Quality Evaluations in Learning
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This is a summary in English. The report is available only in Swedish.
The government has given Högskoleverket (Swedish National Agency for Higher Education) the task of proposing a new system of programme evaluations.
The new programme evaluations are based on the system of qualifications from 2007 which, in turn, are partly based on European agreements for higher education within the framework of the Bologna Process. This means that the new programme evaluations will also be part of a European approach to quality that includes concepts such as intended learning outcomes, learning-centred teaching and a clear student-centred perspective. The previous system had five components, whereas the new one will have two, namely appraisals of degree-awarding powers and programme evaluations.
Programme evaluations will be characterised by transparency and predictability. They are based on three indicators of quality: intended learning outcomes amd examination, achieved learning outcomes and students' eexperiences and influence. Each indicator has one to three bases for assessment, which must be assessed on the grounds of known, and previously prepared, assessment criteria. They are to result in a total assessment of the entire programme.
The main question posed in the new evaluations is whether and how well the programmes ensure that students achieve the targets stated in the qualification descriptors in the Higher Education Ordinance. In the first indicator, it should be demonstrated that the programme is planned so that its intended learning outcomes cover all forms of knowledge in the national qualification descriptors, and that they are examined in a relevant manner. The second indicator consists of reviews of the students' degree projects; the third of student and alumni surveys.
The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education proposes a graded assessment of programmes with three levels: Excellent Quality, Acceptable Quality and Unacceptable Quality. A programme that is assessed as being of Unacceptable Quality should have its permission to award degrees examined and possibly withdrawn.
They should be able to contribute through clear information to the students, and to stimulate improved links between the programmes and their value to the students and the labour market. They should also provide a basis for the allocation of resources at first-cycle level and at second-cycle level when such decisions are taken by the Swedish Riksdag and government.