The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education´s quality evaluation system 2011—2014
One of the tasks of the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education is to evaluate the outcomes of courses and programmes. Outcomes is used here to refer to how well the specific courses and programmes comply with the requirements laid down in the Higher Education Act and in the qualification descriptors in the ordinances linked to it. The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education´s evaluations will assess to what extent students´ achieved learning outcomes correspond to the intended learning outcomes.
The evaluations are carried out by external panels of experts that include both subject specialists and representatives of students and the labour market. Their appraisals are based on the students´ independent projects (degree projects), the higher education institution´s own self-evaluations, questionnaires sent to alumni and the students´ impression of the outcomes of their courses and programmes in relation to the outcomes laid down in the qualification descriptors. The students´ independent projects together with the learning outcomes accounted for in the self-evaluations provide the main basis for the overall evaluations. A three grade scale is used for these overall evaluations and a small proportion of the funding allocated by the government may be based on them.
Courses and programmes that fail to meet the quality requirements for higher education are given conditional extension of their entitlement to award a qualification. After one year the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education conducts a review of this conditional extension and then decides whether or not this entitlement should be revoked completely.