA, London, as part of the world-renowned accreditation agency for business schools, AMBA. In 2022, the IEM working group carried out thorough work on the preparation of materials for obtaining the status of a silver member, namely, a report for passing the validation process and documents with relevant evidence. As in the previous case, the accreditation procedure was interrupted and delayed due to the full-scale war in the country. Financial issues are currently being agreed upon and the schedule for the institutional accreditation procedure is being clarified.