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Please note! The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education was closed down on 31 December 2012. Instead two new agencies have been established: the Swedish Council for Higher Education and the Swedish Higher Education Authority. This website will continue to operate as the new agencies will have links to information it contains.  

Report 2009: 8 R

Review of quality assurance procedures at nine higher education institutions 2008

This is a summary in English. The report is available only in Swedish.

The report in Swedish (pdf, new window)

This report presents the results of the quality audits at, Jönköping University Foundation, Kalmar University College, Karlstad University, Malmö University College, Mid Sweden University, Mälardalen University College, Södertörn University College, Växjö University and Örebro University. These nine higher education institutions (HEIs) have been subject to the first quality audits in the current round: there are to be a total of 49 quality audits in the period extending to 2012. Two previous quality audit rounds took place between 1995 and 2002. An external assessment panel was appointed and applied seven quality aspects developed by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).

Based on the report of the assessment panel, Högskoleverket (Swedish National Agency for Higher Education) made decisions about quality assurance procedures at HEIs: there were three levels to these decisions. Mälardalen University College achieved the highest level, A. This means the university college had good, well functioning quality assurance procedures. Jönköping University Foundation, Kalmar University College, Mid West University, Södertörn University College, and Växjö University achieved level B. This means the higher education institutions had acceptable quality assurance procedures and some well functioning areas although certain areas were in need of improvement. Karstad University, Malmö University College and Örebro University achieved level C. This means that the quality assurance procedures at the higher education institutions were unacceptable and required measures to be taken within one year to remedy the shortcomings.

The quality audits demonstrated many examples of good, as well as inadequate, quality assurance procedures. The main problem was the lack of any systematic approach for continuous improvement of quality assurance procedures. The cycle that should characterise systematic quality assurance procedure requires an analysis of follow-up measures required. These measures should then be carried out. Despite the lack of systematic procedures, quality can often still be achieved, and this is because of the individual efforts of various units within a higher education institution. However, the lack of systematic quality assurance procedures means that the management risks having an incomplete knowledge of operations at a HEI and is, therefore, unable to optimise its operations.

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