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Delegation of Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University visits Abertay University (UK)

The KrNU delegation has been visiting Abertay University (UK) from January 23 to January 30. The visit took place within the frameworks of realizing the last stage of the Programme of Developing Leadership of Ukrainian Universities organized by the British Council in Ukraine and the Leadership Foundation of Higher Education (UK) together with the Institute of Higher Education of the Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine supported by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine.

At the beginning of 2016 KrNU became one of 12 participants chosen for the aforementioned project. Visiting different training and seminars conducted by representatives of the mentioned British organizations, our university had been realizing the project called Complex Approach To Higher Education Quality Assurance.

The trip to the UK was the final event that allows KrNU delegation to get acquainted with experience of assuring quality in education in British higher educational establishments. During the one-week visit our university was represented by Prof. M.V.Zagirnyak, Rector of KrNU, A. B. Pochtoviuk, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management, D. M. Zagirniak, Associate Professor at the Department of Finance and Credit, I. S. Anurina, Instructor at the Translation Department. Zh.V.Talanoval, coordinator of the university project team, Institute of Higher Education of the National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine, National Erasmus+ office, took part in the visit too.

Abertay University located in Dundee (Scotland) was founded in 1898 as a technical higher educational establishment oriented on training specialists in textile industry that was actively conducted at the end of the 19th the beginning of the 20th century. But as the time went there appeared demand for the specialists in Economics and Law.

Abertay University and KrNU are quite similar in their development process and have almost the equal number of students. So KrNU representatives had an opportunity to meet both the administrative and teaching staff of the university.

On the first day the delegation was warmly welcomed by Prof. Nigel Seaton, Abertays Principal and Vice-Chancellor, who discussed Abertays key challenges, the senior management perspective, and Prof. Gavin C Reid, Head of the Dundee Business School (DBS), who explained the key aspects of quality assurance.

After the break the delegation has a meeting with Dr. Julie Blackwell-Young, Academic Quality Management, Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TLE), Dr. Martin Watson, TLE Lead, Postgraduate Certificate Certificate Programme in Higher Education Teaching (PG Cert) and Mr. Jonathan Teppert, Academic Governance Manager, who discussed the national context for quality assurance, Abertys teaching and learning strategy and PG Certs impact on teaching enhancement and student learning. They acquainted the KrNU team with the national peculiarities of assuring higher education quality, since the educational system of Scotland differs from the educational system of England, told about the Code of Higher Education Quality that is adopted at the university and contains the key principles of delivering qualitative educational service. A special emphasis was made on the necessity of constant qualification enhancement for scientific and teaching staff that is one more important aspect of assuring qualitative education.

On the next day, the delegation met Dr. Alex Avramenko, Lecturer, DBS. He explained in details the programme and module accreditation and pointed the main differences between Scottish and English educational systems. A student must study at least three years to get an ordinary Bachelor degree. After the fourth year, the student get the Bachelor degree with Honour that can be ranged in the following way 1, 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3.

After the meeting with Mr Mark Batho, Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Services) KrNU delegation discussed quality assurance and the role of the Scottish Funding Council that set prospects for three year.

Dr. Nikoli Mouraviev, Senior Lecturer, DBS, who had visited KrNU in December 2016, spoke about the requirements and procedures for moderation of the module materials. The meeting with Mrs Claire MacEachen, DBS Academic Curriculum Manager, on the topic Abertays quality assurance requirements and procedures was very productive too.

Prof. Reza Kouhy, DBS, Chair of Abertays Research Degrees Committee, explained the requirements for research degrees and university procedures. It turned out that the student can apply for PhD having just a Bachelor degree of a certain range. Every year a PhD student makes a report on his/her scientific achievements that allows assuring teaching quality. If the report does not meet the requirements, the student is proposed to get a Master degree.

Mrs Shona Grogan and Mr Alan Stevenson, Lecturers, DBS, told about quality issues at the level of an academic programme and Placement for students (requirements, the process, assessment).

The day ended with the discussion with Elley Petrie, Interim Manager, Abertay Students Association. She explained the work of Students Association and its role in quality assurance.

Dr. Nia White, Head of the Graduate School, spoke on the topic Quality assurance in the Graduate School. The main task of the postgraduate study is assuring students with interdisciplinary skills aimed at giving them opportunities for further placement.

Prof. Steve Olivier, Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), presented the results of changes made at the university within the pars three years. He pointed that there was introduced a new assessment system (GPA) that is world-acknowledges; every year the students must choose one general discipline; there was a transition from 15 to 20 credits system that allows to deepen the study of disciplines; assessment of students works must be done within 10 weekdays; there was an introduction of the electronic knowledge assessment; there was organized a shorter study programme (the opportunity to graduate faster by studying during the summer).

Finally, KrNU delegation visited DBS open day where all participants received certificates and discussed prospects of further cooperation, i.e. teachers and students mobility within the programme Erasmus+.