At the end of the XX century the problem of improvement of quality in the sphere of the higher education was beyond national and regional borders. It became a strategic objective of a world scale. In 1998 in the Preamble of the Declaration of the World conference on the higher education in Paris serious concern by imbalance of national educational systems and justice of conditions of access to the higher education in developed and developing countries was expressed. Having noted that «society is based on knowledge» more and more, representatives of the participating countries found new scale of understanding, value and the purposes of the higher education. The requirement to it was stated to «radical updating», in order to help the society to experience a «deep crisis of values», «to go beyond purely economic considerations, and to perceive the deeper aspects of morality and spirituality.»
In Article 11 of the Declaration, «Quality assessment of» the quality of higher education has been described as a «multidimensional concept, covering all functions and activities.» And among the «practical measures» to improve its main role was assigned to the internal self-assessment, external independent national and international expertise, «the establishment of independent national authorities, and the definition of comparative standards of quality, internationally recognized.» Essentially, three main factors that promoted quality assurance in the higher education were identified:
- Intra-high self-esteem of all the functions and activities;
- External reviews of the educational activities of universities by independent national and international bodies;
- Estimating of the educational activities of universities according to the quality standards that have received international recognition.
On the European continent, the union of national educational systems began within the Bologna process (the Sorbonne (1998), Bologna (1999) and Berlin (2003) declaration), the purpose of which was announced the creation of an integrated European system of higher education based on common principles of organization and quality standards in this area. In the first position the Sorbonne declaration, signed by the Minister of Higher Education of the Bologna Process, called for «the promotion of European cooperation in quality assurance and guarantee the quality of education,» «intra-high implementation of quality systems of education and the involvement of an external independent evaluation of higher education institutions of all stakeholders «. In the Berlin Declaration the intention was made in the imperative form: “the quality of education is the cornerstone in creation of European area of higher education. Ministers assume the obligation to support further development of quality assurance systems of education at university level, European and national level. «Moreover, it was pointed that the responsibility for the quality in the first place should lie «on the institution of higher education, and this should be the basis of a quality assurance system at the national level.»
Thus, both in world, and in the European higher education there was a general idea about quality assurances of the higher education. The prime role in their providing is allocated for universities and the intra-high quality systems which are carrying out self-image of educational activity of the universities. In the subsequent, examination of quality of educational activity of higher education institution is carried out in the form of an external assessment from the state and independent national and international organizations with a support on the standards recognized by the international community, procedures and recommendations in the field of quality. And, compliance to standards doesn’t exclude national identity of the higher education of each separate country participating in the standard process of providing a quality assurance of the higher education.
After signing the Bologna agreement in 2003, Russia began the integration of higher education in the European educational system and began to develop a national system of quality assurance, which was named «All-Russian system of quality education» (Sedge) in the federal program of education development for 2006-2010.
In the project of concept ОSОКО (version 02.02.08, second edition) in the section III «Internal assessment of quality of education» an organization mission of «internal monitoring of quality», assuming «regular inspection of all aspects of life of educational institution – qualities of teaching, textbooks and other training materials, objectivity of estimation, a condition of educational rooms» and other kinds of activity was given. In the section IV «Mechanisms of the organization and carrying out an assessment of quality of education», point 3 «Assessment of quality of activity of educational institutions» need of «development of independent (external) estimates of quality of activity of OU received as a result of independent of educational institution and from governing bodies by formation of standardized and universal procedures» is stated. And «documents should be put in a basis of development of standard model of the quality system of educational institution in Russia and models of quality systems on the basis of the ISO series Quality standards».
In 2004, an order was issued by the Federal Agency for Education «On the development and implementation of a quality management system intra-high education in higher education institutions» (№ 304 of 03.12.04).
In 2005, continuing with the integrated assessment of universities in the approved list of indicators was included accreditation indicator 1.2.3 intra-high effective quality assurance system (the Federal Service for Supervision in Education № 1938 from 09.30.05).
Finally, in 2010, the Federal Law «On Education» There was the addition (Article 32, paragraph 2, item 24) to «ensure the functioning of the internal monitoring of the quality of education in the educational institution.»
Thus, in accordance with European requirements for quality higher education in the concept of sedge was tasked to create similar mechanisms quality assessment: intra-high quality assurance system, internal monitoring of educational activities and procedures of an external independent evaluation based on European standards of quality using comparable criteria mechanisms and methods of assessment.
By this time, the practice of mechanisms, assessment and improvement of quality of education the Russian HPE has been formed. Thus, in Russian universities quality assurance system are based mainly on the following documents and models of quality systems in education:
- the model of the European Foundation of the Quality Management (EFQM). The national and industry model of EFQM was recognized the model of competition of Russian educational supervision, Russian education «Systems of ensuring quality of training of specialists»;
- Standards for quality management ISO 9000 (the latest version of the standard — ISO 9001:2008; Russian counterpart — ISO 9001:2008);
- «standards and guidelines for quality assurance of higher education in the European region,» developed by the European Network (Association) Quality Assurance (ENQA) in higher education.
The principles on which these documents and models are constructed, have much in common and complement each other. The difference is in completeness and depth of coverage of all processes of higher education institution.
What is the intra high school system of a quality assurance of the education, based on any of these models or combining in itself represents their elements? First of all it is the instrument of management by which the task of «continuous improvement» educational activity of higher education institution is solved. «Continuous improvement» activity is the main requirement, ideology of all above-mentioned models. And its base is made by 8 principles of general quality management (TQM). Consciously demanded, weighed and thought-over intra high school quality system can become a well-tried and effective mean of achievement of main objectives of modern higher education – compliances to public, social and personal expectations or, using the language of the standards EFQM, ISO, ENQA, the requirements of the consumer. Whether the university is interested in such system? Of course, as its prosperity (a rating, prestige, competitiveness and, finally, profit) more and more depends on improvement of quality of provided educational services already now. The best evidence of such interest is more than one hundred Russian universities which introduced and have certificated the quality systems in the various Russian and international bodies on certifications.
In August-September, 2009 the preparation of QMS MSPU for certification was finished, and in October the independent expert certified appraisal of QMS MSPU on compliance to ISO 9001:2008 international standard requirements was held. Educational process of University was included in area of certification.
The certification was carried out by Association on certification «the Russian Register» (St. Petersburg) (further – RR).
The association on certification «the Russian Register» is the member of the International network of certification of IQNet; in Russia it is leading body on certifications of control systems by quality, trust to which rendered over 3000 enterprises, including universities of the countries of the near and far abroad (Germany, the USA, the Baltic States, Poland, Holland, Austria).
The management «Russian Register» made the decision on recognition of QMS MSPU of the last version of the ISO 9001:2008 international standard corresponding to requirements.
And in November, 2009 the certificates of RR and the international certified IQNet network and compliance signs were handed over to the rector of MSPU, the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Education V.L.Matrosov. MSPU was officially registered on a site of this international organization. Then together with MPSU 59 Russian universities were partners of IQNet. Today they are already 91.