Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is Institution?An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given community; may it be human or a specific animal one. Institutions are identified with a social purpose, transcending individuals and intentions by mediating the rules that govern living behavior.
2. What is University?
A university (Latin: "universitas", "a whole") is an institution of higher education and research which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects and provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. The word "university" is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means "community of teachers and scholars."
3. What is Institute?
An organization or establishment founded for a specific purpose, such as company, church, academic institutions like university, college, academy, etc. It is an institution where it can offer one up to two areas of study, confers Diploma I, Diploma II, Diploma III (Bacherelato), Degree, Masters Degree, and Postgraduate or Doctorate levels.
4. What is Academy?
It is an institution where it can offer one area of study with minimum two programs of study, confers Diploma I and II, where Diploma II is the highest level of academic study to furnish in an academy.
5. What is Polytechnics?
It is an institution where it can offer one area of study ONLY on several vocational & technical studies confers Diploma I and II, where Diploma II is the highest level of academic study to furnish in an academy.
6. What is accreditation?
The process by which a (non) governmental or private body evaluates the quality of a higher education institution as a whole or of a specific educational program in order to formally recognize it as having met certain pre determined minimal criteria or standards.
The result of this process is usually the awarding of a status (a yes/no decision), of recognition, and sometimes of a license to operate within a time limited validity. It is a process of thoroughly and analytical evaluation & academic assessment towards an academic institution involving criteria and certain standards. Accreditation is done in a periodically time-based or cyclical based, usually every 5 years and renewable. The results of the accreditation will YES or NO, where yes answer means an institution is accredited and No means an institution is unaccredited (the request is denied).
Accreditation is under the authority of the National Agency for Academic Assessment and Accreditation (NAAAA) as the national accrediting body.
1) A process on ongoing evaluation and review that ensures that the quality, standard, and outcomes of an institution are consistent with its claims and with accepted standards.
2) The affirmation that an institution provides a quality of education that the community has a right to expect and the education world endorses.
3) A means of showing confidence in an institution's performance. When the NAAAA accredits an institution, it certifies that the institution has met the prescribed qualitative standards.
7. Why we need accreditation?
Quality is a ‘guarantee’ for an academic institution to be academically recognized as an institution that provides knowledge, ethics and science to the students as the main stakeholders. Therefore, accreditation has to be perceived as a continuous process to value the quality of the knowledge gained.
a. To help the institution to know its strengths, weaknesses and opportunities through an informed review process.
b. To help the higher education institutions (HEIs) in identifying their planning and resource allocations.
c. To enhance collegiality on the campus.
d. The outcomes of the review could provide objective and reliable information for the funding agencies for funding performance.
e. Initiates institutions into innovative and modern methods of pedagogy.
f. To help the HEIs in setting their strategic planning as a means of giving them new sense of direction and identity.
g. Provides society with reliable information on quality of education offered.
h. Stakeholders could have access to information on the quality of education offered to potential recruiters.
i. To promote intra and inter-institutional interactions in building their capacity of networking.
8. What is institutional licensure?
It is a governmental initial approval process for institutions to confer academic awards. Licensure is conferred on institutions, which are ‘yet’ to operate; licensure is not normally used to make judgment on the quality of the institution, yet it is more to focusing on the generic things. However, the assessing process still has to utilizing the 8 categories for licensure and accreditation, such vision, mission, academic programs, curriculum, teaching staff, library and learning resources, property, and finance capability.
9. What is institutional accreditation?
It is an accreditation, which is focusing on the quality of the institution as a whole and thoroughly; where the attention will be addressed more to the vision, mission, academic programs, curriculum, teaching staff, library and learning resources, property, and finance capability of the institution. An analytical assessment will also been utilized through the 4 standard of accreditation, such as STANDARD 1: PURPOSE, PLANNING & EFFECTIVENESS; STANDARD 2: EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM; STANDARD 3: EDUCATIONAL AND STUDENTl; STANDARD 4: ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS.
