Quality Policy Statement
With the cooperation of higher education institutions and of the local and European organizations and through the creation of a quality culture, CYQAA aspires to Cyprus’ establishment as an international center for higher education of high quality. Through its activities, it safeguards every student’s right to study in programs that meet European quality standards and promotes synergies between institutions. It supports new models of university education, based on transnational joint programs that enhance the experience and expertise of academics and students in innovative approaches, research, teaching and practical training.
The CYQAA formally affirms its commitment to quality, acknowledging that high professional standards and integrity in the Agency’s work are indispensable and that quality assurance in the performance of its activities is essential to the credibility of its actions and the trust of its stakeholders, namely higher education institutions, students, political authorities and society at large.
Further, CYQAA formally commits to implement all necessary measures and mechanisms so that:
- all persons involved in its activities are competent and act professionally and ethically
- they lead to a continuous improvement within the agency
- they enable the agency to guard against intolerance of any kind or discrimination
- they safeguard the appropriate communication with the relevant authorities of the Republic of Cyprus
- they ensure that any activities carried out and material produced by subcontractors are in line with the ESG
The fundamental elements of CYQAA’s quality policy are:
- A clear definition of its mission and objectives;
- Compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) and the relevant national legislation;
- Quality management of the evaluation process of programs, departments and institutions of higher education;
- Transparency of all its activities;
- Establishment of accountability mechanisms;
- Adoption of a Code of Ethics for every member of the Agency’s personnel;
- Development of a quality culture among its, internal and external, members and collaborators;
- Establishment of monitoring and continuous improvement mechanisms of its activities;
- The periodic external evaluation of the Agency;
- CYQAA’s collaboration with ENQA and EQAR and other European and international organizations relevant to higher education.
In order to adhere to its quality policy, CYQAA establishes the following internal quality assurance mechanisms:
Scheduling of activities (external evaluations) on a six-month basis, systematic progress monitoring, decision making for internal quality assurance via personnel and council meetings, tasks and objectives achievement appraisal feedback;
Formal and informal hearings of higher education institutions and their representative bodies on the development of legislation, criteria, procedures, and instruments related to external evaluation and accreditation processes;
Implementation of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) a total management tool used in the civil service in Cyprus and in Europe.
Adoption of the “Code of Conduct and Ethics of Civil Servants” for the staff of the Agency.The document focuses on:
- basic standards and rules governing the behavior of the officers when they come in direct, personal or telephone, contact with the citizens, under the general obligations of decorum, professionalism and honesty.
- ethical standards governing the actions of officials with regards to the handling of citizens' affairs (respect for legality, obligation to impartiality, objective judgment, credibility, accountability and transparency, the duty of equal treatment of citizens and good administration);
Monitoring, review and regular updating of the evaluation and accreditation mechanisms and procedures;
Meetings of the Agency’s Council on a monthly basis - The Council systematically examines comments, analyses and suggestions and, when appropriate, integrates them in the decision-making process;
Collection and analysis of feedback from the Agency’s stakeholders, such as higher education institutions, members of external evaluation committees, student associations, faculty associations, professional associations an
ministry of education, regarding the Agency’s organisation, tools, criteria, performance and the evaluation and accreditation procedures.
Guidance and training of the members of external evaluation committees and specialised training of the Agency’s staff;
Development and regular supplementation of an experts’ registry, with experienced experts in all disciplines from all over Europe;
Systematic study of ENQA and other organizations’ publications and reports aiming at the implementation of best practice;
Organization of seminars for institutions of higher education aiming at their updating and guidance on the Agency’s policies and its external evaluation procedures;
Development and systematic updating of forms, questionnaires, documents etc. targeting transparency and equal treatment of higher education institutions;
Monitoring and assessment of the Agency’s procedures and activities by the Council of the Agency and the competent assigned officer;
Recording and presentation of the Agency’s activities and distribution of day-to-day tasks to the members of the personnel via bottom-up procedures.
The Council of CYQAA pledges to ensure the fulfilment of this quality policy and its periodic updating taking into account the development of higher education matters, the Agency’s needs and those of the society and, most importantly, by adopting innovative practices which unify, via quality, the European Area for Higher Education.
The present quality policy is communicated to all internal and external partners of the Agency and is available on the Agency’s Website.