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 2016 CASPHE has 7 members and affiliated schools while the range of collaborating institutions was substantially wider. 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, the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education.
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.
The key person for the project is Michal Karpisek, executive officer of CASPHE who represents CASPHE within the project and coordinates the professional work. Michal Karpisek has been working as an Executive officer of CASPHE since 1994, being engaged in the introduction and development of the Czech professional higher education since its very beginning. He co-ordinated numerous projects with different European and North American higher education institutions, colleges and polytechnics focused on school management, quality of education and teaching/learning methodology and organisation including modular and credit structures. In the recent years Michal has been involved in the reform of Czech tertiary education. He served twice as an advisor to Czech ministers of education (2001-03, 2010-11) or their deputies for higher education with a particular attention to issues of diversification and quality of tertiary education, was engaged in the Ministerial projects on the overall Reform of Tertiary Education, development of Qualifications Framework for Higher Education… In 2007 he led a project on analysis and development of the professional tertiary education sector, as well as a few projects related to quality assurance of this type of education. He was engaged as a senior expert in various Czech higher education institutions’ projects on curricula based on labour market5 needs and learning outcomes, quality assurance and strategic development. Michal Karpisek has been a member of the EURASHE Council for the last 12 years and since 2007 he has been serving as EURASHE Vice-President, as well acting in leadership of its various working groups (e.g. Employability and Lifelong Learning, Strategy ). In the recent years Michal was also involved in international expertise and consulting, focusing on quality assurance aspects within the VET reform in Turkmenistan (2013), within higher education development in Azerbaijan (2014/15). Michal graduated at the Czech Technical University, Faculty of Civil Engineering and has a degree in Quality Management from the Cranfield University, U.K. and gained experience in quality assurance, qualifications frameworks and learning outcomes, strategic planning etc.
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.