The Quality Assessment Council of the Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education (EKKA) has given institutional accreditation to the Estonian Academy of Arts for the maximum period of seven years.
The international committee that carried out the assessment highlighted EAA’s thorough and participatory development activities and cooperation both within Estonia and internationally. Special praise was extended to EAA’s innovative collaboration with interest groups, state institutions and the creative industry. The assessment report points out that the public exhibitions, performances and events organised by EAA have visibility in Estonian society. EAA faculties participate in international festivals, fairs, exhibitions and conferences. EAA students successfully take part in international competitions.
The assessment team and the EKKA Quality Assessment Council for Higher Education both concluded that in comparison to other institutions of higher education in Estonia, EAA’s international outreach is one the strongest in regard to the mobility of both students and the teaching staff, by using the possibilities provided by the Erasmus programme and participating in Nordplus and other similar international networks.
Experts were impressed by the fact that EAA was listed among the top 200 art and design universities in the QS World University Ranking.
As to recommendations, the assessment team pointed at the need to critically evaluate EAA’s organisational structure in order to harmonise it, and to clearly define the competences, tasks, membership, activities and lines of communication for all units. In order to utilise the full potential of the new academic building, inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration between the faculties, with other universities and outside of the academic sphere should be strengthened.
In their report the assessment team emphasised the importance of artistic research in art education and invited the education policy makers in Estonia to find opportunities to finance artistic research in a more systematic manner. The current financing model does not sufficiently consider the specifics of the field, thereby putting art students at a disadvantage compared to other disciplines.
In commenting on the results, Rector of the Estonian Academy of Arts Mart Kalm stated: “No-one in Estonia doubts that EAA is an excellent school, but we now have one more international certificate to prove it. The praise was justly rewarded after all the hard work EAA employees put into preparing for the accreditation and analysing our in-house processes. All the accreditations and evaluations that we went through over the past winter are not just bureaucratic excess: I believe that we have learned to better organise our work because of them.”
Along with the accreditation, the institution of higher education was also awarded the EKKA Quality Label, which attests that the institution is efficiently managed, its study and research activities are on an internationally competitive level and that the institution contributes to the development of society.
The decision of the Quality Assessment Council is available here (in Estonian).
The goal of external evaluation is to support the development of strategic management and quality culture in Estonian higher education institutions. All higher education institutions in Estonia must undergo institutional accreditation once every seven years.