On February 13, 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Dr. Serhiy Kvit as Head of the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (Національнe агентствo із забезпечення якості вищої освіти). We congratulate Dr. Kvit on this important new position on the road to reforms of higher education in Ukraine.

The Agency is responsible for accreditation of universities, educational programs, and related issues. The establishment of the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education is long overdue in Ukraine. It has been promoted by Dr. Serhiy Kvit for years.

This step is an effort to finally reform the corruption in education that has plagued Ukraine for years, when degrees and diplomas were sold to the higher bidder at many institutions of higher learning.

In the United States, under the mandate of the US Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and numerous accreditation organizations set standards and requirements for quality and transparency for institutions, programs, and achievement standards.

The responsibilities of the newly formed Agency include include requirements for quality and transparency for institutions, programs, and achievement standards, but also requirements and guidelines for doctoral degrees and accreditation of doctoral and dissertation committees, known in Ukraine as “vcheni rady”, with a focus on transparency in selection of committee members and transparency in awarding degrees.

The Agency will present criteria for evaluations and a transparent system for university ratings. No less important will be the Agency’s emphasis on academic honesty, including the issue of plagiarism and respect for the principle of intellectual property.

Universities, their faculty and students, and their reputation and ranking depend on upholding rigorous standards of academic conduct. Without the proper mechanisms at the highest level, Ukraine’s universities cannot compete in world rankings and cannot offer the nation a competitive future.

Dr. Serhiy Kvit served as Ukraine’s Minister of Education (2014-2016), as President of National University “KYiv-Mohyla Academy” (2007-2014), where from 2002 to 2007 he served as Dean of the Department of Social Studies. He founded the Kyiv-Mohyla School of Journalism in 2001 and became President of the Media Reform Centre, established to initiate open debate and promote transparency in media and government. In 2005-2011, he served as chairman of the Consortium of University Autonomy. Dr. Kvit chairs the Quality Assurance and Academic Honesty and Responsibility Committee at the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and continues to teach in the School of Journalism. He has a PhD from the Ukrainian Free University in Munich (2001) and holds a Doctorate in Philology from the Taras Shevchenko National University (2002). In 1984 he became Ukraine’s national champion in fencing, a skill that undoubtedly prepared him for the struggles in reforms that awaited him in his future career as an educator.

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