Centres of Excellence in Higher Education 2008
You need Acrobat Reader to read documents i pdf-format. This can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe's web site (opens in a new window).
In January 2008 universities and other institutions of higher education in Sweden were invited for the second time to apply to the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education for recognition as Centres of Excellence in Higher Education.
In total, four applications were submitted by four institutions. This was a reduction compared to 2007. In this report the applications, as well as the decline in numbers, have been analysed. Compared to the first year, quality aspects have been described in more detail and the applicants are aware of the level of excellence required for the award. Institutions now have greater understanding of what an application involves and the level of excellence demanded is also known in the sector. These factors have probably contributed to the decline in applications in the second year.
Following a preliminary assessment, three applications were chosen for more in-depth assessments and site visits. These were carried out by the same international Expert Panel as in the first year, but now augmented with a student. The panel´s assessments were also aided by reviews undertaken by field experts in relevant academic fields. At the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education the project was coordinated by members of the staff of the Department of Quality Assurance.
In conformity with the Expert Panel´s proposal, The National Agency has decided to award the MSc programme in Mechanical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology and Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University recognition as Centres of Excellence in Higher Education.
These units have demonstrated clearly and convincingly that they have achieved excellence and are able to maintain it. Their identification as centres of excellence in higher education has been guided by the Agency´s quality aspects. After the first year the Expert Panel further developed these guideline aspects, which has facilitated applications and assessments. It is the National Agency´s intention to continue working on what characterises excellence in higher education and thereby contribute to the circulation of good practice.