UNESCO Chair of Management and Governance in Higher Education






Change management and institutional development  of

quality assurance system






          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.