“In practice it means that we’ll have a shared platform for quality education that includes all the faculties – which we’ve never had at LiU,” says Roger Klinth, deputy vice-chancellor at Linköping University.
The government’s new system for quality assurance in higher education means that Swedish universities will, more explicitly than before, be expected to take responsibility for ensuring the quality of their programmes. Previously the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) has audited all programmes. In the future their work will shift focus to auditing the universities’ own quality-assurance systems. At LiU work has been underway for nearly two years, and with extra intensity over the past six months, to develop its model.
“We’ve collaborated closely with the four faculties to create the most stable platform possible, and our model meets the UKÄ’s criteria. It’s good that the university has its own strong role in quality development, as this enables us to adapt the content to our philosophy and our organisation,” says Roger Klinth.
Linköping University has previously had various internal quality control measures, including a student survey, a PhD student survey and a teaching and learning centre. According to the new quality control model, all programmes and courses will be evaluated over a six-year cycle.
“There already is a culture of quality at Linköping University, and we have to build on that. It’s vital that our education continues to be based on research, unlike other knowledge that is flying round in society. Tight links between research and education are necessary if we are to continue to improve quality."
The new national system for quality assurance will be in use from 2017 to 2022, after which the UKÄ will audit the universities’ models. In 2020 they will look at LiU’s model.
“You can’t legislate quality, but nor does it appear out of nowhere, and quality education is created primarily in the interaction between teacher and student. Advancing quality in education is essentially about defending what is important to defend, improving what needs improving and always striving to move forward,” says Roger Klinth.