Quality Agency for Higher Education (AIKA) was established in 2015 as the national quality assurance agency with a task assigned by the Latvian government.
AIKA is a structural unit of the non-profit foundation Academic Information Centre which was established already in 1994. In addition to the function of a quality assurance agency, Academic Information Centre serves as the Latvian ENIC/NARIC centre for recognition of qualifications, national coordination point for Latvian Qualifications Framework and coordinates different projects related to education.
The mission of AIKA states that it:
– promotes the improvement of quality of Latvian higher education and contributes to the development of quality culture and its maintenance in accordance with the standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area;
– carries out the expertise and provides reliable information on higher education quality assessment and development/improvement issues;
– is a credible partner of higher education institutions, policy makers, existing and potential students and other stakeholders in Latvia and abroad;
– its high reputation is provided by the professionalism of employees and experts, accumulated experience in the change management processes of higher education in Europe, including in Eastern and Central Europe.
AIKA conducts the quality assurance procedures as follows:
– licensing (initial assessment) of study programmes;
– accreditation of study directions;
– assessment of changes in accredited study direction;
– inclusion of a licensed study programme in accreditation form of the study direction;
– assessment of higher education institutions.
External stakeholders are actively involved in the quality assurance at different levels from strategic to quality assessment. In experts panels there are international members, students and employers.
AIKA is a member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) since 2015, Central and Eastern European Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (CEENQA) since 2016, European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education (ECA) since 2017, CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG) since 2018, European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) as a full member since 2018 and registered in the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) since 2018.