Systematic Quality Work

 

The quality system is the framework within which the quality work at the University of Borås is conducted. It includes both the documented prerequisites, in the form of organization, division of responsibilities and internal governing documents, as well as the routines and working methods used in the work with both quality assurance and quality development. The quality system also includes the activities through which the organization identifies the goals, processes and resources required for achieving the desired result.

The quality work at the University of Borås is the work performed within the framework of the quality system. This includes both quality assurance and quality development i.e the work done to ensure that both the education and research activities maintain a high quality and the work done to develop the education and research activities.

The quality work is conducted at all levels within the university and involves all employees, students and doctoral students. The work includes both the daily operational and strategic activities within the educations, from program level up to central level. The research includes both ongoing peer review processes and strategic work with the research activities. Systematic quality work is defined as the continuous improvement work performed according to given processes and routines, with the aim of securing and developing the quality of all education and research activities.

The image above is a visualization of the systematic quality work at the University of Borås. The foundation consists of the university's fundamental values, its quality policy and the quality culture that pervades the activities in all their parts. The foundation rests on the two pillars consisting of the academies and professional services to the left and the collegiate bodies (committees) to the right. Based on the university's organization and division of responsibilities, they constitute the university's executive and reviewing bodies respectively. The pillars in turn hold up the roof of the university's visions, goals and strategies. The house`s heart of competence, the continuous improvement work and a process-oriented way of working is the pulse that drives the quality work forward.

The roles and responsibilities of the committees differ to some extent between education and research. Regarding education at all levels, the committees have a direct scrutiny role concerning the structure, implementation and quality of the education. As the quality and relevance of the research is continuously evaluated both on a national and an international level through established built-in, peer-reviewed collegial processes, this means that the committees do not have the same role within the framework of the university's quality system for research. Instead, they are expected to provide good conditions for research at a high quality level. The tasks in this case include establishing criteria/aspects when research is evaluated.
 
The quality house should be seen as a unity creating the best conditions for the students' learning, for conducting research and for the collaboration with the surrounding society.
 

Four key words

The quality work at the University of Borås is characterized by the key words integrated, uniform, transparent and sharp.
 
Integrated - Quality in the university activities is achieved in the daily tasks and interactions of the employees and the students. Quality assurance routines are designed in consultation with employees and students so that they experience the benefits of the routines and feel involved and committed in developing the quality of the activities.
 
Uniform - Quality assurance and quality development procedures are designed in the same way for all research and education programmes unless there are special reasons for differences. The latter gives room for flexibility when needed. Uniformity promotes clarity, efficiency, and legal certainty, and promotes transparency.
 
Transparency - Openness and transparency must characterize the quality work at the university. The quality policy, the quality assurance system, its procedures and criteria, as well as the results and measures resulting from quality assurance reviews must be easily accessible to employees, students and other stakeholders. Transparency is a prerequisite for understanding how the individual efforts affect and are affected by other parts of the university.
 
Sharp - The university's quality assurance work must be effective and result in continuous development. Independent external reviews of quality are carried out regularly. Identified strengths and weaknesses are the basis for development work and concrete measures.

Operational planning

Through operational planning, academies and units design an overall operational plan with prioritised development initiatives linked to education, research and other specific tasks that the university must relate to. The operational plan is the basis for the action plans at the departments and units and concretise the planned activities in order to operationalise the goals established by the governing board.

All operational plans are used in the subsequent monitoring work, which is reported in the form of an annual report with an analysis of goal achievement showing the outcome of the previous year's activities in relation to the current activity plan.

The Rector's dialogues, which take place continuously during the year according to a set timetable, form an important part of the university's systematic quality work for education and research and have four different themes; quality, monitoring, operations and finances.

  • The quality dialogues focus on deviations from the plan and treatment of issues such as systematic quality work, research affiliation, collaboration, student and doctoral student representation, personnel and risk management.
  • The follow-up dialogues are focused on goal fulfillment.
  • The business dialogues are based on the needs of the departments and current issues.
  • The financial dialogues take place in connection with the budget process and aim to ensure that the activities can be carried out in line with the univerity's vision and goals based on the given planning conditions.

Monitoring of established action plans linked to the operational plan takes place by reconciling implemented measures, with the aim of collecting data and good examples for possible improvements and prioritisations. 

Responsibility

The Vice-chancellor is ultimately responsible for the quality work at the University of Borås. The Vice-Chancellor coordinates the quality work regarding education and research between committees and academies. This is done through the coordination functions at the professional services which support the university´s organization and handling of the quality work.
 
Quality responsibility in the organizations is further divided into the academies and professional services. The Dean of faculty is ultimately responsible for the systematic quality work at the respective academy. This responsibility includes regularly monitoring, evaluation and development of quality in education and research. Employees within the unit of professional services support the academies in terms of organizing and operationalizing the quality work.
 
The unit manager at the professional services is responsible for the systematic quality work at this unit. The responsibility includes, in addition to collaborating with and supporting the academies in their work, also regularly monitoring, evaluation and development of quality in the administrative activities the unit is responsible of.
 

Regulatory document


 Kvalitetspolicy vid Högskolan i Borås (dnr 454-19) pdf (Swedish only)

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