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The STAND project aims to improve the processes and mechanisms of university autonomy by increasing the management capacities, accountability and transparency of universities in the Western Balkans in three target countries – Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro.

STAND is steered by a consortium of 17 partners, including EUA, and led by International Business College Mitrovica (IBC-M), Kosovo.

As a project partner, EUA offers support to enable the consortium to develop adequate assessment reports and prepare for action plans. The Association will also provide training and guidance for the use of a revised Autonomy Scorecard methodology to partners from Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro. It will drive the work to adapt the existing methodology and support the consortium in organising data collection and analysis. EUA will contribute throughout the project, with a view to ensure coherence in the approach and ultimately support strengthening university autonomy in the three countries.   

For questions about EUA involvement, please contact  

For more information on the project, please visit the project website.


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EUA has long-standing expertise in addressing the issues of autonomy, accountability and funding through promoting conferences and workshops, and engaging its members in an evidence-based debate on improving university governance and leadership competencies and updating funding structures. EUA provides higher education and research stakeholders in Europe with unique benchmarking tools, widely recognised and used in many countries.

EUA’s Autonomy Scorecard compares a wealth of indicators reflecting the degree of autonomy of universities in 29 systems in the EU. EUA has been invited to use these tools to provide advice to several countries seeking to develop governance reforms in the sector. It has the expertise to deliver in-depth analysis of the state of university autonomy in different countries, identifying pressing challenges and providing recommendations for governance reform. EUA has supported reform processes in many systems through structural projects such as TRUNAK and ATHENA. The Association has developed bespoke structures and processes to design and implement roadmaps outlining necessary steps for the reform of regulatory frameworks. EUA fosters inclusive approaches to governance reforms and has also supported capacity building to modernise university governance and management.

The university sector and public authorities in the Western Balkans region expressed the need to reform the governance model for universities. Through STAND, EUA will provide support and advice for benchmarking, evidence-based policy-making processes and human resources development.

The project aspires to achieve the following key objectives:

  • enhance the modernisation of governance in Western Balkan universities through capacity building, experience exchange and upgraded infrastructure;
  • improve university autonomy through empowering national- and university-level regulations and structures;
  • create and adopt a University Autonomy Scorecard for Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro;
  • expand an effective cooperation between higher education institutions and the relevant ministries in improving the transparency, accountability and financial sustainability;
  • establish an expert network on university autonomy.

A mix of bottom-up and top-down approaches will be used in the project. They will foster a dialogue between universities and ministries and, thus, enable the consortium to contribute more effectively to the project implementation and sustainability in order to strengthen the autonomy of Western Balkan higher education institutions.

Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education, Accreditation body (Albania)

KAA, Accreditation body (Kosovo)

Agency for control and quality assurance of higher education, Accreditation body (Montenegro)

Project title:  Strengthening university autonomy and increasing accountability and transparency of Western Balkan universities

Funded by: The European Commission, under the ERASMUS+ Programme, KA2 Capacity-building in the field of higher education

Project period: 2021-2024

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