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1 Expert knowledge in public ENQA Torunn Klemp

2 Positive impact on the organization Supports the strategy work in HEIs (R&D, dissemination of R&D, collaboration with SMEs, quality assurance, higher academic qualifications): –Motivates: Positive feedback on good interview situations. Feels nice to have the opportunity to focus on our own work together with colleagues from other institutions. (Reports seem to be less interesting.) –The method involves many persons in the HEI on many levels ==> helps to strengthen the focus on quality issues –Good questions and comparisons to other HEIs makes us reflect on our own practice

3 Negative impact on the organization Can endanger the legitimacy of a whole profession when based on poor empirical documentation or few (or wrong) criteria By overfocusing on issues we can loose focus on other important quality issues – what is easy to count and to measure comes into focus? Can have strong impact on the market situation: recruitment of students and academic staff Can support negative myths about certain professions or programmes

4 Challenges Most difficult: How reports are read and used by media – and some times by the authorities! –Researchers truth about an institution, a profession, a programme, a faculty, a research programme….. Can not underline too strongly what the experts reports are and are not – and how they should be understood Should consider more R&D based methods? –Observations, not only interviews? –More surveys to get more informants? –Longitudinal studies What makes you an expert? What makes the group an expert group? Different groups tend to focus on and to emphasize different things

5 Weaknesses in expert reports Preliminary report: difficult to communicate the status of such reports Difficult to read reports which sum up results from many institutions. And difficult to see the connection between such common reports and the institutional report. What of this concerns my institution? The expert reports are sometimes to vague –Sometimes difficult to understand the reasoning = the connection between criteria – discoveries – conclusion. –What is the status of different statements in the report? Can be difficult to understand what is suggestions based on likes and dislikes and what is more serious.

6 Qualities I would like in expert reports? The more concrete the report, the more easy to make a good action plan Joint outlines? Will ease the understanding of the connection between discoveries – criteria – conclusion?

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