Nicaragua: URACCAN one step closer to quality accreditation
The intercultural university URACCAN recently delivered the progress report on the implementation of its Improvement Plan to the National Council for Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEA). The report is another milestone in the long process for achieving official quality accreditation.
The University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast (URACCAN) has been systematically investing in internal processes of evaluation, quality assurance and strategic planning, with the support of SAIH, and has up to now developed more than a hundred quality indicators that are being monitored by CNEA. The process has already yielded results, as the university is ranked as the 6th best university in the country, despite being located in the poorest region and receiving but a tiny part (less than 4%) of the public budget destined to universities.
URACCAN’s model of paired evaluation and planning, whereby processes of evaluation and planning are integrated and developed back-to-back, has also been highlighted as something unique among Nicaraguan universities, and has been seen as a best practice to be adopted by other higher education institutions.
According to the president of CNEA, Maribel Duriez, URACCAN has timely complied to all requirements so far, and has had a good relationship with CNEA in following up the development and application of the quality indicators. URACCAN hopes to finally achieve quality accreditation in the next four to five years, and hopes that this will help them to give more visibility to their mission to value and safeguard the rights of indigenous and afrodescendent peoples of the Caribbean Coast.
Some of the quality assurance indicators apply exclusively to URACCAN, and were developed in collaboration between the university and CNEA, to measure the unique features of the Caribbean university as an intercultural and community-based higher education institution. While this makes the accreditation process even more complex compared to other universities, it also highlights the value of URACCAN as a role model for other universities in Nicaragua and Latin America.
“We believe that the cultural diversity that URACCAN has is a great advantage and asset that enriches other universities”, said Maribel Duriez.
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