Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE)

Sdružení profesního terciárního vzdělávání (SSVS)

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 of schools and education, contributes to their development. It plays a role in policy discussions as regards the 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 2019 CASPHE has 16 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 a 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 projects concerning PHE and VET.

Specific fields of expertise within CASPHE cover:
• policy and strategic issues related to educational policy, in particular with a focus on professional higher (tertiary) education;
• qualifications frameworks, learning outcomes and their implementation;
• quality assurance and quality enhancement issues;
• methodology of teaching/learning with a 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 Czech Association of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) was set up in 1991 by schools in order to contribute to their development and coordinate their activities. The key mission was the promotion of professional higher education concept in the Czech Republic, but also coordination of projects and activities leading to enhanced knowledge and practical experience of member schools regarding international experience and good practice.

Since then CASPHE has been engaged in all key policy and legislative steps relevant to professional higher education development, communicated with key stakeholders including the representatives of the world of work. CASPHE coordinated a number of projects and seminars in the field of curriculum development, methodology of teaching in tertiary education, teacher training, school management and marketing, most of them in close cooperation with similar institutions from many countries.

As regards the overall concept and policy of professional higher education development, CASPHE representatives were engaged in most of the recent reform projects of the Ministry of Education within higher education.

In 2001-2004 CASPHE or its key staff were engaged in the development of criteria and methodology of quality assessment of non-university higher education sector. In 2007 CASPHE was commissioned by the Ministry of education to develop criteria and methodology of accreditation of professional tertiary education (college sector).

Besides this expertise, CASPHE followed also discussions on employability issues, life-long-learning concept, methods of teaching and learning and student-centred learning. Its members are dealing with issues of research, development and innovation activities relevant to professionally oriented higher education.

Key qualification and skills of key staff regard:
• Policy and strategy development
• Specific mission, role and characteristics of professional tertiary education, its embedding within higher education policy including short-cycle
• Life-long learning concept at institutions of tertiary education
• Qualification frameworks, learning outcomes
• Quality assurance and enhancement
• Curriculum development in interaction with labour market
• Supporting apprenticeships between PHEi and VET Institutions and World of Work,

…and other relevant issues within a complex picture of professional higher education developments