[..] [The CYQAA pool of Experts]  [Who can apply?] [How to apply?]  [ASSESSMENT site-VISIT]  [Preparation of Assessment Report] [Training of Experts]

E1. The CYQAA pool of Experts

The External Evaluation Committees (the expert panel) are composed of academics, representatives of professional bodies, specialists in vocational education, managers (rectors and deans, directors of services), and students who are selected according to specific criteria and procedures described below. The local and international experts should be well-known and highly qualified specialists with sufficient expertise in the implementation of quality assurance processes and evaluation.

Guidelines for the Members of External Evaluation Committees (EECs) Doc. 600.1   download icon icon word
Orientation and Briefing of the External Evaluation Committee (EEC)     download icon icon word

The External Evaluation Committees consist of the following experts on:
  • Programmatic and Departmental Evaluation
  • Institutional Evaluation

Experts are offered a contract defining the rights, obligations, terms and conditions, and they are remunerated for their services i.e.

Short - Term Assignment Offer for the Chair of an External Evaluation Committee Doc. 600_2_1 download icon icon word
Short - Term Assignment Offer for a Member (Professor) of an External Evaluation Committee Doc. 600_2_2 download icon icon word
Short - Term Assignment Offer for a Member (Student) of an External Evaluation Committee Doc. 600_2_3 download icon icon word
Short - Term Assignment Offer for a Member (Professional Body) of an External Evaluation Committee Doc. 600_2_4 download icon icon word

The evaluation process includes four phases:
  • Application for evaluation accompanied by institution’s/department’s/programme’s self-evaluation study.
  • The external evaluation, carried out with the contribution of a panel of independent experts selected by the Agency. This process includes, in particular, the study of the application and of the self-study, a site-visit and the writing of the experts’ report.
  • The institution’s response. The experts’ evaluation report is sent to the institution for its response, including the actions taken for full/substantial compliance and the action plan drawn up and implemented by the institution. Full or substantial compliance may need to be verified by the experts’ panel.
  • The council’s decision for accreditation/rejection or second evaluation.

Follow up evaluations are repeated every five years.  

Experts must declare that no conflict of interest exists and that they will inform the CYQAA if any such conflict arises.   Doc. 600.3 download icon icon word download icon  

The experts of the External Evaluation Committee are responsible, when needed, to review the institutions’ response, and to make their final judgment concerning compliance with the ESG included in the evaluation forms.  

Higher Education Institution’s response Doc. 300.1.2 download iconicon word
Feedback report from EEC experts Doc. 300.1.3 download iconicon word


E2. Who can apply?

Experts for Institutional, Departmental and Programme evaluation. 

2.1. Expert panels are composed of:

  • International academic staff experts
  • National academic staff experts
  • Students
  • Representatives of recognised professional bodies
  • Rectors and deans of academic institutions (professors or emeritus)
  • Directors/managers of services offered by local or international universities

2.2. How experts of the panel are selected:

National and international academic experts are selected from the expert pool of an authoritative international accreditation (quality assurance) agency or from the international expert pool of CYQAA (on the basis of personal applications or through an online search for competent experts).

Students are recommended by the Cyprus Public Universities which provide the Agency with a list of students fulfilling the predefined criteria.  

Representatives of professional bodies are nominated by the accredited professional bodies in Cyprus.

2.3. Selection Criteria of the Panel’s Experts:

Academic staff representatives should have:

  • recognised qualifications on the level of a PhD
  • the status of an associate professor/professor
  • experience in academic programme evaluation and/or institutional or programme accreditation quality assessment (participation in an evaluation panel, implementation of quality management procedures in an institution or organisation)
  • experience in research and teaching in the field of the programme under evaluation
  • international experience in teaching, research or evaluation
  • experience in academic programme development, monitoring, methodology and review
  • participation in trainings on evaluation/accreditation or audit procedures

Students engaged in External Evaluation Committees should:

  • be either undergraduate students or Master’s students
  • have high academic performance
  • have  participated in external academic and social activities/volunteering
  • have participated in trainings on evaluation

Representatives from professional bodies should:

  • be members of recognised professional bodies
  • have experience in professional review processes
  • have participated in trainings on evaluation/accreditation

In the experts’ team involved in the evaluation of vocational programmes, the members should have at least recognised qualifications at the Master’s level and outstanding professional/academic experience or should be recognised vocational performers in the field.

