Quality Assurance – External Evaluators’ Report

We are pleased to inform you that the External Evaluation Report 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 consider the department of Political Science and International Relations to be a scientifically and operationally comprehensive university department that, in only six (6) years of operation, has become fully competitive to equivalent departments in Greece and abroad.

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 form independent evaluators and evaluation bodies.

We quote only some of the many characteristically positive remarks from the external evaluators’ report:

(p.2 – Introduction)

The External Evaluation Committee [EEC] visit took place in a professional environment and was conducted in the most appropriate manner. (…)

The EEC feels that the curriculum is organized well, with its various components related to each other sensibly, and it fulfills the overall mission of the Department, imparting knowledge, developing analytical and research skills and connecting theory to practice.(…)

PEDIS has produced a respectable volume of quality publications, achieving rich collaborations with Greek and international colleagues, as well as having instituted Research Groups of substantial originality. (…)

The Department operates in a harmonious and cooperative manner, which results in serving the needs of students efficiently and effectively (…)

(pp.3-4 – Undergraduate Curriculum)

(…) the Department has developed an impressive array of courses that respond effectively to the needs of today’s undergraduate population, catering sufficiently to their educational needs and demands. (…)

(p. 5 – Postgraduate Curriculum)

As a result, the curriculum is rational, coherent, functional, and creative, while at the same time it retains a traditional theoretical context. (…)

(pp. 6-8 – Teaching )

The Department’s use of information technologies (student web, e-class, HEAL-Link, PowerPoint, etc.) to advance student learning is particularly noteworthy and should be emphasized. (…)

It should be stressed that the library was in excellent functioning order, and students commented favorably on the availability of books and journal articles, both in hardcopy and electronic format. (…)

In terms of instructor evaluation of student learning outcomes, it is noteworthy that very few instructors evaluate students on the basis of just one grade, such as a final examination. (…)

(p. 9 – Research)

Overall, the Department’s faculty exhibits an impressive array of publications in such areas as international political economy, area studies, comparative politics, EU-Africa relations, international law, American studies, and so forth. These publications have been accepted by well-known Greek and foreign publishers and by respectable international journals. (…)

[The department] has already attained a number of competitive research grants to the tune of €1.8 million, and according to the information provided, this amount has helped create 140 jobs.(…)

In addition, the Department hosts visiting researchers, accepted for a specific research agenda. Currently, there are four such researchers, who have earned their Doctorates in such universities as Cambridge, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the University of Kent (UK) and the Sorbonne.(…)

(pp 11-13 – All other Services)

It appears that the prevailing culture throughout the Department is best summarized by the concept of total quality management. (…)

(…) the good will and cooperative attitude of both teaching and administrative staff makes for a harmonious coexistence and for a timely and efficient completion of tasks. (…)

The administrative staff, […] comprise a competent and harmonious team that is the heart of the Department’s operational accomplishments.(…)

Overall, the EEC feels that the initiatives the Department has undertaken in regards to services have paid off. The results are admirable, especially in the context of the educational realities of Greece and especially at this critical time the country is sadly experiencing.

(p. 13 – Final Conclusions and Recommendations of the EEC)

The major strength of the Department is the high degree of collegiality among the teaching and administrative staff. A sense of community is prevalent throughout the Department and is easily reflected in the attitude of the students who take pride in being members of this learning community. Truly, this is a student-centered academic environment.(…)

Another strength of PEDIS is its innovative adoption of technologies in the classroom and beyond. Innovation spans the entire spectrum of academic life, from student registration, to instruction and research.

An additional strength of the Department is the interdisciplinary nature of its curriculum, both in its development and implementation. This is accompanied by innovative pedagogical approaches that are integrated in the curriculum.

Given the economic and political constraints prevailing in Greece currently, PEDIS has achieved a remarkable success in a short period of time.

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 .

The Internal Quality Assurance team
Asteris Huliaras, Professor, Team coordinator
Pantelis Sklias, Professor
Sotiris Roussos, Associate Professor