SCM # T020B06


Basic Data


Title of the project

Towards Transparent Ontology-Based Accreditation 

Acronym of the project



12 months, 15 June 2007 – 14 May 2008

Project Web-site and deliverables

Conceptual presentation  (by Vagan Terziyan, project consultant)

Proposals to Verhovna Rada

 (Ukrainian Parliament)   (by Olena Kaykova, project consultant)



Consortium members


Grant Applicant

  Mr. Timo Tiihonen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland



Grant Co-ordinator



  Mrs. Natalya Lesna, Kharkov National University of Radioelectronics, Ukraine



Contact Person of Consortium Member


Mr. Vasyl Shynkaruk Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Licensing, Accreditation and Nostrification Directorate


Contact Person of Consortium Member


Mrs. Maria Rosario Cabello Porras, Malaga University, Spain, Office for Relations with Eastern Countries



Contact Person of Consortium Member


Mr. Alain Gourdin, Institut des techniques informatiques (ITIN), France




Summary of the Project


Project Title and Acronym

Towards Transparent Ontology-Based Accreditation (OntAc) 

Grant Applicant's Institution

University of Jyväskylä 

Partner Country Institutions involved

- Kharkov National University of Radioelectronics
- Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine 

Specific Objective

Main objective is to improve the accreditation, licensing and ranking procedures for Ukrainian universities towards transparency using new ontology-based information technology, to train the target groups of Ministry officials and University administrators, to develop the transparent documentation and online distance training system for fast retraining of personnel. As a result of the project, the new improved approach for accreditation, licensing and ranking of Ukrainian universities will be introduces, technologically and methodically supported, implemented, verified and supplied by trained staff.  

Principal Outcomes

  • Improved accreditation, licensing and ranking procedures for Ukrainian universities: Studying the best European practices in accreditation (concepts, principals, criteria, and procedures) and applying them in the Ukrainian context and applying the ontology-based approach to make the information transparent will result in improvement of the accreditation, licensing and ranking procedures for Ukrainian universities. The expert seminar in KNURE with Ukrainian Ministry experts will be held to analyse the improvement procedures. The improved accreditation, licensing and ranking procedures will be put in operation in Partner country by the Instruction Letter of the Ministry of Education and Science.


  • Pilot of ontology-based accreditation and licensing procedures on the Educational Ontology Web Portal (KNURE-based case-study): Verification and approbation of the ontology-based accreditation and licensing procedures on the Educational Ontology Web Portal. Staff group from KNURE will create and enter semantically-enabled university educational resources needed for the case accreditation task to the Portal. Then the trial ontology-based accreditation and licensing procedures will be made and evaluated by the Ministry officials. It will include KNURE accreditation self-analysis and approbation of the Ministry-university interaction.


  • Manuals and Recommendations:


1.      The Manual for ontology-based annotation of educational resources;

2.      The Recommendations for ontology-based accreditation, licensing and ranking of Ukrainian universities;

3.      The Manual for resource management within the Educational Ontology Web Portal.


  • Re-trained key personnel of the Ministry and Universities: Training seminars on ontology-based accreditation, licensing and ranking procedures will be held in MESU for ministry officials and in KNURE for universities representatives. Target groups for re-training include key persons from the Ministry, university personnel of Educational Offices, faculty representatives who responsible for quality monitoring, staff working with university information systems and other key personnel. Also the Online Distance Training System will be developed for fast retraining of wide audience of personnel. And the local dissemination workshop with representatives from all consortium members will be held in the end of the project to spread the project result on the national level.



Financial Summary


Total Staff Costs:

28 700,00


Total Stay and Travel Costs:

55 590,00


Total Printing and Publishing Costs:

8 050,00


Total Overheads Costs:

6 500,00


Total Other Costs:

1 060,00




Staff Costs

Replacement costs

Travel costs and costs of stay


Printing and publishing


Other costs

Operational costs covered by the grant


Amount requested from Tempus

28 700,00


55 590,00


8 050,00

6 500,00

1 060,00

93 400,00

99 900,00

% of Total from Tempus

28,73 %

0,00 %

55,65 %

0,00 %

8,06 %

6,51 %

1,06 %

Amount co-financed (minimum 5% of the overall total - ) € *


Overall Total €




Main Conclusions


Towards transparent higher education quality assessment


Integration of national higher education systems to one European educational space is a great challenge. The Bologna process provides guidelines to common structures but it alone does not suffice to overcome the different cultural and language barriers, manifested in different goals, concepts, conventions etc in higher education that make the reciprocal recognition of degrees and learning outcomes quite challenging.


The diversity in European education can also be seen as an opportunity, especially from the point of view of countries that have just entered the integration process and started the internal reforms. They have the privilege of studying and adopting the best, tested, practices and integrating them their own strategic development of higher education.


One precondition to truly European educational space is that national quality assessment systems are widely recognized and trusted. This is a major challenge as in different cultures very different goals are set to assessment systems (like accreditation, licensing, ranking, coordination of development initiatives, etc). Fortunately, some common generic features can be identified that support mutual understanding and trust – transparency and objectivity being the most important. These should be provided in a way that is easily configurable to different contexts.


In 2007, after several years of reflection and preparation the consortium coordinated by Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics (Ukraine) with Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, University of Malaga (Spain) and ITIN (France) as partners and University of Jyvaskyla (Finland) as contractor got the possibility to integrate their efforts in TEMPUS SCM project “Towards Transparent Ontology-Based Accreditation”. The aims of the project were twofold – to aggregate the experiences from different European approaches to quality assessment and to construct a model for a simple, flexible and transparent assessment system that could be implemented in the Ukrainian context.


It was realized from the very beginning that to achieve a transparent quantitative assessment system all concepts related to pieces of information, may they be  resources, outcomes or processes, should be described and defined explicitly in a formal way. Such a presentation is often called “Ontology”.


In recent years the creation of ontologies has been quite popular during recent years as it is closely related to the development of so called Semantic Web technology. The Semantic Web community provides powerful tools to annotate, search and summarize information that is created, managed and stored in distributed way.


Using the state of the art open source Semantic Web tools the project team managed to build a pilot information system that supports distributed gathering, editing, verifying, analyzing and archiving of parameters that are needed for quality assessment of HEIs. As different HEIs may have different strategies, operating environments etc, it is an essential feature of the quality assessment portal that different quality indicators can be easily generated for local needs from the same formally represented raw data that is needed for the common national system. It is also essential, for mutual trust, peer learning and university internal strategic leadership, that it is possible to study the fine grain details behind the summarizing indicators. The same quality assessment information can also be used to provide views to universities’ internal development to different stakeholders (ranging from potential students, local authorities, companies to governmental bodies responsible for national competitiveness).


The results of the project have been disseminated on several forums and have been received enthusiastically both in universities and in ministry level. As the basic approach is universal, many possibilities for further exploitation of the results can be seen both on national and international level.