INFOACES is an ambitious project funded mainly by the European Commission within the ALFA Program, which brings together a total of 32 partners from 22 countries -17 in Latin America and 5 in Europe. All are coordinated by the Technical University of Valencia, through the Center for Quality Management and Change.The project also involved seven other collaborating institutions, including the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC) and the Organization of Iberoamerican States for Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (OEI) and is expected to further cooperation about 80 Latin American universities.
The goal is to create a INFOACES Integrated Information System on all Higher Education Institutions in Latin America that allow institutional development and academic cooperation between the participating institutions and serve to support the development of the Common Area of Higher Education (ACES) in synergy with the EU.
According says José Miguel Carot, Researcher, Centre for Quality Management and Change of UPV and project coordinator, INFOACES seeks to respond to social demand ever increasing, the need for transparency and information on how they are and what make higher education institutions in which a family is sending your son or daughter, or that an employer will hire a graduate. “Improving the quality of these institutions require the availability of valid and reliable information to make decisions. INFOACES will get a snapshot of all higher education institutions in Latin America and make it available to the whole society”, said Carot.
Thus, the information and the system of indicators to be developed in INFOACES help improve the quality and relevance of higher education institutions in Latin America and thus increase their contribution to social and economic development of their countries, regions, communities and citizens’ demand for information society and therefore must be provided, but adequate information, unbiased, tailored to the profiles and objectives of each institution and ultimately assess the quality within each profile within each area and within each environment. It is a difficult but absolutely necessary goal in a society of information and in a globalized world. It is not possible to advance a Common Higher Education Area in Europe or Latin America or between the two continents if no tools are transparent information”, said Carot.
System of indicators:
The indicators will be raised at two levels.The first will consist of a Basic System of Indicators (SB) related to the structure (resources and processes), outputs (products) and external data (context) of Institutions of Higher Education. Based on these indicators to build the definition of types, valid not only for the participating institutions but for all Latin American institutions. At a second level, INFOACES include Strategic Indicators System (SE) thar will collect those who are oriented to the management, evaluation and benchmarking of the institutions.
“An information system of these characteristicscharacteristics facilitate comparison of quality and case studies of good practice, permit the definition of university policies based on real analysis of results and facilitate transparency in the system of higher education in Latin America, a prerequisite for building the Joint Area Higher Education (ACES) is a common goal of Latin American countries and the European Union”, concludes José Miguel Carot.