The MEHR project is focused on observing human rights as learning outcomes of higher education study programmes from different perspectives.
The aim of the project is to improve the involvement of human rights as content in the study programmes and also to improve the methodology of external evaluation and self-evaluation of learning outcomes that are carried out by different stakeholders in the higher education system, i.e. the external quality assurance agencies in higher education, the higher education institutions management and students. Besides programme content in the form of knowledge units, skills and responsibilities and attitudes, the focus of the project is diversity and adequacy of teaching methods, teacher competences and adequacy of achieved learning outcomes assessment.
One of the objectives of the project is to develop a common tool, i.e. evaluation guidelines and quality assurance of learning outcomes that include topics and issues in the field of human rights. This is to be done through the inclusion of a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, from higher education institution management and quality assurance units to teachers, researchers and students alike, but also including non-governmental/civil sector, representatives from the professions programmes prepare students for, and others.
During the project, information will be collected and carried out, inter alia, on the importance placed by the external quality assurance agencies on the learning outcomes in the field of human rights when evaluating higher education institutions. The research will also include higher education institutions with their teachers and students studying the observed programmes. By analysing the data, we will gain insight into the state of three specific areas of human rights learning outcomes in study programmes leading to professions in education, additionally highlighting examples of good practice.
Project researches are carried out from three different perspectives. The Swedish Higher Education Agency (UKÄ), with its partners at the Karolinska Institute and the European Student Union (ESU), puts an emphasis on the gender perspective in human rights education - human rights, gender and domestic violence. ESU also focuses its project activities on students' involvement and student-centered learning. The University of Lisbon and the Portuguese Agency for Valuation and Accreditation (A3ES) research activities involve issues of migration, human rights and intercultural skills in higher education. The Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education (ASHE) and the Faculty of Teacher Education of the University of Rijeka emphasize human rights, children's rights and participation and the child (student) as an active citizen.
The project consortium brings together institutions from three different European countries of different sizes, educational structure and higher education system, as well as different degrees of tools development and the learning outcomes evaluation procedures (Croatia, Portugal and Sweden) and an international student organization from Belgium (ESU). Furthermore, student involvement is also insured on national and local levels through student representatives and associations in all three countries as well as through project’s special focus on student-centred learning.
All partner institutions in the project have the opportunity to strengthen their skills in evaluating the learning outcomes associated with human rights. In the case of institutions dealing with scientific and teaching activities, the project will offer the exchange of existing knowledge in the field of human rights learning outcome and their quality assurance. The higher education quality assurance agencies will benefit from the adoption of guidelines that will not only represent a significant step in the development of their mission for them, but also other institutions. The project also promotes the dialogue between national quality assurance agencies in higher education, higher education institutions, and students, and facilitates the exchange of good practice in different cultural contexts.
Project duration: September 1, 2016 - August 31, 2019
Project value: EUR 319,855 (fully funded by the EU).
- Develop guidelines to ensure the quality assessment of learning outcomes, with an emphasis on topics in the area of human rights;
- Promote the dialogue between national quality assurance agencies and HEIs, enable sharing of good practices in different cultural contexts, and develop appropriate methods for comparing the quality assurance procedures focusing on the assessment of the learning outcomes in Europe.
- Collect information on human rights learning outcomes in programmes for early childhood and pre-school education, primary education, pedagogy, psychology and social work at Croatian HEIs (undergraduate and graduate programmes);
- Recognize study programmes that are examples of good practice in terms of teaching on human rights;
- Improve the procedures of the QA agencies in the area of assessment of the quality of learning outcomes related to human rights;
- Improve inclusion and quality assurance of human rights learning outcomes both in terms of programme content and in aspects of teacher competences, methods of teaching and assessment.
- Improve learning outcome quality assurance at HEIs.