Higher Education Accreditation Agency of the Republic of Srpska (the Agency) is preparing thematic analysis on internationalization in higher education as a result of previous analyzes of the reports and recommendations of experts in the first cycle of accreditation in the Republic of Srpska.

As is well known, the Agency is an associate member of European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and in the process of preparing for full membership which implies proving the compliance of the Agency's work, as well as the overall higher education system, with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in European Higher Education Area (ESG). One of the requirements of the standards is the preparation of thematic analyzes in the field of the Agency's activities.

The Agency is participating in the project "Strengthening Internationalization in Higher Education" (STINT project) in the framework of the ERASMUS + program of the European Union, which is in the final stage. Within the project Agency analyzed the accreditation results in the first round which unambiguously indicated that internationalization is one of the weakest points of the system higher education in the Republic of Srpska. The criterion that largely covered these issues ("international cooperation") had the lowest average grade, and at the same time, with all the institutions that received a letter of expectation, this criterion was always among the under-rated ones. On this basis, the Agency decided that a second thematic analysis should tackle the causes of the obstacles in this area.

A detailed analysis of the situation in the field of internationalization at the higher education institutions that took part in the project was carried out within the project. Among other things, the analysis involved stakeholder surveys on this topic in order to identify the causes of the underdevelopment of internationalization and developed three questionnaires designed for the management of the institution, teaching staff and students.

The intention is that the thematic analysis that the Agency prepares is based on the same methodology, which at the same time represents the possibility for private institutions from the higher education system of the Republic of Srpska that were not directly involved in the project to use the same tools and mechanisms in order to improve the field of internationalization.

In order to facilitate the processing of data, it is envisaged that the survey is done through the information system of the University of East Sarajevo, where each institution will get its link through which respondents will fill out the surveys.

The thematic analysis is not aimed at the mutual comparison nor evaluation by the Agency, but it is exclusively developmental and will serve to the Agency for the purpose of preparing a thematic analysis, as well to institutions for the purpose of their own analyzes on the basis of which internationalization strategies can be made.

Since the harmonization of the work of the Agency and the functioning of the higher education system of the Republic of Srpska with the ESG is a way of recognition of the qualifications of our students abroad, the survey covers all accredited institutions that will receive all the necessary data, all three questionnaires and instructions for implementation as well as the necessary technical support.