Presentation on theme: "Korkeakoulujen arviointineuvosto — Rådet för utvärdering av högskolorna — The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC) Overview of the national."— Presentation transcript:
Korkeakoulujen arviointineuvosto — Rådet för utvärdering av högskolorna — The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC) Overview of the national QA system Project Manager Kirsi Hiltunen Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council, FINHEEC 20 May 2009, Oulu
2 National context of the Finnish HE system Binary HE system which consists of two complementary sectors: universities (focus on scientific research and education) and polytechnics (professionally oriented HEIs) All universities government-run and primarily financed by the state budget (->2009) Polytechnics (from 1990s onwards) either municipal or private institutions, authorised by the government; government and local authorities share the costs HE system has been quite stable, today a major structural development process going on A society of mutual trust, steered by information
3 FINHEEC and its duties an independent expert body appointed by the Ministry of Education (usually for 4 years) 12 members (4+4+2+2) secretariat (11) Duties: Assist institutions of higher education and the Ministry of Education in issues relating to evaluation Organise evaluations on the operations of institutions of higher education and higher education policy Initiate evaluations of higher education and promote its evaluation Engage in international evaluation cooperation Promote research on evaluation of higher education Organise evaluations on higher education in the county of Åland islands
4 FINHEEC and the Finnish education system FINHEEC (evaluation of education) Academy of Finland (evaluation of research) Finnish Education Evaluation Council + Finnish National Board of Education
5 Enhancement-led evaluations as the premise for FINHEEC operations The purpose of the evaluations organised by FINHEEC is to support the HEIs in their endeavours to improve the education they offer (enhancement-led evaluation). The objective is to produce information which the HEIs can use in developing their own operations. Another objective is to exhange and disseminate the good practices identified in evaluations among other HEIs > reports, seminars, some funding for development projects HEIs themselves by law responsible for their operations > HEIs have the ultimate responsibility to utilise and implement the information and recommendations provided in evaluations.
6 National QA of higher education Ministry of Education: Steering Decision-making Evaluation by authorities (criteria) FINHEEC: National responsibility Audits of QA systems Other evaluations Quality assurance at HEIs: Main responsibility for quality and improvement of education Establishment of QA system Participation in external evaluations and audits
7 Main types of evaluations organised by FINHEEC Institutional evaluations evaluations of universities and polytechnics audits of QA systems of HEIs (2005 -> ) Accreditation-like evaluations initial evaluations of polytechnics (1996-2003) accreditations of professional courses (1996-2007) Subject evaluations and follow-up evaluations Education policy and other thematic evaluations Selection of Centres of Excellence in education (both HE sectors)
8 Quality audit as the main method The audit model is in line with the tradition of enhancement-oriented evaluation; no major sanctions meets the requirements imposed by European development and its different dimensions One central premise is HEIs’ own responsibility for the development of their QA as well as choice and implementation of procedures HEI’s aims or performance are not addressed, but the focus is on the functioning and impact of its QA system Audits take place in six-year cycles. HEIs and FINHEEC have agreed on an overall timetable: each university and polytechnic will undergo an audit by the end of 2011. Audits will be the central tasks of FINHEEC until 2011. 24 audits completed so far; 5 re-audit decisions
9 The most important aim of the audit is... to support the QA system development of the HEIs to meet the European QA principles, thereby promoting the competitiveness of the Finnish HEIs in the global education market.
10 The aims of the audit of each HEI are: to evaluate what procedures and processes the HEI uses to maintain and develop the quality of its education and other activities; to evaluate whether the HEI’s quality assurance works as intended, whether the QA system produces useful and relevant information for the improvement of its operations whether it brings about effective, improvement measures.
11 Centres of Excellence in education the only part of the FINHEEC’s operations, where financial incentives are utilised MinEdu provides performance-based funding to the selected units goals of the CE system: to emphasise the significance of education in parallel with research; to improve the quality and relevance of education; to provide support for continuous improvement of education complements the Finnish quality audit system: quality of processes and operations vs. quality of performance and results
12 FINHEEC´s evaluations 1996-2007 Type of evaluationEvaluations conducted in 1996- 2003 Evaluations in 2004-2007 Institutional evaluations- 20 evaluations of universities - 4 evaluations of polytechnics - 16 quality audits of polytechnics - follow-up evaluations - 15 Audits of quality assurance systems of HEIs Accreditation-like evaluations - 66 initial evaluations of polytechnics - 77 accreditations of professional courses - 50 accreditations of professional courses Subject evaluations- 9 evaluations - 3 follow-up evaluations - 1 evaluation - 3 follow-up evaluations - more responsibility on the higher education institutions Education policy and other thematic evaluations - 8 evaluations- 4 evaluations + 3 follow-up evaluations Selection of centres of excellence - 10 evaluations- 4 evaluations
13 Subject and thematic evaluations 2004-2007 Postgraduate degrees in the Polytechnics (postgraduate polytechnic/AMK degrees) PhD training The HEI student as an actor in society – as an active citizen University education for social work and polytechnic education for social services Benchmarking of Nordic higher education institutions (www.noqa.net) European Standards and Guidelines in a Nordic Perspective (www.noqa.net) Quality Audit in the Nordic Countries (www.noqa.net)
14 Evaluations in 2008 Audits of QA systems of HEIs (9) Centres of excellence in university education Centres of excellence in polytechnic education Evaluation of web-based teaching and learning in Finnish Polytechnics Evaluation of University consortia Follow-up evaluations (university education for social work and polytechnic education for social services, mechanical engineering education) Nordic joint projects (www.noqa.net): 1.the framework and evaluation of degree education 2.international joint degrees and their QA
15 What happens in the QA in Europe? Implementation of European Standards and Guidelines (ESG): criteria or interpretation? Dialogue between higher education institutions and evaluation organisations Auditing/accreditation Register and external evaluations Networks and good practices Qualifications framework AHELO (Assessment of higher education learning outcomes)
16 Challenges The audit schedule 2009-2011 The structural reform of higher education institutions; combining the HEIs Audits/other evaluations New University/Polytechnic Act The national reform of evaluation activities The European register and the external evaluation of FINHEEC