ULIM obtained international institutional accreditation: We aim to increase number of foreign students

A complex process was recently completed by which the Free International University of Moldova (ULIM) was included in the list of internationally recognized higher education institutions. The Ministry of Education and Research approved the institutional accreditation granted to ULIM by the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education for a period of five years. Thus, at present ULIM is the only private higher education institution in the Republic of Moldova with such accreditation.

Contacted by IPN for details, ULIM prorector Alexandr Cauia informed that the University signed a contract with the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) in May 2023. “During September 26-29, ARACIS made an evaluation visit. Before this visit, in the 2022-2023 academic year, the University’s whole team mobilized. We knew very well what the criteria and procedures were. We prepared the Academic Quality Assurance Self-Assessment Report and, after signing the contract, we presented it to ARACIS. After this effort, they paid that study visit during which the interviews specific to these procedures took place, with the administration, with teachers, with students, with graduates, with employers,” said the University’s prorector.

In the ARACIS Council’s meeting held on December 21, 2023, the external evaluation of the academic quality of the University was completed and ULIM as a result was awarded the qualification “Accreditation”. After obtaining the accreditation decision, according to our internal procedures and according to the Education Code, we submitted this information and a special request to the Ministry of Education and Research which, in accordance with the legal provisions, issued the order to legalize our accreditation for a period of five years. We are currently the only private higher education institution that has this accreditation,” stated Alexandr Cauia.

The prorector said that the accreditation is international in nature, ARACIS being part of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. The Agency is also listed in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR). Alexandr Cauia noted that obtaining this accreditation represents a crowning achievement of the efforts made by the University’s teaching and professional staff for many years and the recognition of ULIM as an integral part of the higher education system in continental Europe. “If such an agency provides accreditation, it means that the diplomas of the ULIM graduates cannot be questioned, at least in the next five years, not only in the European Union, but throughout the continent. The teachers have so far benefited from various international internships, but today, with this institutional accreditation, this process is facilitated and no one questions the quality of both studies and training of students and of teachers,” said the prorector.

The positioning of the University as a serious institution not only at national level, but also at regional level is another benefit pointed out by Alexandr Cauia. “We hope that this will help us to promote the educational offer abroad and increase the number of foreign students,” he stated.

“We internally have a very well-established system of quality assurance of studies. All the 16 undergraduate programs and 19 master programs are authorized or accredited, the procedures being carried out in strict accordance with the Education Code and with the regulations and methodologies set down either by the Ministry of Education and Research or by the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova. We ensure continuous communication with students, graduates and employers through the teachers and the tools we have at institutional level to modify both the content of study programs, the content of curricula, and the teaching-learning process so as to meet the needs of students and the needs of the labor market. It is an ongoing process,” noted the prorector.

According to the Ministry of Education’s order, the University is obliged to implement the recommendations set out in the institution’s external evaluation report and the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research will monitor their implementation. The recommendations are diverse and range from logistical ones up to the ensuring of quality of educational process, communication with students, commination with graduates, supporting and promotion of teachers. “There are a series of recommendations that we very much appreciate. We already designed a plan for implementing them and this will be approved at the end of February. During the next five years, ULIM aims to make sure that the overwhelming majority of them are carried out so as to be ready for the next accreditation,” said the ULIM prorector Alexandr Cauia.

After the expiration of the five-year term, the University is to repeat the same procedure either before the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research or before the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, or any other international agency in the field.

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