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Workshop on Quality Assurance in Higher Education Institutions University of Algarve First Draft Report The workshop was proposed

in the visit of the European Partners to Ashgabat, in April 2011, mainly to give some insight on the tasks involved in quality assessment and assurance processes as they were practiced in the University of the Algarve. This event was initially planed for October 2011 but the now familiar visa delays forced us to postpone it to February 2012. Without knowing the number of visitors and their specific background in some of the professors and demonstrators taking part in the course were worried with the exact contents and the depth those contents should be treated. All was clarified at the beginning of the workshop. Visitors from Turkmenistan were received by Igor Khmelinskii, a russian speaking Professor from Portugal, and a social relaxed component for the duration of the event was arranged by him and by the international relations office, GRIM. The workshop had the following aims: i) to discuss the essential principles, practical and philosophical aspects of quality assurance; ii) to give a hands-on approach to quality assessment and, therefore, the second day of the workshop was in a computer room; iii) to have the main responsible chiefs of staff to explain and discuss the procedures and the implications, which lead to some lively debates; iv) to touch aspects related to quality from the quality of the students admitted, through the classroom and degrees up to the external evaluation; and, finally, v) to discuss trends and policies, risks and benefits of different approaches. Please se attached leaflet and the proceedings that will be shortly sent to you. A high level of the workshop was attempted by getting real experts and experienced speakers as well as administrators. A vice-rector (Lublin), a pro-rector (Faro), a Dean (Lublin) and a head of department (Faro) were present and gave contributions. The present head of the Quality Office was invited to show and discuss quality assessment in the University of the Algarve. Other main speakers included Prof. Isabel Cavaco, an experienced Quality Manager; Prof. Paulo Pinheiro, the former administrator that started the implementation of QA; and other members of staff that carry out research in the area of Quality were present and have shown the results of specific research in quality assessment and assurance. The team of three professors from Poland gave great dynamic to the workshop. The topic of quality of research was dealt by Vasyl xx. He has shown how different approaches have succeeded or failed (to some extent regardless of the expectations or investments) in different parts of the world, from the USA to Russia. Research is an important component of higher education and should be encouraged. The final debate, lead by Pawel and Igor, was particularly interesting: the pros and cons of east and west education, the present situation in European and Portuguese Universities and procedures to be avoided were discussed to some extent and, probably, this way of sharing experiences in the way this DEQUE project is working will allow us all to learn from each other and promote quality. Though some care must always be taken when adopting procedures from outside, the quality assessment and assurance system discussed throughout the workshop, using the tools and policies that have proved over the years in major Universities all over the world, is the way to achieve the desired level of quality and excellence