Who are we?
The Czech Association of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) is an independent organisation of colleges and institutes of professional higher education in the Czech Republic. It was founded in 1991. CASPHE represents interests of the particular type schools and education, contributes to their development. It plays a role in policy discussions as regards formulation of problems relevant to the development of professionally-oriented higher (tertiary) education sector faces and proposals of their solution. CASPHE facilitates mutual cooperation of member schools and exchange their experiences, facilitates contact individual for members seeking to create conditions for qualitative growth, creates a sense of belonging and mutual interest.
CASPHE activities include:
- conceptual and policy work on the development and structuring of professionally oriented tertiary education;
- development of colleges and institutes of professional higher education including information on challenges, trends and developments at international level and promotion of experience from abroad;
- promotion of the idea of professional higher (tertiary) education including communication with professional bodies and representation of employers;
- preparation and coordination of international and Czech-based projects, seminars and conferences;
- activities in the field of quality management and improvement.
In 2018 CASPHE has 10 members and affiliated schools while the range of collaborating institutions was substantially wider. CASPHE has many signed cooperation agreements with many other schools and institutions including Universities and Employers organizations such as different kind of Chambers of commerce etc. In the year 2017 CASPHE has signed cooperation agreement with West Bohemia University and receive together from The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic large innovative project concerning Study programs innovations in the times of 4.0 phenomenon. CASPHE remains open to any institution of tertiary education whose overall objectives are consistent with the mission of the association.
Due to its focus on internationalisation, CASPHE became soon after its establishment (since 1993) an active member of EURASHE (European Association of Institutions in Higher Education). Since 2007 the executive officer of CASPHE, Michal Karpisek, has served as a vice-president of EURASHE and now he is serving as Secretary General of EURASHE. Today executive officer of CASPHE Iva Voldanova is very experienced person in the field of PHE and had served in the EURASHE office for 5 years and is active in many project concerning PHE and VET..
Specific fields of expertise within CASPHE cover:
- policy and strategic issues related to educational policy, in particular with focus on professional higher (tertiary) education;
- qualifications frameworks, learning outcomes and their implementation;
- quality assurance and quality enhancement issues;
- methodology of teaching/learning with focus on practically-oriented elements including students’ placements;
facilitation of discussion with stakeholders, in particular partners from the world of work, regional bodies and higher education institutions.
Why we are participating in the project
We re representing higher education institutions and the experts involved in the project have a high experience in dealing with the topic of the mission of professional higher education, have performed different research on the state of PHE in their respective countries and have strong connections with all the stakeholders, including the world of work and student representatives. They are involved in the institutional policies and have key expertise to develop and contribute to main project outputs.
Our role in the project
CASPHE has been engaged in the Czech policy and conceptual discussion on the nature of professional higher education (PHE). In mid 1990s, It introduced its own quality assessment programme of professional tertiary schools involving key stakeholders. CASPHE representatives were involved in various Czech reform initiatives and projects focused on overall policy, qualifications frameworks and quality assurance. International agenda and sharing experience has always been among the CASPHE’s priorities, it has been engaged in EURASHE network since 1993. Recently (2012 – 14), CASPHE played an active role within the HAPHE project which mapped the PHE situation across Europe, proposed PHE definition and characteristics – and created a basis for the current project proposal.
CASPHE interest in development of the project tools, exchange of experience and mutual activities as the project results and findings results from its potential to contribute to further development and profiling of professional tertiary education in the Czech Republic. Recently there were numerous discussions with employers’ representations about existing gaps and potential interaction and coordination. Therefore CASPHE’s representative will try to get fully involved in collaboration with the project management in planning different activities, specification of expected outputs/outcomes and engage Czech schools in the project activities and implementation.
Iva, director of CASPHE since 2016 is responsible for the overall management of the organisation and both the expert and managerial part of its projects. She has previously been coordinator of the EURASHE secretariat (European association of institutions in Higher Education) between 2009 and 2013. She has been a coordinator for the key large EURASHE PHE HAPHE project. Within EURASHE she was also responsible for the follow-up and monitoring of the execution of a number of projects under the Lifelong Learning Programme. Further she was responsible for representing EURASHE and European professional higher education, promoting the EURASHE network and liaising with members. Ms Voldánová was a participant of EURASHE Working Groups on Employability and Internal decision making, political coordination and organisational development which aimed at monitoring, execution and implementation of the work programme under all 7 EURASHE priorities.
Ondřej has extensive experience in project management in different programs including European structural funds, Erasmus+ or national calls for education and culture. In CASPHE he works as a project manager and researcher for the Erasmus+ projects and is currently involved in the projects connected to VET and PHE - PROCSEE, SAPS, ApprenticeTrack (SAT). He is also project manager and researcher of new project from Technological agency of Czech Republic “Innovation of study programmes of mechanical engineering, education and health care within the 4.0 Phenomenon - change of role of Higher Education Institution”. His experience and skills include administrative project management, planning, organizing and coordinating the work, engaging different stakeholders, organization and implementation of various events in the framework of projects and promotional activities (conferences, workshops, training).
Due to project’s focus on links with the world of work, qualifications and quality issues, Mrs. Milena Kolarova, CASPHE Board member, a member of the Accreditation Committee for Professional Tertiary Education may be another expert engaged on CASPHE side. Considering the project plan and potential two or three Czech schools will be invited to pilot the project activities.