Quality assurance at LiU
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A common model for the quality assurance of education, and common resources and common support for quality development

The quality assurance of the education at Linköping University is founded on the strategy map that has been established for LiU’s operations. The overall vision for the education is that LiU is to be a university of international standing – where people and ideas converge and develop. This takes place by attracting promising students at all levels and producing sought-after graduates for a sustainable society in a changing world.

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

In addition to the quality assurance of each programme and course, university-wide support and resources to promote the quality of education at Linköping University 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 have been drawn up for all links in the chain from creating and revising to discontinuing programmes, courses and principal areas within education. Systematically collected key indicators and other relevant information are used to guide and analyse operations. Extensive information about our education is provided on the website, in catalogues, at exhibitions and in other significant situations, for target groups that include potential students deciding which education to take. Active information about LiU’s operations in both research and education is spread through many channels, both digital and in printed media, with several target groups, both in Sweden and abroad.

The local rules of appointment stipulate how LiU can, in the best possible manner, ensure in the recruitment procedure a supply of high-quality expertise for both research and education. In order to promote improvements in teaching expertise, LiU has created a centre for teaching strategy in higher education, Didacticum.
The learning processes of the students are the focus, and 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. Functional learning environments promote the students’ own learning process. Well-suited premises, advanced technical infrastructure and an efficient library, together with student health services, study guidance services, language workshops, and support for students with disabilities create the conditions required for successful study.

At LiU, students and doctoral students have the opportunity to influence the decisions taken with respect to the conduct of education in several forums. A further form of student participation involves students having the opportunity, after the conclusion of each course, to make their opinions known through the university-wide web-based course evaluation system Evaliuate. In addition, surveys of student and research student satisfaction are regularly carried out. 

 

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.

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