Algebra University completed its re-accreditation procedure in September 2012 with excellent marks and positive accreditation recommendation

Re-accreditation procedure is carried out every five years in accordance with Article 22of the Act on Quality Assurance in Science and Higher Education in order to obtain detailed insight in the quality of work of higher education institutions and determine whether or not an institution meets the criteria for the extension of its license for performing higher education activity. This way, the Agency for Science and Higher Education protects the public interest and ensures that accredited higher education is conducted only by institutions that meet the required criteria of quality.

Areas that are evaluated are: 1. Institutional management and quality assurance, 2. Study programmes, 3. Students, 4. Teachers, 5. Research and professional activity, 6. International cooperation and mobility and 7. Resources. Possible marks are divided in five categories, ranging from not implemented (1) to fully implemented (5). Depending on the results achieved, possible outcomes of the re-accreditation procedure are: denial of the license for performing higher education activity, issuing of letters of expectation (with or without a ban on student enrolment) and issuing of certificates of compliance with the requirements for performing higher education activity (license extension). The Accreditation Recommendation describes a follow-up period during which the University College is obliged to notify the Accreditation Council on all measures taken to improve its quality based on recommendations contained in the committee’s report.

Algebra University received the highest marks according to four criteria(fully implemented – 5: Management, programmes, students and resources), and the three remaining criteria were evaluated as (4: (mostly implemented– 4teachers, professional activity and mobility) whereby the University College achieved 32 out of 35 possible points or 91.4%. Algebra University is currently rated as the best evaluated professional study programme in the Republic of Croatia. Detailed re-accreditation report can be downloaded here.

Approved by FER

Algebra University is the only professional institution in the Republic of Croatia that has been given the status approved by FER by the “Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing “through the process of curriculum evaluation back in the year 2009 and it has confirmed and maintained this status throughout re-evaluations of its quality in 2011 and 2013.

This status was obtained based on the evaluation of complete documentation, curriculum, educational plan and other relevant components of the study programme carried out by the most eminent experts in the field of computer engineering in the region. Through this procedure the University College needed to demonstrate FER that its curriculum was designed and implemented well enough not only to meet the needs of employers, but also to satisfy the high demands of this premium scientific and educational institution.

This status is a great honor, but also a commitment for us because it was not issued unconditionally and without a time limit and needs to be updated every year through evaluation of the quality of work in all segments.

Conclusions of the analysis of the quality of work carried out in 2013 especially emphasize a number of segments in which the Algebra University improved its services provided to students during and after their studies.

Since the Algebra University was awarded the certificate “approved by FER” as the first higher education institution in 2009, it has significantly improved its business processes and quality of education provided in the field of educating computer engineers which were the main reasons why the expert committee of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing commended the University College during the second approval procedure.

Among major enhancements made by the Algebra University during the past four years we can distinguish the official re-accreditation and acquisition of domestic and international certificates of educational quality, significant enlargement of college premises and facilities (both were graded as “exceeding standard requirements”) as well as a significantly increased number of full-time teachers and staff. Meanwhile, two new study programmes were introduced and a Career Centre was established in order to assist in connecting students with potential employers and adjusting the study programme with the actual demands required by the employers of IT professionals.

The curricula for certain courses have also been updated as well as the concept of final exams, which now include an important practical part. In addition, the analysis conducted by the expert committee of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing commended the concern about quality as well as the expediency of student internships taken by students studying at the Algebra University together with the fact that, based on available data, master students were able to find employment within a satisfactory degree and time frame. Even though exams were passed at a slightly lower rate than expected, Algebra University has been commended by FER for the fact that such rates did not result in the lowering of exam standards.

University College has made significant progress since its previous accreditation, primarily when it comes to its staff, but also its facilities and organization. The College has participated in IPA projects and attempted to acquire additional funding through cooperation with the industry. Furthermore, it has affected educational programmes at high school level, encouraged mobility, participated in the organization of professional student competitions in order to make the University College more attractive to high-quality students and establish cooperation with the industry regarding the organization of internships and subsequent employment of graduated students. In addition, the University College has introduced a practical part of the final exam which reflected its intention to educate students for practical work“, said Professor Damir Kalpić, PhD, Head of commission of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing for the certification of Algebra University..

FER and Algebra are complementary institutions. While FER covers the majority of its educational costs through budgetary resources, the University College is exclusively funded by Algebra as its founder. The University College does not aim to compete with FER, but primarily to educate students at bachelor level so they can fit into the needs of their work place as fast as possible. This includes awarding students with industrial certifications. The needs of the economy and society for the employees educated by the University College are large and cannot, nor should, be covered exclusively by students graduating from faculties such as FER“, concludes prof. Professor Damir Kalpić, PhD..

Algebra University has met the high standards of quality assurance system verified by NVAO, one of the five leading European accreditation agencies

Dutch-Flemish accreditation agency NVAO,one of European authorities in the field of quality assurance in higher education, evaluated Algebra University with high marks in all segments, particularly emphasizing the quality of its professional courses and cooperation with the industry.

