About Us

                                                  Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT)

Background

Article 5 of the University Act states that:

“Universities shall regularly carry out self-evaluation of their teaching, research, services, counseling and guidance, academic affairs, administration, and student participation; regulations governing the evaluation shall be formulated by each university.

To promote the development of every university, the Ministry of Education shall organize an Assessment Committee or commission academic organizations or professional accreditation bodies to carry out regular assessments of the universities, and it shall make the results public. The assessment results shall be referred to for making changes to and developing universities. The assessment shall be undertaken in accord with the principles of incorporating diversity and professionalism, and the associated regulations governing assessment shall be formulated by the Ministry of Education.”

Article 5 established the Ministry of Education (MOE) as the competent authority for accrediting institutions of higher education, and the results have since become widely recognized as a measure of institutional performance and guarantee of quality education.

HEEACT was established jointly by the MOE and all higher education institutions in Taiwan on December 26, 2005. Since 2006, HEEACT has conducted higher education accreditations that assist the universities to contribute to society through the pursuit of quality education and research.

As a third-party and professional organization specializing in higher education accreditation and review, HEEACT's tasks encompass two major areas: 1) conducting institutional and program accreditations for all higher education institutions in Taiwan, and 2) conducting quality assurance, and enhancement research and development projects for higher education.

With the aims for facilitating the internationalization of Taiwan's higher education and continually adopting the latest developments in higher education quality assurance and enhancement, HEEACT has been actively networking with numerous international organizations in various activities. By doing so, HEEACT has not merely reported on higher education accreditation experiences but also increased the international visibility of Taiwan's higher education.

                                                               

What is Accreditation?

The main objective of higher education is the pursuit and spread of knowledge - a pursuit that is rooted in commitment to research, clarification of values, and promotion of social development. USA adopted a system of accreditation to evaluate educational goals and guarantee high quality education. Accreditation can be defined as an evaluation process that reviews an institution and its programs and is conducted by an external authority. The basic goals behind accreditation are to enhance and preserve the quality of higher education and assure the general publi of this quality. At the same time, accreditation is built on a foundation of trust, standards, evidence, professional judgment, and review by professional peers. The target for accreditation can be an entire academic institution or one of its programs.

The process of accreditation includes self-evaluations performed directly by the institutions as well as on-site visits made by teams of peer professionals; it is, in short, a process that provides an assurance of quality regarding an academic institution's performance and integrity. The Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the USA released a Handbook of Accreditation in 2013. The commission lists three core commitments indispensable to the accreditation process: Core Commitment to Student Learning and Success; Core Commitment to Quality and Improvement; and Core Commitment to Institutional Integrity, Sustainability, and Accountability. By affirming the Core Commitments, WASC hopes that an institution will 'create learning environments that continuously strive for educational excellence and operational effectiveness in order to serve both students and the public good.'

The Core Commitment to Student Learning and Success means that an institution has established clearly-defined educational goals and learning outcomes for students, and is constantly looking for ways to improve learning outcomes. The Core Commitment to Quality and Improvement means that an institution assures high quality in all of its educational activities; it uses appropriate evidence to improve teaching, learning and overall institutional effectiveness. Through comprehensive planning, the institution demonstrates its ability to satisfy its core commitments and future needs. The Core Commitment to Institutional Integrity, Sustainability, and Accountability means that the institution has clear goals: higher standards of institutional integrity; sound financial and operational structures, and is thus able to uphold an enanced quality of higher education and fulfill its responsiblities for the public good. The end goal of accreditation is not to establish university rankings, but to provide assurance of academic quality and ensure that institutions strive to continusouly improve this quality.

The accreditation system for higher education in the USA has been adopted and adapted to local circumstances by many major countries world-wide. Today, it has become the primary means by which developed countries evaluate their institutions of higher education. According to a survey from the European Union, approximately one-half of member countries have already begun to employ an accreditation system in their designs and plans for practically evaluating universities. HEEACT serves as the national accreditor for higher education institutions and programs in Taiwan. In response to international trends and to ensure that the system for accrediting institutions keeps up with global developments, we adopted an accreditation system similar to that in USA, and conducted the First Cycle of Accreditation for Institutions of Higher Education (First Cycle) in 2011. We also included the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) method as part of the accreditation process to guarantee that needs for quality assurance are met, thereby launching practices for improvements to institutions of higher education. The Second Cycle of Accreditation for Institutions for Higher Education (Second Cycle) has been planned for the two-year period of 2017-2018.

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