10. What is program accreditation?
Accreditation of a program involves a judgment that the quality and standards are appropriate for the award to which it leads. The assessment of standards takes into account both the nature of teaching and learning in different fields of study, and the level, complexity, and quantity of learning required for the award. The general standards for programs that lead to awards such as bachelor, master or doctor are defined in the National Qualifications Framework and must be met in all programs leading to these awards, regardless of the type of institution offering the program. Program Accreditation is done in a periodically time-based or cyclical based, usually every 5 years and renewable. The results of the accreditation will YES or NO, where yes answer means an institution is accredited and No means an institution is unaccredited (the request is denied).- Conducted after an institution of HE has been granted Licensure and Institutional Initial Accreditation
- Conducted by an independent Quality Assurance Agency (NAAAA)
- Involves a judgment that the quality and standards are appropriate for the award to which it leads.
- Valid for 5 years
11. What is/are the criteria for accreditation?
Part I: Licensure and Initial Accreditation
There are 8 categories that used for the process of licensure and initial accreditation
1) The institutional mission is appropriate to higher education and the academic offerings fit the institution into either the university or institute classification.
2) The governing body and administrative management of the institution are appropriate, qualified and adequate to the scope of the institution. Among the administrators should be a rector/chief executive officer.
3) The academic program is in keeping with the institutional mission.
4) Academic programs follow the Minimum Curriculum Development criteria developed by the National Commission on Curriculum Development.
5) Teaching staff should have academic qualifications at least one academic degree above the area they are teaching (e.g., Bachelors for diploma programs; Masters for Bachelors programs and Ph.D. for Master’s and Ph.D. programs). If this is not the case at the time of licensure, the institution must submit a plan that indicates specifically how teaching staff will achieve the Masters level within 5 years and the Ph.D. within 8 years.
6) The institution should have adequate learning resources (library and laboratories) or a specific plan for how these will be achieved.
7) Institutions should own their own property or provide documentation that they have long-term leases (preferably for at least ten years). Documentation should be verified by the Ministry of Justice or appropriate agency.
8) Finance, the institution should have a 5 year financial plan which indicates how they plan to carry out their administrative and academic responsibilities. Ideally, the institution should hold in reserve the equivalent to one year’s operating costs which, in the case of closure, can be used to pay for their students’ learning at alternative institutions.
Part 2: The Standards of Accreditation
STANDARD 1: PURPOSE, PLANNING & EFFECTIVENESS; STANDARD 2: EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM; STANDARD 3: EDUCATIONAL AND STUDENTl; STANDARD 4: ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS.
12. Is there any limit for accreditation status?
Yes, accreditation is done in a periodically time-based or cyclical based, usually every 5 years and renewable.
13. What is Annual Progress Review (APR)?
- APR is an annual activity conducted by the NAAAA as an accrediting body to have a close monitoring towards accredited institutions, whether they are still complying the standards and categories of accreditation. The purposes of Annual Progress Review are as follows:
- To bring a culture of awareness on the importance of self-evaluation to educational institutions.
- As a process of learning to enhance their internal quality along way to reach a recognition of external quality.
- To emphasize the importance of continues evaluation, assessment and improvements as well as the quality of higher education institutions.
- To track the compliance of higher education institutions to the criteria and standards as stipulated in the Manual of Accreditation.
14. Does Timor-Leste have an accrediting body for Higher Education?
Yes, it is the National Agency for Academic Assessment and Accreditation (NAAAA)
15. Why Accreditation is Important?
- Accreditation contributes to the sense of public trust as well as to the professional quality. It reflects the quality by which an educational institution or a program conducts its business.
- Accreditation provides a formal process for ongoing evaluation and improvement of the faculty members’ program and faculty development outcomes, a process by which faculty, students, and administration can work together in advancing the educational institution's mission.
- Accreditation provides assurance that the program in which the students are enrolled or are considering enrolling is engaged in continuous review and improvement of its quality that it meets nationally endorsed standards in the profession, and that it is accountable for achieving what it sets out to do.
