Report 2008:17 R

Högskoleverket´s (Swedish National Agency for Higher Education) quality audit 2007

Since 2001, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Agency) has had a mandate from the Government to evaluate first-cycle (undergraduate) higher education. During 2007, three comprehensive evaluations took place: Teacher Education, Veterinary Medicine, and doctoral programmes in Veterinary Medicine and Medicine. This completed the first six-year cycle of subject and programme evaluations. A total of thirty-seven programmes were evaluated during the year, and, with regard to teacher education programmes, the entitlement to award a degree was questioned in ten instances.

The results of follow-up evaluations show that the majority of higher education institutions (HEIs) take any recommendations for improvements seriously and put appropriate measures in place to raise the quality of the education on offer.

The new Degree Ordinance that came into force in 2008 has included the entitlement of HEIs to award Masters´ degrees and the degree of Master of Science in Business and Economics being reviewed. An attempt has been made to clarify the stipulations in the Ordinance and the criteria that should be applied during the review. A third of the requests regarding the entitlement to award Masters´ degrees and about three-quarters regarding the entitlement to award the degree of Master of Science in Business and Economics were denied.

The creation of a new quality assurance system for 2007-12 is in the process of being developed. This has five components: reviewing the quality assurance procedures, evaluating the courses and programmes, examining the entitlement to award degrees, conducting thematic evaluations and studies, and nominating centres of academic excellence.

In the final consultation round of the funding system investigation, the Agency put forward a proposal with regard to how the evaluations could provide the basis for a quality-based funding system.

The report contains a summary of two assignments from the Government: an evaluation of sixteen national doctoral schools, and work on the national qualifications framework.

Two projects have been undertaken about how the quality of e-learning can be evaluated. Further, there was a study of how interdisciplinary programmes are treated in former subject and programme evaluations.

An international organisation took part in the evaluation of Veterinary Medicine and this involved developing methods to give an international perspective to national evaluations.

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