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Monday 19.03.2018 | Name days: Jāzeps

Q&A of the Education Ministry’s evaluation of education programs

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Roberts Kilis

1.What was the goal of the ministry’s alternative evaluation of education programs?

The analysis is an additional source of information for students, universities and politicians. The analysis was carried out in accordance with Section 3 of Paragraph 22 of the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers Nr. 53 of September 25, 2012 in order to ensure:

-information openness (published criteria and experts’ opinions)

-answers to the question “Why is the education program included a specific group and how can this be rectified?”

-formation of a responsible and proof based policy using a synergistic model between quantitative data analysis and the evaluation of the Higher Education Council.

2.What data did the Education Ministry use when conducting the alternative evaluation?

The analysis employed the data received from the European Social Fund “Evaluation of education programs of universities and proposals on improving quality” project. The executer of the project – Higher Education Council – is responsible for the quality of that data.

The ministry did not alter the criteria or the expert’s opinions.

3.How many programs did the Ministry evaluate?

The ministry evaluated 836 education programs. Unfortunately, it is impossible to evaluate all programs, because the data of the Higher Education Council is inconclusive. All 62 criteria were used in the evaluation of only 17% of all education programs.

4.What was the methodology behind the practice of the Education Ministry?

Every education program was set a coefficient of 0 to 0.75. It was based on evaluations of experts (1 to 4) and was calculated using a specific formula:

One half of the score was formed by basic criteria. If assessments of one or several criteria are unavailable, they are excluded from the group.

Experts’ assessments can be found here.

5.What were the principles governing the choice of criteria?

Every group of education programs has different goals. For example, PhD programs require criteria that characterize scientific and research activity. College level programs, on the other hand, require criteria that evaluate the link between the program’s contents and the demands of the job market.

6.Based on what principles were the education programs divided into four groups?

Based on the field and education direction (academic or vocational):

-short cycle programs (college)

-vocational (except short cycle programs)



7.How does the ministry plan to use the results?

The analysis will be used and an additional source of information for people participating in processes of higher education; help them make justified decisions based on proof.

8.What are the main differences with the assessment carried out by the Higher Education Council?

Unlike the methodology employed by the Higher Education Council, the ministry’s methodology excludes manipulations and different interpretations.

9.Did the ministry use the Higher Education Council’s data?

Yes, the following data was used:

-criteria (to the full extent, no changes)

-quantitative data (assessments, no changes)

-division of education programs into groups (to the full extent, no changes)

10.Were the results of the ministry’s alternative assessment different from those of the Higher Education Council?

No, the data of the analysis showed that the proportion of the education programs that can be funded using the state budget, compared to the data of the Higher Education Council, increased from 68.96% to 69.50%. The number of programs that ended up in the “red zone” increased. There are more programs that should no longer be funded from the state budget.

11.Where are the results of the ministry’s alternative evaluation available to see?

On the website of the Education and Science ministry.


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