- Accreditation ensures public accountability of a program or an institution -- that it has the means and demonstrates the outcomes for its educational process that are consistent with its goals and objectives.
16. Who will conduct the accreditation processes and procedures?
National Agency for Academic Assessment and Accreditation (NAAAA) as the national accrediting body
17. What are the responsibilities of the accrediting body?
· To be in charge of institutional evaluation of all universities in Timor-Leste, the accreditation of post-graduate degrees and regulated courses.
· To work with the National Directorate of Higher Education to make recommendations to MoE on the licensure of the new higher education institutions.
· To conduct institutional accreditation of established post-secondary institutions.
· To conduct program accreditation in identified areas.
· To monitor post-accreditation progress through annual progress review.
· To monitor institution that is kept under probation.
· To monitor adherence to the national qualifications framework.
· To conduct and participate in the implementation of other scientific assessment, including institutions that integrate the national system.
· To collaborate with foreign counterparts in the areas of evaluation and accreditation on their assignments.
· To assess the institutions of foreign higher education institutions as requested.
18. Why accreditation is an obligatory in Timor-Leste?
Because the future of a nation determined by the quality of its people through how qualified the education system is. As a new, young and vibrant nation, Timor-Leste is still in the very root of developing its human resource capacity through education; therefore, quality has to come along in the same path as the education development. Referring to this fact, accreditation on the quality has to be introduced as an obligatory at this stage as a means to develop the mentality and the awareness of the quality assurance itself.
19. Why Timor-Leste conduct the Institutional Accreditation first? What about the program accreditation?
Because Timor-Leste is a small nation where it is easier and better to start over from the generic perspective towards the institution as a whole and then move on to the programs after the institution has been well established.
20. What are the mechanisms of the institutional and program accreditation?
Steps of Accreditation
1. Licensure (Registration)· Governmental initial approval process for institutions to confer academic awards.
· Focuses on minimum criteria such as: Institutional mission, Governing body and administrative management, Academic program, Curriculum, Teaching staff, Learning resources (Library, laboratories and educational technology), Physical facilities and Financial resources.
· The Directorate of Technical and Higher Education will assume the licensure process.
· Intended to formally allowing institutions to commence operation.
· Valid for 2 years (During this period the institution has to apply for Institutional Accreditation by NAAAA)
2. Institutional Accreditation:
· An accreditation process that focuses on the quality of the Institution as a whole.
· Criteria to be evaluated: Institutional mission, Governing body and administrative management, Academic program, Curriculum, Teaching staff, Learning resources (Library, laboratories and educational technology), Physical facilities and Financial resources. In addition, there are also 4 accreditation standards with multiple (78) indicators that are applied which a HEI should fulfill.
· Conducted by an independent Quality Assurance Agency (NAAAA)
· Approval of field of study and the correspondent level. (Ex : a university focusing on particular fields and approved to offer programs up to certain level : Diplomas, Bachelor, Master or Doctoral)
· Valid for a period of 5 years. During this 5 year period, the institutions need to provide their Annual Progress Report.
3. Program Accreditation
· Conducted after an institution of HE has been granted Licensure and Institutional Initial Accreditation
· Conducted by an independent Quality Assurance Agency (NAAAA)
· Involves a judgment that the quality and standards are appropriate for the award to which it leads.
· Valid for 5 years
21. What are the requirements for establishing new higher education institution? Is there any legal base on this?
· Educational Law endorsed by the National Parliament in 2008 (Lei Bases da Educação no. 14/2008 de 29 de Outubro)
· Legal regime for higher education establishment (Regime júridico dos estabelesimentos de ensino superior; decreto-lei no. 8/2010 de 19 de Maio)
· Decree law that established ANAAA (Decreto-lei no. 21/2010 de 1 de Dezembro: Aprova o regime geral de avaliação do ensino superior e Cria a Agência Nacional para a Avaliação e Acreditação Académica-ANAAA)
· Decree law that established NQF (Decreto-lei no. 36/2011 de 17 de Agosto)
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