Algebra - University College for Applied Computer Engineering was founded on 7th of July 2008 by Algebra ltd, leading private IT adult educational institution in Croatia, active on the IT educational market for more than 14 years in 26 towns in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Algebra currently supports more than 30 out of 50 biggest Croatian companies in different aspects of IT education, and in recent years it published some 30 different IT related books and e-learning issues, sold in more than 200.000 copies.
Process of initial accreditation of educational program was conducted by National Council for higher education (www.nvvo.hr) under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and was finished on 16th of Jun 2008 upon which University College for Applied Computer Engineering was awarded with the temporary Accreditation for organization and pursuance of professional higher educational program; Applied computer engineering. University College for Applied Computer Engineering was founded as Non for profit private higher educational institution, according to the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education (Official Gazette 123/03 with amendments 198/03, 105/04, 174/04 and 46/07) and Act on Institutions (Official Gazette 76/93 with amendments 35/08). Initial location used to launch the institution was the headquarters of Algebra group in Maksimirska 58a, Zagreb. University College for Applied Computer Engineering is today located within University Campus complex in Ilica 242, Zagreb and its location is formally changed in all legal documents. On 20th of July 2010 University College for Applied Computer Engineering was awarded with the permanent Accreditation for its study program and will be regularly assessed by Agency for Science and Higher Education as defined in Act on Quality Assurance in Science and Higher Education (Official Gazette 45/09). First generation of students started on University College for Applied Computer Engineering their Bachelor education program on 7th of October 2008.
Accordingly to the recognized trends and employment needs of IT educated specialists, work on University College for Applied Computer Engineering program started in 2006 by Program Committee and external consulting experts. During the process, two extensive surveys of employers in IT were conducted by IDC Adriatics (http://www.idc-adriatics.com) and “Moj-Posao.net”- most important private employment portal, showing detailed market requirements. Portal “Moj-Posao.net” made available their complete database of announced vacancies in the past 7 years in the field of IT and computing, in order for the Program Committee to get clear picture of overall market requirements in wider context. IDC’s survey, covering 80 most significant employers of ICT experts (out of which; 12,5% IT distributors, 30% financial institutions, 7,5% ISV’s, 20% public institutions, 5% production companies, 7,5% system integrators, 5% telecom operators, 5% development companies and 7,5% others) yielded detailed analysis of technologies used by IT employers as well as skills and knowledge required by the market. As a result of both inputs and extensive work of experts and Committee members, a first draft of the program structure was prepared. During the second half of 2007 program draft was discussed with CIO’s and other ICT experts in order to harmonize its content with variety of different market needs (public vs. private companies, small companies vs. big enterprises, open source vs. proprietary technology…). Program was further developed according to Accreditation Agency for Degree Programmes in Engineering, accredited by the German Accreditation Council (Akkreditierungsrat) - ASIIN (http://www.asiin.de/english/download/crit_tc4.pdf) requirements (Recommendations for More Application-Oriented Informatics Study Programs - Type II rev. 18.03.2005.), and final version was fine tuned in close cooperation with team of academics from University of Zagreb, Faculty of electrical engineering and computing – FER in late 2007 and at the beginning of 2008.
First generation of students on University College for Applied Computer Engineering started their education in 2008 using three classrooms / laboratories equipped with computers and other equipment available in Maksimirska 58a and two lecture rooms and library on FER, located in Unska 3, Zagreb. During that time University College for Applied Computer Engineering students did not experience problems due to courses held on two locations because their time schedule was prepared in a way that each day they had all lectures on the same location. Still, University College for Applied Computer Engineering management was dissatisfied for not being able to foster development of true academic spirit and institution’s identity while working actually in the premises of two other well established institutions. Solution to this problem came in July 2009 when contract was reached to rent more than 800 m2 of excellent educational premises in Ilica 242. During the summer of 2009 new furniture and equipment was purchased and decoration works were undertaken in order to fully setup new facility to University College for Applied Computer Engineering purposes. University College for Applied Computer Engineering started its second academic year on 21st of September 2009 in new premises and with the new Dean appointed by Professional council and approved by Managing board, as per article 23 of University College for Applied Computer Engineering Statutes.
In February 2009 University College for Applied Computer Engineering assembled partners and prepared the application for Pilot project in quality assessment and enhancement in professional higher education institutions in Croatia, financed by Flemish government within Cooperation Program for Central and Eastern Europe. Project commenced in March 2010 and as a result of it University College received formal approval for its internal quality assurance system issued by NVAO.
At the end of 2009 University College for Applied Computer Engineering assembled partners and prepared grant application for significant project in development of VET Curriculum for IT and computing under the IPA for the Human Resources Development Component in Croatia 2007-2009. Project was elected for financing in August 2010 and the contract was signed in September 2010. As a result of the project at the end of 2011 new curriculum and training materials in IT Technician (VET secondary qualification) were developed. Stated program will be part of formal VET provision in Croatia, starting for school year 2012/2013 and will be offered by up to 95 public and private VET schools.