ARACIS participation in the international project
Social inclusion, Tolerance, Acceptance and Realization for all sTudents (START)
Project type: project co-financed by the Erasmus+ Program
Type of action: ERASMUS Lump Sum Grants
Project ID: 101061768
Implementation period: 36 months (June 2022 – May 2025)
Coordinator: Ministry of Education and Science, Bulgaria
- Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education – ARACIS
- National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency of Bulgaria – NEAA
- Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants
Budget: 449.777 EUR
The social inclusion in higher education is one of the main pillars of the Bologna Process and as such special attention has been given to it in the 2020 Rome Communiqué. This is the mission of universities, which permeates all other activities and proves to be a key starting point for the development of various institutional strategies and policies.
For the social dimension there is an urgent need to raise awareness and promote accountability not only among academia but also in the society as a whole. Thus, the current project is focused not only on making concrete proposals for policies, instruments and legislative changes, but also on providing the necessary level of understanding, which will facilitate the transition to more open and inclusive academic communities.
Activities and objectives
Amongst the specific activities envisaged in the project are:
- Development of indicators for assessment of the quality of higher education, related to the:
- access for students from vulnerable groups, with a focus on migrants (and students with disabilities) in the context of social inclusion;
- quality of the learning process for students from vulnerable groups, with a focus on migrants (and students with disabilities), including e-learning;
- Legislative changes concerning the Credit Transfer and Accumulation System use and the introduction of validation and microcredentials in the Higher Education practise.
- Analysis of the National Qualifications Framework in the part for higher education and preparation of respective recommendations.
- Development and testing of pilot mechanisms for validation of prior learning and integration of microcredentials in the higher education system.
- Training of Quality Assurance experts and University staff.
- Development of:
- Register of reliable Micro-credential providers;
- Catalogue of micro-credentials (short courses);
- Register of validation of prior learning.
- Preparation of Guidelines and Policy paper (recommendations) for social inclusion of all students, especially for those from vulnerable groups.
The specific expected results from the implementation of the project are:
- Developed and introduced indicators for measuring the quality of the academic environment in relation to students from vulnerable groups (with a focus on migrants and students with disabilities).
- Prepared Guidelines and (policy) recommendations concerning the Credit Transfer and Accumulation System use, the qualifications framework and the introduction of validation and microcredentials in the Higher Education practise.
- Developed and tested pilot mechanisms for validation of prior learning and integration of microcredentials in the higher education system, including catalogue and register for microcredentials and validation of prior learning.
- A more active and inclusive academic environment, with a clear commitment to the personal and professional development of students and oriented towards regional contribution and economic growth.
The Project activities are divided in three work packages:
Here are included organisational and administrative undertakings, which are not part of the other activities. They supply the project realisation with documents, methods and reports. Within these activities will be elaborated also the promotional materials.
The project will be monitored on two levels. On the one hand, each member of the project team will participate in the control of the activities. On the other hand, the Internal Audit Unit will audit and control the lawful spending of the funds and will monitor the progress of the project and the effectiveness of the results. Monitoring on the implementation will be expressed also by the Bologna experts.
The update of the legislation shall be based on clear data and arguments. The trainings will be based on the lessons learnt, proper implementation of the legislative changes, sharing good practices and experience.
This will inform the preparation of the Guidelines for social inclusion and the Policy paper (recommendations) related to the:
- social inclusion of students from vulnerable groups, with accent on the migrants;
- validation of prior learning;
- microcredentials in the higher education system;
- ensuring opportunities for full transnational cooperation and participation in European universities alliances.
The constant dissemination of information will support the project implementation and will regularly inform the different stakeholders on the current situation and developments.
The final conference will inform the general public, as well as the participants in the higher education process, what activities have been carried out and what results have been achieved. The Policy Paper will be presented, oriented towards the social inclusion, the introduction of validation of prior learning and microcredentials in the Higher Education practice.
Dissemination of the project results will contribute to the ensuring of a more active and inclusive academic environment, with a clear commitment to the personal and professional development of students and oriented towards regional contribution and economic growth.
The Contribution/ Role of ARACIS: ARACIS coordinates (together with MES and NEAA) the Work Package 2 focused on research, developing of a mechanism and policies and it is involved in the activities of WP1 and WP2.