Accreditation – External Evaluators’ Report

We are pleased to inform you that the Accreditation Report of the Undergraduate Study Program of our Department has been published under the approval of the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency, Ministry of Education. Accomplished scientists from Universities outside Greece accredited the Undergraduate Study Program of the Department of Political Science and International Relations in a series of domains, highlighted that it constitutes a scientifically and operationally comprehensive undergraduate study program fully covering in a substantial way the relevant needs.

It is an honor for us serving this effort, faculty and administrative staff alike and in daily cooperation with our students, to be the recipients of such positive praise from independent evaluators and evaluation bodies.

We quote only some of the many characteristically positive remarks from the accreditation report:

► (p. 5 – Review Procedure and Documentation)

The accreditation visit took place in a professional and cooperative environment.  All parties involved conducted themselves admirably well and the process was smooth, effective and efficient. (…)

► (p. 8 – Academic Unit Policy for Quality Assurance)

The Department has the impressive output of one to two peer-reviewed articles per academic year and one book per 3-4 academic years per faculty member. (…)

► (pp. 9-10 – Design and Approval of Programmes)

There seems to be a strong sense of community and collaboration that permeates throughout the Department and has helped in establishing informal and formal structures. (…)

There is evidence that the Department has moved toward enhancing the curriculum beyond in- class offerings by promoting paid internships, participation in study abroad through Erasmus placement, as well as simulation and more interactive activities in and out of the classroom. (…)

► (pp. 11-12 – Student-centred Learning, Teaching and Assessment)

There is a great deal of respect, camaraderie, and collegiality among the faculty and among the faculty and students. The student-focused learning is not only reflected in the course selection or pedagogical approaches, but also in the course mapping throughout the semester. The Department makes certain that courses are offered in a cycle and frequency that accommodates the needs of a student body (…)

(…) the students and their needs are at the forefront of the academic mission of the Department. The students have a clear strong voice and have mechanisms of shared governance as well as participatory voice in the curricular offerings. This is especially evident by the student course evaluations and by the level of participation in classes. (…)

There are also careful allocations of required courses and electives for each level and each focus area, so that all students have viable options within a semester. (…)

There is a deliberate effort to balance academic mission and student satisfaction, without rendering the student as a customer. (…)

► (pp. 13-14 – Student Admission, Progression, Recognition and Certification)

Student feedback demonstrated a general satisfaction with the orientation and advising process. Students confirmed they receive timely response from the faculty on the inquiries through electronic correspondence. (…)

The entire process is working efficiently and effectively and the administrative staff are performing an admirable job (…)

Overall, the process of student mobility meets high standards. (…)

► (pp. 15-16 – Teaching Staff)

The majority of the faculty maintain a publishable research agenda and they give priority to international publication venues. (…)

The Department retains a high level of research activity (…)

(…) research inevitably translates into improving the quality of teaching. (…)

► (pp. 16-17 – Learning Resources and Student Support)

 The Library is well equipped and completely covers students’ academic needs. It functions well using an up-to-date system of cataloguing and lending. (…) The library staff are well skilled (…)

(…) the staff performs way above and beyond expectations (…)

► (pp. 24-25 – On-going Monitoring and Periodic Internal Review of Programmes)

The Department has also drafted a strategic plan, complete with an action table, which draws on lessons from the last external assessment. The action table appears to be well structured with specific goals and indicators. It contains a detailed timetable, responsible actor, specific target, and implementation information. The plan is to be commended for its specificity, diligence, and ease of monitoring. (…)

There is close collaboration between the three important actors involved in quality assurance – MODIP, OMEA, and the Department. Each actor supports and understands the others’ work and role in ensuring the highest possible standards. (…)

► (p. 28 – ConclusionsFeatures of Good Practice)

The Department demonstrates a strong cohesion, which permeates all levels of operations. There is a sincere commitment by everyone in the Department.

(…) and students generally are supportive and proud of the Department, the faculty, the staff and their studies.

The Department covers a wide-array of subjects and areas of study.

The Department demonstrates great flexibility and adaptability of course offerings to accommodate the educational needs of the students (…)

The Department maintains a strong identity, which is becoming a recognizable brand.

We are committed to continue this effort to further improve and develop the services offered; in these turbulent times the investment in knowledge, innovation and extroversion is paramount.

Read the full report  in PDF format