Oulu University of Applied Sciences passed the audit
The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council has audited the quality assurance system of Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Oulu University of Applied Sciences passed the audit.
The audit team concludes that the quality assurance system of Oulu University of Applied Sciences and procedures associated with it cover all of the basic tasks of the institute. The management of the university is committed to the development of the quality assurance system, and the large amount of work done in the last two years provides a good foundation for further development of the system. An open mode of operation supports the development of the school’s quality culture. Internal audits and surveys implemented by management are used to reinforce practices encompassing the whole university with the aim of identifying development targets and agreed upon measures with respect to the quality assurance system. Students were familiar with their role as the providers of feedback and felt they had real opportunity to impact the development of degree programmes. There is clear evidence of the use of the feedback system in the development of operations.
The audit team presents the following development recommendations to Oulu University of Applied Sciences:
· Laatuleipä, the school’s own version of the widely used PDCA model in which development is considered to be an integral part every stage, may undermine the community’s understanding of the role of development in quality assurance. The development section of the Laatuleipä concept should be clarified and developed further.
· The quality assurance system is heavy in parts and, for example, contains some variation with reference to its key concepts.
· In order to clarify the structure and content of support services, it might be useful for the school to consider developing an assessment and feedback system that would cover all support services. Quality assurance for services produced by the Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education must also support the achievement of the school’s quality objectives.
· The school has recognised interaction with different actors in society and cooperation with stakeholders as one of the critical success factors. This would require quality assurance encompassing all stakeholder activities, including the systematisation of monitoring, assessment and development activities.
In its meeting on 28 March 2012, the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council decided, based on the proposal and report of the audit team, that the quality assurance system of Oulu University of Applied Sciences fulfils the criteria set for quality assurance systems as a whole and for the quality assurance of the university’s basic tasks. The audit will be valid for six years.
The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council has conducted audits of the quality assurance systems of higher education institutions (HEIs) since 2005. The first audit round (2005-2011) is coming to its end. The goal of the audits is to support Finnish HEIs in developing their quality systems to correspond to the European quality assurance principles and to demonstrate that Finland has competent and systematic national quality assurance in place for higher education. Therefore, one the objectives of the audits is to promote Finnish HEIs’ competitiveness in the global education market. A further objective is to collect and disseminate best QA practices and promote their adoption within the Finnish HEIs.