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Eight education programmes evaluated

During the spring, eight of the University’s education programmes were evaluated. This was the second time that the University evaluated programmes on its own. The purpose is to develop both the education programmes and the University’s system for quality assurance and follow-up. Of this year’s evaluated programmes, three were assessed as approved quality, four approved quality with reservations and one quality under review.

“I want to especially thank the students! Their commitment, knowledge and views are crucial in the development of the quality of our education.”

Malin Hallén, Chair of the Research and Education Board

The evaluations were conducted in accordance with the guidelines determined two years ago, with some adjustments based on lessons learned from last year’s evaluation. Among other things, an intermediate rating level was introduced, approved quality with reservations, so that there are now three rating levels: approved quality, approved quality with reservations and quality under review. These are the same rating levels that the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) uses in its assessments.

Ratings in the 2020 evaluation

Approved quality

  • Enterprise Systems Programme
  • Master’s Programme in Applied Environmental Science
  • Master’s Programme in Information Technology

Approved quality with reservations

  • Master’s Programme in Health and Lifestyle
  • Master’s Programme in Embedded and Intelligent Systems
  • Master’s Programme in Industrial Management and Innovation
  • Programme in Innovation Engineering

Quality under review

  • Master’s Programme in Nordic Welfare

“We have also added an extra opportunity for the Schools to read the evaluation reports before a decision on assessment was made, and we started reflecting on this year’s process early, even while the evaluation was underway”, says Malin Hallén, Chair of the Research and Education Board.

Each education programme was evaluated by an internal committee, one for each programme, which assessed the education on the basis of an assessment matrix and a report from external experts, two per committee.

Five happy summer-dressed people stand in front of an entrance and talk to each other. In the foreground are trees and bushes. Photo.

“The external experts have specific knowledge about the area and type of education that was evaluated by the committee to which they were affiliated. The experts have a special assignment to assess the area of ​​knowledge, goal fulfilment and research connection and they have had digital meetings with students, teachers and working life representatives”, explains Malin Hallén.

Development work has already started

Development work has now started at the Schools based on the assessment for each evaluated programme. For all programmes, regardless of judgement level, development work is managed within the framework of the annual follow-up. For education programmes that received the judgement approved quality with reservations, feedback on how shortcomings have been handled should be made to the Research and Education Board at the Board’s first meeting in 2022 at the latest.

“For programmes that received ’quality under review’, the School concerned must have, within three months, i.e. no later than October 26 of this year, based on the evaluation report, analysed and proposed whether the education programme should be developed or discontinued”, says Malin Hallén.

“The evaluation is a very good tool for developing and improving our education. We are aware of the shortcomings that the evaluation shows and there already is an ongoing revision of the Master’s Programme in Nordic Welfare. This programme is important not least for our international collaboration, but we need to strengthen the Nordic perspective, review the reading list and clarify the progression”, says Lena-Karin Erlandsson, Dean of the School of Health and Welfare which is responsible for the Master’s Programme in Nordic Welfare.

Broad commitment

This is the second evaluation that the University has conducted on its own, a comprehensive work that, in addition to evaluating the programmes, helps the University to develop its system for quality assessment and follow-up. The whole process begins with the programme colleagues making self-assessments, which is the main basis of the assessment.

In addition to the Schools’ efforts to develop the education programmes and deal with any shortcomings, the assessment of the evaluation process continues to further develop the routines based on experiences from this year’s round. All lessons learned from both this and last year’s rounds are used in the continued development work for next year’s evaluation.

“We made an initial reflection during the process and will now gather experiences from all those involved, internally and externally, about what has worked well and what needs to be developed. This will lead to possible revision of guidelines and preparations for next year’s evaluation round. It is a learning process and we are developing and adapting the work continuously”, says Malin Hallén, who would like to thank everyone involved for their engagement and solid work:

“I want to especially thank the students! Their commitment, knowledge and views are crucial in the development of the quality of our education. Their experiences help us to understand by being able to concretise what is described in different documents, for example how to work with student influence and how results from course evaluations are implemented and communicated”.

“The University’s evaluation process clarifies what is good and what needs to be developed in the education programmes. It is valuable and it strengthens the process that it involves teachers, students and external experts. The Master’s Programme in Nordic Welfare is a possible first step to PhD studies in Health and Lifestyle. It is therefore important that these programmes are synchronised, and the evaluation has shown shortcomings that need to be strengthened so that the content and implementation are better matched. The evaluation engages a broad group of teachers and researchers at the School”, says Lena-Karin Erlandsson.

Evaluated every six years

Eight internal committees were formed – one for each programme – in January this year to manage the evaluations of the programmes. Each committee was led by a member of the Research and Education Board. The Schools nominated members, one per education programme, and all committees have had a student representative, an administrative officer and two external experts. The programme evaluations are part of the University’s quality assurance system. Every six years, education programmes should be evaluated according to an evaluation cycle.

Text: Lena Lundén

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