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Quality Assurance workshop at the University of Montenegro on university-labour market relations and external evaluation of HEIs according to ENQA standards

Podgorica. Quality Assurance workshop was held at the Rectorate building of the University of Montenegro on 28thof May 2010. The guest speakers were Professor Ossi Lindqvist from the University of Eastern Finland and Assistant Professor Markus Hollerer from the Institute for Public Management, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

In his first presentation, Professor Lindqvist focused on connection of the university with the labour market as one of the key QA instruments. As a rector of the University in Kupio for two mandates in the 1990s he established successful collaboration with Nokia, the world-wide known company for which University in Kupio educated future employees. Professor Lindqvist pointed out different ways of cooperation (direct contractwith a company/organisation, indirect contract with a company/organisation involving a buffer organisation, such as TAEKES in Finland, selling laboratory space, information, etc.) and mostly focused on experiences he had throughout his long and rich career.

The second presentation was provided by Assistant Professor Markus Hollerer who came in the role of the EU expert for Accompanying Measures within the Balkan Case Challenge. He focused on linking higher education with businesses and how that is done in Austria, more precisely, on introducing internships into curricula. He highlighted what are the benefits for both universities and business; for students those are: employability, learning opportunities and contacts with practitioners and future employers; for the university: access to market and establishing contacts, reputation rankings, and sources of funding; and for business: recruiting, employer branding and knowledge renewal.

Finally, Professor Lindqvist spoke on the ENQA Standards but also presented how external evaluation of HEIs is performed inFinland. The organisation which is responsible for the external evaluation of higher education institutions in Finland is the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC), which has adopted a quality audit, types of procedures and started working in 2005. Professor Lindqvist is also a member of the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) Appeals Committee.

Presentations provoked a number of questions by the participants of the workshops, deans, vice-deans and QAteam member and created a lively discussion on the presented topics/issues.

Agenda of the workshop can be found here.