One important component of the work with quality assurance at Linköping University are the quality-assurance processes, the purpose of which is to ensure, in a systematic manner, that education at all levels maintains a high quality. These processes also form the starting point for LiU’s model for the quality assurance of the education. The model for quality assurance is consistent throughout the university, and its task is to contribute to ensuring that all education maintains a high quality.
The vice-chancellor has the final responsibility that the education given by Linköping University maintains a high quality, and by delegation, the responsibility for the work with quality assurance passes to the three faculty boards and the area board for educational sciences. The organisational model that LiU uses means that the faculties and departments have considerable freedom to decide how quality promotion is to be organised, while the system for quality assurance is uniform across the university. A uniform model for quality assurance at LiU creates the conditions required for an active dialogue and exchange of experiences between faculties.
Common resources and common support for quality development
Linköping University works continuously to ensure and improve the quality, not only of the educational operations but also of the support structure that surrounds them. All programmes and courses offered by LiU are to undergo in-depth quality assurance within a six-year period (2017-2022), as specified by the LiU model for quality assurance, while the quality assurance process itself will undergo continuous development.
Quality assurance is an integral part of the process of operational development depicted in the LiU annual calendar. It is the responsibility of the deans that this quality assurance is carried out. Each year, the faculties and the area board for educational sciences report to the vice-chancellor the result of the quality assurance that has been carried out during the year.
In addition to the quality assurance of each programme and course, university-wide support and resources to promote the quality of education at LiU are available. These resources, described below, contribute to ensuring the quality of education, and are related to the requirements on work with quality that are posed by the legislation and ordinances that regulate operations.
- REGULATIONS AND PROCESSES. Regulations and processes in force at LiU have been drawn up to determine how the tasks of creating, revising, reassessing, cancelling and winding up programmes, courses and principal areas are to be managed. These processes ensure, for example, that the organisational preconditions are in place to ensure that new programmes and courses that are offered can be given with high quality.
- EMPLOYMENT PROCEDURES. One precondition for being able to provide education with a high quality is that LiU has teachers who maintain high quality in both academic and teaching expertise. The employment procedure for teachers is of central significance in this work, and it is regulated by the local rules of appointment.
- THE CENTRE FOR TEACHING IN HIGHER EDUCATION, DIDACTICUM. A centre for teaching in higher education, Didacticum, has been set up to support the development of teaching expertise at LiU. Its mission includes arranging courses in teaching in higher education that enable teachers to obtain professional qualifications, and improving the skills of the teaching staff.
- FUNCTIONAL EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS. All teaching at LiU is carried out in functional educational environments in which the students have access to suitable premises, technical infrastructure, and libraries with good access to both Swedish and international literature that is up-to-date and relevant to the education. The students also have access to various forms of support such as student health services, study guidance, language workshops, and support for students with disabilities.
- A FOCUS ON STUDENT LEARNING. The programmes and courses at LiU have been designed in such a manner that they stimulate the knowledge-seeking and reflection processes of the students, and encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. Various models of teaching theory are used, but they all have in common that they place active learning by the students at the centre of the process.
- FOLLOW UP OF KEY INDICATORS. Key indicators are collected at LiU in a systematic manner, with other relevant information about operations. These are used to analyse and guide the development of operations. Each year, for example, LiU follows up, in accordance with the strategy map, the number of applicants for programmes who make it their first choice, and the degree of establishment of graduates on the labour market.
- INFORMATION ABOUT EDUCATION. LiU collates and publishes at regular intervals information about the programmes and courses offered. The information includes information about the contents of the education, the degree awarded on its conclusion, future labour market, entry requirements, and other information that is important for, among other things, choices made by prospective students.
- INFORMATION ABOUT OPERATIONS. LiU also provides information about its operations, both externally and internally, through various channels. These include the website, annual report, plans of operation, and other printed information.
- STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING. Methods to obtain the points of view of students and doctoral students are of central significance in the work with quality assurance. At LiU, students and doctoral students have the opportunity to influence the decisions taken with respect to the conduct of education in several forums.
- SYSTEMATIC COURSE EVALUATION. A further form of student participation involves students having the opportunity, after the conclusion of each course, to make their points of view known through the university-wide web-based course evaluation system at LiU. Supplementary course evaluations may be arranged for a particular course. Surveys of students and doctoral students are carried out at regular intervals, which provide the opportunity to express opinions about both the education and the study environment at LiU. Plans of action are drawn up based on the results of these surveys, and these are followed up before the next survey of students and doctoral students.
LiU’s university-wide model for the quality assurance of education
The university-wide model for the quality assurance of education at Linköping University (adopted in a decision taken on 26 April 2017, Ref. No. LiU-2017-01507) has been designed based on the requirements of the Higher Education Act, the Higher Education Ordinance and the national system for the quality assurance of higher education drawn up by the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ). The UKÄ examination of the quality assurance at institutions of higher education is based on international principles for the quality assurance of higher education, Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).
The university-wide model for quality assurance is to be used by all faculties and by the area for educational sciences.
A description of processes has been drawn up for each field of education that describes in more detail the work processes and responsibilities. These documents are available at the following link: Quality assurance at LiU .
The work with quality assurance is based on the LiU annual calendar. The university-wide model for quality assurance is based on three different quality cycles, of duration 1 year, 3 years and 6 years.
Annual reports are submitted by the deans to the vice-chancellor every December. On this occasion the following are to be submitted for the programmes and courses that have been subject to evaluation during the year: quality reports, statements by the heads of department, approved plans of action, and a summary of an analysis that focusses on strengths and challenges. The analysis reports are presented and discussed by the Quality Board, which is to discuss during the period January-February the information of the summaries of the analyses from the faculties, and adjustments to the quality assurance in itself.
It may be necessary to draw up a central plan of action, depending on the result of the examination. This plan is to describe the quality aspects that require university-wide measures, and changes to the university-wide model for quality assurance. The vice-chancellor is then to take a decision concerning further work.
The 6-year cycle of the work processes of the faculties involves the following actions during Year 1: the creation of a quality report for each object of evaluation according to the university-wide description of processes, the discussion of the quality report by the councils or boards involved, and the execution of a programme dialogue that leads to an assessment by the dean. A plan of action is subsequently drawn up. This is followed during the following years, from Year 2 to Year 6. At the next evaluation (according to the 6-year cycle) a new evaluation is to be carried out in its entirety.
The analysis reports from the faculties and the measures that have been taken are to be followed up during the 3-year cycle.
It is also possible for the Quality Board to use the LiU collaboration partners relating to the quality assurance of education (Umeå University and Örebro University) for an external examination and to discuss the quality assurance model itself.