Postgraduate education, conceived as the last level of undergraduate training, after the cycle of undergraduate studies or professional studies, must have the ability to respond to the changing needs of its environment, through the provision of relevant knowledge and skills for the communities they serve. Graduate programs must be able to innovate, invest in intellectual capital, develop new programs, curricula and courses that allow them to respond to the changing needs of the world.
In this sense, the evaluation model of the learning environment of the graduate programs of the Evaluation, Accreditation and Quality Assurance Council of Higher Education – CEAACES, is based on three principles:
- Research, development and innovation,
Also, in accordance with the Academic Regime Regulations, two types of postgraduate programs are considered: professional programs and research programs. Thus, to address the evaluation of postgraduate programs in Ecuador, we start with the distinction of characteristics related to the objectives and characteristics of the program, as follows:
Professional programs (Type I): they aim at training or the complementary development of learning outcomes and knowledge acquired in a career. Professional programs, in accordance with the provisions of the Academic Regime Regulations, are considered to be programs that are not intended to lead or be a previous step to continue with doctoral studies; that is to say:
- Professional Masters
- Specialties in health sciences.
Research programs (Type II): they are aimed at research based on the groups and lines of research of an academic program or an institution of higher education. Conceptually, an important quality criterion refers to the relationship between undergraduate and postgraduate education; In this sense, a postgraduate academic program, except for particular cases, arises when the academic plant of the degree has formed research groups; that is, it has achieved significant expertise and experience in a particular line or set of lines of research. The following are considered, according to the Regulation mentioned previously, as research programs:
- Masters in research.
- PhD programs
It is expected to formalize the expectation that the programs accredited by CEAACES obtain their immediate renewal before the CES.
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