Quality assurance for education

 

 

 

In addition to the laws and regulations the government and parliament decide on, the quality work at the University of Borås follows the European guidelines for quality work, Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (short: ESG). In total, there are ten standards that affect the internal quality assurance of the education at the university.

The goal is to offer complete academic environments where research and education require and enrich each other. Further, collaboration with the surrounding organizations and society and a priority of sustainable development permeate the education and research activities. These environments are characterized by a well-balanced leveling between quality aspects such as goal fulfillment and a research basis in the education and an efficient use of resources in an activity that prioritize the student learning.

The parts of the quality process

The illustration of the quality wheel for education above gives an overview of how the University of Borås through specific activities ensures systematic and documented quality assurance and quality development of its education. The focus of the student's learning is: We will develop a learning environment based on current research. The education at all levels must be based on research and the students should be involved in the research as early as possible. Students should be given great opportunities to influence and take responsibility for their own learning. The activities are based on the three different phases of the educational process: conditions, implementation and results.

Prerequisites

The prerequisites include a systematic review and evaluation of the educational activities as well as the resource allocation to education and student support at the University of Borås. Prerequisites also include the processes for ensuring the appropriate recruitment and skills development of the employees, as well as ensuring that the right information concerning the programmes and courses given reach students, employees and the general public.

ESG 1.2 Design and approval of programmes - Institutions should have processes for the design and approval of their programmes. The programmes should be designed so that they meet the objectives set for them, including the intended learning outcomes.

ESG 1.5 Teaching staff - Institutions should assure themselves of the competence of their teachers. They should apply fair and transparent processes for the recruitment and development of the staff.

ESG 1.6 Learning resources and student support - Institutions should have appropriate funding for learning and teaching activities and ensure that adequate and readily accessible learning resources and student support are provided.

The University of Borås conducts a systematic work on quality assurance and quality development of educational activities. The quality work is established in the Policy for Quality Work at the University of Borås (dnr 454-19), which is applied at all levels and  based on a collaboration between the university's management, staff and students.

All teaching is conducted in functional learning environments, with access to appropriate premises, adequate technical infrastructure and a library with the necessary literature. The students are offered various forms of support, such as study guidance, learning support and other advisory or supportive staff. The university works together with the students and the student union to evaluate the learning environment.

The appointment process at the University of Borås ensures that the staff has the qualifications and skills required for the current educational activities. Planning of needs and teacher competence is based on competence provision plans. The higher education pedagogical competence development of the teachers is supported by the department for pedagogical development and research (PUF), while the subject competence development is ensured through research or other competence development activities within the framework of employment.

At the University of Borås, there are regulations for establishing, revising, suspending or cancelling courses and programmes as well as for the establishment and decommissioning of the main field of studies. Development of new education is done according to a fixed model that ensures the relevance, research basis and quality of education. Collegial bodies establish educational plans and syllabuses and appoint examiners. Each year, a systematic review and evaluation of the educational programmes offered is conducted, which forms the basis for the resource allocation to education.

The University of Borås regularly compiles and publishes information on the courses offered. The information contains up-to-date information on the content of the programs, prerequisites, selection criteria, exams, labor market etc. and some other information of importance (eg. different evaluation and examination results) for the students' choice of education.

Implementation

In addition to the legal processes for admission and issuing of degrees, the implementation includes what is at the heart of the educational activities: the students learning processes and the teachers contributions to these through teaching and examination.

ESG 1.3 Student-centered learning, teaching and assessment - Institutions should ensure that the programmes are delivered in a way that encourages students to take an active role in creating the learning process, and that the assessment of students reflects this approach.

ESG 1.4 Student admission, progression, recognition and certification - Institutions should consistently apply pre-defined and published regulations covering all phases of the student “life cycle”, e.g. student admission, progression, recognition and certification

The University of Borås has designed legal rules and processes for admission, examination and the issuing of degrees. Assessment of students' progression is based on the objectives of the system of qualifications, locally formulated goals and set course objectives. The examinations are designed to enable both knowledge control and to be a learning and development opportunity. The syllabuses ensure the goals the student is expected to achieve after completion of the examination. The diplomas issued show that the student has achieved the goals and course requirements set in the educational plan.

The students at the University of Borås are expected to play an active role in the learning processes. The courses should therefore be organized in such a way that they stimulate the  curiosity, reflection, critical thinking and independence of the students. Through a research based education and collaboration with various social actors, the programmes should meet the needs for the necessary knowledge and skills for both the individual and the society. They should also provide the conditions for personal development and a lifelong learning.

Student support is provided in the form of career service, language pedagogical support, student health, student expedition, student health, study guidance, support for students with disabilities etc.

Results

The results include the continuous follow-up and analysis that will permeate all education, and which together with the course evaluations, programme evaluations and educational evaluations should form the basis for continuous development of the programmes.

 

ESG 1.7 Information management - Institutions should ensure that they collect, analyse and use relevant information for the effective management of their programmes and other activities.

ESG 1.8 Public information - Institutions should publish information about their activities, including programmes, which is clear, accurate, objective, up-to date and readily accessible.

ESG 1.9 On-going monitoring and periodic review of programmes - Institutions should monitor and periodically review their programmes to ensure that they achieve the objectives set for them and respond to the needs of students and society. These reviews should lead to continuous improvement of the programme. Any action planned or taken as a result should be communicated to all those concerned.

ESG 1.10 Cyclical external quality assurance - Institutions should undergo external quality assurance in line with the ESG on a cyclical basis.

Information concerning the educational experiences of both students and teachers is constantly being collected. All courses and educational programmes at the University of Borås are regularly evaluated. The course and program evaluations form the basis for planning of the educational activities at the academies. The focus of the course evaluations is on implementation and learning, while the programme evaluations focus on the relevance and structure of the education. The academies are responsible for planning and monitoring the respective education after the evaluation has been completed. Results of follow-ups and evaluations, as well as the consequences of the same, are reported to the respective stakeholders.

All educational programs undergo regular evaluations with the support of external assessors. The results received are used for the preparation of any action plans. The purpose of these reviews is to continuously develop the quality of the programmes in relation to the society and current research in both the current subject and in higher education.

The activities shall systematically collect key figures and other relevant information for analysis of any needs at the various levels at the university. The information is the basis for planning of the educational activities.

The systematic quality work for education at the University of Borås is regularly evaluated by the Swedish Higher Education Authority, UKÄ. The purpose of these evaluations is to ensure the quality of education in relation to requirements prescribed by law and national quality criteria. Furthermore, UKÄ also carries out educational evaluations and thematic evaluations where applicable.

Links to governance documents and routines

These principles for quality assurance of higher education in Europe contribute to unity between countries. They are an important complement to, among other things, the laws and regulations governing the university activities.

"Policy for Quality Work at the University of Borås" (dnr 454-19)(Swedish only)

The basis for the quality work at the University of Borås.

The University's "Guidelines for systematic quality work for education at the University of Borås (dnr 868-16)(Swedish only)

The guidelines describe the university's internal quality assurance work in education and highlight the principles, responsibilities and activities that form the basis of this work.

The University's "Quality assurance system regarding education for the University of Borås" (dnr 869-16)(Swedish only)

Describes the quality assurance system for education at the University of Borås.