The Estonian Aviation Academy successfully underwent an international external evaluation last year. Subsequently, this week, the Estonian Quality Agency for Education (HAKA) approved the decision to accredit the Academy for a seven-year period. Additionally, the academy will be honored with the HAKA quality label, signifying the accreditation achievement without any additional conditions.
The institutional accreditation process, overseen by HAKA, encompassed the creation of a self-assessment report by the academy, an assessment visit by the expert panel, and the subsequent assessment report produced by the panel. The evaluation panel, comprising higher education consultants, managers, and experts from Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Estonia, aimed to evaluate the institution's strengths, identify areas for improvement, and provide recommendations for further development.
The assessment affirms that the Academy's governance, organization, teaching and research activities, as well as the learning and research environment, fully satisfy all requirements. Overall, the panel was impressed by the progress that the Academy has made since the previous HAKA accreditation and also with the overall management, culture and strong sense of collegiality in the way staff and students interact with each other.
Koit Kaskel, the Rector of the Estonian Aviation Academy, emphasized: "Full accreditation signifies the school's viability, sustainability, and commitment to delivering high-quality education. It instills confidence in the entire school community, including students, staff, and our partners, paving the way for future positive developments in aviation education. The HAKA quality label, accompanying the accreditation, serves as the crowning achievement."
Heli Mattisen, the President of HAKA, praised the Estonian Aviation Academy as a very good example of a learning organisation. In its feedback, the panel acknowledged the Academy for significant progress in strategic planning and in defining performance indicators, as well as the relevance of practice and the involvement of partners.
The panel considers that the curricula are characterised by a flexible response to market needs and changing sectoral requirements. High-quality physical resources, well-equipped teaching facilities and simulators, and the efficient use of buildings were also highlighted as strengths. The Academy also stood out for having a drop-out rate lower than the Estonian average. Progress has also been made in the internationalisation of curricula, with the creation of two English-language curricula: Commercial Aviation Management and Commercial Air Transport Pilot.
As areas for improvement, it was noted that the Academy's performance indicators could be more ambitious, especially in the area of research and development, and attention should also be paid to internationalisation in this area. Among other things, the panel added that in order to increase the attractiveness and efficiency of the curricula, the joint parts of the curricula could be extended and then delivered together to students from different curricula.
The accreditation obtained is valid until 2031.