Rating of the university's research quality assurance system
It is the system that the university has to assure and develop the quality of research that has been reviewed. It is easy to confuse this with the quality of the research itself – which is not the case.
The quality assurance system consists of many systematic processes and strategies such as internal and external follow-up and development. Some parts of the quality assurance system have been in place for a long time, such as peer review processes, while other parts have been developed in connection with the university's participation in the UKÄ pilot round.
"We wanted to be in the pilot round of the review even though it is a challenge to be among the first; we have not been afraid of the result, although we obviously hoped that we would be approved. We have now received a good guide for which development areas we need to invest in and we have gone much further in the work on the quality assurance system compared to if we had waited for our turn in the regular review round," says Mats Tinnsten, Vice-Chancellor.
The assessor group has given the university a very detailed report on which elements need to be developed. They highlight several strengths, such as the fact that there are several processes to strengthen the link between education and research, that the university promotes good research practices, as well as the university's work with gender equality and collaboration.
As an example of shortcomings, the report highlights that the scheme is not fully developed, partly because parts of the new structure came into place in late autumn 2019. The university also needs to work, among other things, to have an increased international perspective and to increase opportunities for employee participation.
Mats Tinnsten thinks it is a good thing that the university will be able to participate in the regular review cycle.
"It may seem dramatic that we were not approved overall, but parts of our system are things that have not been tested in practice yet; for example, that we are to conduct an external evaluation every six years. The fact that we have been informed of our strengths is great. That means we know that we have systems that work to ensure the quality of these areas and we can focus on further developing the systems for the other elements," he continues.
It is an assessment group of experts in various fields appointed by the UKÄ that has thoroughly reviewed the university's research quality assurance system. There have been different groups of assessors who have examined the different universities included in the pilot round.
"We think that the assessment group has delivered a very well-developed report that we will have great use of in our continued work," concludes Mats Tinnsten.