The university pilot in reviewing quality systems for research

Kim Bolton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, heads the work for the review. He explains:

"UKÄ has been commissioned by the government to evaluate the universities' systems around the quality assurance and quality development of our research. The university has already been approved (subject to qualification) for the quality system for education. The quality of our research education is currently being secured and developed with the support of our quality education system. However, UKÄ's new review concerns research."

Review of quality systems for research
UKÄ will, from autumn 2019, conduct a review of quality systems for research. The first to be involved are the University of Borås, University West, and Linnaeus University, which constitute a pilot round. The work with will begin with a start-up meeting in Stockholm on 19 September. From this date, the institutions will (preliminarily) have 12 weeks to submit a self-evaluation.

The review covers all Swedish educational institutions and the University of Borås has actively chosen to participate in the pilot round.

"We think that a quality system is important for the development of the university and our research."

What does this mean for the university and its staff?

"It means two things. First, we need to further develop our systems for quality assurance and the quality development of our research. All levels, from researchers to university management, need to be integrated into this system. Of course, it is important that everyone, including the Faculties, Professional Services, the boards, as well as students, are included in the further development of our system; it must be well-anchored into the organisation. Next, we must do a self-assessment about our system and its implementation. Guidance on how the self-evaluation is to be written was given at the end of June. The self-evaluation will then be submitted to UKÄ in December this year," says Kim Bolton.

Eva Gustafsson, a representative in the Research and Education Board, comments:

"It will be hard work – mainly at the management level – but also an interesting and rewarding process. A lot will happen during the autumn. Personally, I am positive about the work; it promotes self-examination, which is good."

Work in preparation for the examination has already begun at the university. Three administrators have been associated with it: Anders Nylund, Quality Coordinator; Hanna Kantola, Research Education Coordinator; and Thomas Johansson, Controller. Anders Nylund speaks on the work:

"At the moment, intensive work is underway to systematise the quality system and a number of tasks that concern the management and follow-up of research, local evaluation of research, division of responsibilities, and so on, have now started after summer holidays. The tasks must be completed before the self-evaluation is submitted to UKÄ," he says.

Text: Solveig Klug
Photo: Suss Wilén
Translation: Eva Medin