ASHE - Agency for Science and Higher Education
The Agencija za znanost i visoko obrazovanje (The Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education, AZVO) independently assures the quality of science and higher education in the Republic of Croatia by accrediting new higher education and scientific institutions and programmes, auditing and re-accrediting the existing institutions and implementing other procedures aimed at evaluating various segments of the higher education and research sector. AZVO is also tasked with recognition of foreign higher education qualifications, collection of data on Croatian science and higher education, procedure of centralized applications to undergraduate programmes at Croatian higher education institutions, and administrative and expert support to bodies working in Croatian higher education and science.
Agency's position within the national higher education system
The history of the agency
The Agency was established on March 8th 2005 as a body tasked with supporting the activities of the National Council for Science and National Council for Higher Education as the strategic bodies of the Republic of Croatia responsible for quality assurance procedures in science and higher education. The National ENIC/NARIC Office was established at the Agency, as well as offices for administrative support to procedures of promotion of academic staff and collection of data on Croatian higher education and science. In April 2009 the new legal framework was introduced, making the Agency the only institution in the Republic of Croatia authorised to perform procedures of external quality assurance in science and higher education, and establishing the Accreditation Council as the independent body composed of academics, students and other stakeholders in Croatian higher education and science. In 2011 the Agency underwent an external evaluation procedure, which enabled it become an ENQA member listed in EQAR.