UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB
TEMPUS JEP - Quasis
In the first decade of 21 st. century Croatian universities have joined the transformation mainstream of European Higher Education Area known as Bologna process. The huge acceleration of the socio-economic and technological change in the last decades of the 20th century did not leave European universities untouched. Globalising effect of information technologies, democratisation of higher education resulting in massive changes in student enrolment and economic restrictions were main factors influencing the transformation of higher education institutions both in EU countries as well as in the transitional ones. The essence of the new situation was best described by the higher education policy maker who said that he was suddenly confronted with two problems: with a small one and a big one. The small one being a neccessity for a system change, while big one was that no one round him was realizing that.
University of Zagreb faces a complex and profound change comprising transformation of its organizational structure, system of governance, system of financing as well as the transformation of the study programs and approaches to teaching and learning.
The special emphasis within the complex institutional transformation has been put upon the development and implementation of the internal quality assurance system across the university constituents. The whole TEMPUS UM-JEP QUASIS project has been focused on the different aspect of upbuilding of quality assurance system. In the preparation of the finale phase of the project it has been concluded that the experiences accumulated through study visits and workshops with our EU partner institutions have been most useful as a basis for development of a framework for quality assurance system at UZ.
It has been also recognized that at this moment the workshop linking the topic of strategic change management with the context of quality assurance would be at this moment the most useful tool for triggering the implementation process of QA at UZ.
The accumulated data from various sociological and psychological research has clearly shown that too much of unexpected change associated with strong time pressure often leads to personal frustration, stress and organisational crisis followed by resignation and learned helplessness. Organisations and people usually react to change in three ways: resisting, following and leading. Those who react by resistance usually cannot do it for a long time and so they convert to followers who have to catch up thus loosing competitive advantage. It has been recognised that attempting to anticipate and manage the change can be safer and much more rewarding.
Strengthening of the coping mechanisms means development of positive attitude, as well as specific knowledge and skills in order to manage such change succcessfully and to percieve it not as a damaging threat but as an opportunity for institutional growth and personal development. Goal of the workshop has been formulated as follows: to achieve participantsí deeper understanding of the nature organisational development as well as to enhance their competencies for the effective management of institutional change. The expected learning outcomes could be described as the empowerement of the participants to:
1. recognize the causes of change and the types of change regarding QA
2. describe the sources of change and human dynamics of change
3. make a layout of the strategic plan for change management within QA context
4. apply some skills for communicating the change and dealing with the resistance
5. monitor the consolidation of change and evaluate its impact for the organizational development of QA system.