This is the first time that an external audit of internal quality assurance system has been carried out in a Croatian higher education institution through international cooperation between three Croatian higher education institutions with support of the Council of Universities and University Colleges of Applied Science and the Agency for Science and Higher Education. The whole process was carried out within the frame of a recently completed pilot project and in accordance with the rules of the accreditation agency NVAO and European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).
Ratings and commendations

In all analyzed segments – vision, policy, results, organization and policy of improving education – the Algebra University has been rated with high marks.
A panel of international experts formed and led by NVAO especially commended Algebra University for:

  • quality of its program and internal quality assurance procedures that will enable future high-quality implementation of new programmes;
  • efforts to create ideal environments in classrooms by attracting motivated students and the best lecturers;
  • strong partnership with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb;
  • synergy with Algebra education group, the founder of Algebra University, which enables valuable experience in professional IT education;
  • elaborate system of scholarships and grants in order to stimulate students with the highest potential to enroll in Algebra University;
  • excellent computer infrastructure, computer workshops and e-learning systems;
  • college administration aware of potential economic and financial difficulties and ready to react quickly in order to minimize their impact.

In addition to these commendations, NVAO provided useful recommendations and guidelines for further development and improvement of existing systems which will be changing and evolving in line with the development of the institution and the increasing number of students and study programmes.

The evaluation report can be downloaded here.

Microsoft Learning Partner of the Year 2014

In 2014, Algebra has achieved one of the greatest successes in its 16 years of existence. Algebra was proclaimed the world’s best Learning Partner by Microsoft in the competition of 3,200 organizations that have nominated their projects and achievements for the Partner of the Year Award. The award was presented to Algebra CEO Tomislav Dominković by Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president of Microsoft, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, US. In each category, including the category of education, Microsoft awards only one such award per year and the success was even greater because this was the first time that the award in this category went to one of the smallest countries.
The Algebra group which consists of Algebra Open University and Algebra University was the winner in the category “Learning” as part of Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards 2014.

Despite fierce competition of innovative projects submitted by partners from all around the world, Algebra’s innovative project “My First Microsoft Certificate” was declared the best project in the segment of education. The project was developed by Algebra, implemented for high school and college students and included curriculum development, informing and motivating of students, implementing classes through online preparation, qualifications, practice tests and certification exams. This is the first time in history of Partner of the Year Awards that the award given in the segment of education went to a partner from a really small country. It should be noted that among 46 categories of the Award, there was only one related to education (others were related to specific Microsoft products and other competences in partner channels) with only one main award in each category. “This prestigious award, by which we acknowledge the winners, is a proof of the value of professionals in the sector of technology and of values that can be offered by our ecosystem”, said Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president of Microsoft. “The awards confirm competences and successes of our top partners which solve complex business tasks and challenges to the satisfaction of our mutual customers. Congratulations to each winner on this incredible achievement”, said Sorgen.

Tomislav Dominković, Algebra CEO, described the value of the award with the following words: “The award for the world’s best partner in the field of education confirms that the whole Algebra group has the right orientation towards “the creation of digital future” and “future without boundaries,” which are the main guiding principles used by Algebra group members in order to encourage individuals to acquire new digital skills in professional IT and business, considering them important for personal development and advancement of individuals as well as for the progress of the economy for which the ICT sector is strategically crucial. The project we nominated for this award, which ultimately proved to be the best in the world, has been conducted with continuity in order to bring the perspective offered by IT professions closer to the young people and allow them to acquire as soon as possible some of the key skills and certificates that can be demonstrated to future employers. For us, as representatives of the management, this is a confirmation that it is possible to achieve top world level results out of Croatia only by having knowledge, courage and self-confidence. With this award we proved that, with a dose of innovation that Croatia still possesses, it is possible to stand side by side with world leaders and thus realize our own visions and dreams.”

“This is a great success and an incredibly important recognition for Algebra, but it must be emphasized that this is also a recognition for the Croatian ICT sector and Croatian technological education”, added Hrvoje Balen, member of Algebra management board and national coordinator of this year’s European initiative eSkills for Jobs initiated by the European commission. “The fact that we have been given the award for the best project in global competition and that we are part of the prestigious company of the world’s top IT institutions, additional y positions Croatia on the global IT scene, taken into account that the quality of technological education is one of the crucial factors when deciding to initiate IT operations in a certain country”.

The winning project is a part of the pan-European initiative “eSkills for Jobs 2014” which aims to emphasize the importance of ICT professions and digital skills through year-round activities. Given that this project is carried out under special attention of the European Commission, its vice-president Neelie Kroes, 30 national organizations and more than 1,500 partners, this recognition strongly echoed in EU circles. In the finals, Algebra has, as the only representative of the European Union, defeated the leading technological educational institutions from the US, India and Australia.
The global list of awarded companies included in this year’s Partner of the Year Awards can be found in the following Microsoft press release:

Microsoft Learning Partner of the Year 2014

In 2014, Algebra has achieved one of the greatest successes in its 16 years of existence.

NVAO Quality Assurance

Algebra University has met the high standards of quality assurance system verified by NVAO, one of the five leading European accreditation agencies.

Marks from the Agency for Science and Higher Education

Algebra University received the highest marks from the Agency for Science and Higher Education, according to four criteria.

Ratings and commendations

Algebra University has been rated with high marks in the following segments: vision, policy, results, organization and policy of improving education.

Approved by FER

Algebra University is the only professional institution in the Republic of Croatia that has been given the status approved by FER by the “Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing “through the process of curriculum evaluation back in the year 2009.