Language Proficiency
Local experts should be fully proficient in both spoken and written Greek and they should demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency in the English language. International experts should be fully proficient in the English language and/or in the language in which the programme under evaluation is offered.

All experts should have also academic, personal and social skills:

  • have an in-depth knowledge of the ESG and necessary skills at making reasonable interpretations and practical applications of the evaluation/accreditation criteria appropriate for the specific situation
  • possess analytical skills for thorough examination of the information and background data submitted for evaluation
  • have necessary skills at making analyses and recommendations for improvement
  • be able to take into account the context of the functioning of the educational institution
  • be honest, fair, sincere and discreet; hold a respectful attitude towards the persons involved in the programme/institution being evaluated
  • be able to act independently while interacting effectively with others
  • comply with confidentiality requirements. All information related to the assessment (opinions of the interviewees, the Self-Assessment Report, and additional information provided by the higher education institution/college) shall be used exclusively for the assessment process
  • adhere to the agreed division of tasks and committee deadlines

Experts should possess the aforesaid qualities so that they can:

  • collect true facts, relevant details, and supporting evidence
  • remain loyal to the purpose of the assessment
  • perform the assessment process without any deviation
  • react effectively in stressful situations
  • arrive at conclusions generally accepted by all the members of the panel and base those conclusions on objective evidence collected during assessment processes
  • remain loyal to confirmed conclusions even if they are under pressure to change them, especially when there are no reasonable grounds 

E3. How to apply?

To apply please follow the link Experts Online Application Form.

E4. Site-Visit

The initial site-visit schedule is prepared by the CYQAA Doc. 600.4 download icon icon word  download icon
Procedural Guidelines for the Conduct of Remote (Online) External Evaluations - (24/06/2020)     download icon 

As an expert-member of the External Evaluation Committee:

  • Examine the schedule prepared by the CYQAA based on your international experience and advise whether any differentiation is needed
  • Introduce yourself and try to put the interviewee at ease
  • Interview all the persons that are necessary for collecting the factual information and the evidence you need for judgements and recommendations
  • Listen to the interviewee very carefully and analyse in depth the facts and procedures they present
  • Render thanks to the interviewees for their responses and time
  • Keep the interview within the time frames; but if you still need further information, suggest and agree on extra time  

E5. Preparation of Assessment Report

  • The report should include clear references to the evidence gathered.
  • The decision-making process is well justified – based on what and why the committee comes to that conclusion concerning compliance or not with the standards and the criteria included in the evaluation forms.
  • The numerical assessment is fully justified and in accordance with the observations, recommendations, and suggested degree of compliance with the standards.
  • All assessments and recommendations are well-founded – both the positive and negative ones.
  • Reasoned and different views of members of the panel are outlined separately in the report.
  • Have in mind that the report will be sent to the institution for its response and both the report and the response will be published along with the Agency’s decision.

E6. Training of Experts

Two types of trainings are organised for the experts – one before the on-site visit and one during the academic year.

An on-line seminar is also under way.  

The Agency organises the meeting of the group of experts before the on-site visit either in the Agency’s offices or in a hotel conference room. A team or persons responsible for the seminar provide an overview of higher education in Cyprus, information about the institution and programme under evaluation, inform the experts on the goals and tasks of the assessment, introduce the methodology, procedures and expected outcomes, and elaborate on the evaluation form which had been sent to the members of the Committee before their arrival in Cyprus, focusing on the structure and the need for consistency among the numerical assessments, the Committee’s comments and observations and the decisions of compliance or not with the ESG.

Training organised separately during the academic year is addressed to different groups of experts (students, representatives of professional bodies, academics, directors of university services).