Report 2011:18 R

External Review of the Evaluation

Activities of the Swedish National

Agency for Higher Education

Self-evaluation report


The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education was subject to an external review of its evaluation activities in 2005 under the auspices of NOKUT (The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education). The review concluded that the Agency complied with the ENQA standards in all essential respects. Consequently, the Agency´s full membership of ENQA was reconfirmed in 2006.

In accordance with ENQA´s requirements for quinquennial reviews for continued membership, the Agency has taken the initiative of undergoing an external type ‘A´ review again in order to demonstrate its continued compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. NVAO (The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders) has kindly agreed to coordinate the exercise.

Since the 2005 review the quality assurance activities of the Agency have undergone several changes. In 2010 the Government instructed the Agency to develop a new model for the assessment of first and second-cycle courses and programmes, focusing on student attainment of the learning outcomes specified in the Higher Education Ordinance. The model, which was launched in 2011, retains the elements required by ENQA such as self-evaluation, site visits and a public report and leans heavily on peer review. It was developed by the Agency in cooperation with representatives of the higher education institutions, students and the social partners.

The recent development activities have made us reflect on and rethink several of our previous assumptions about quality assurance, while still retaining the basic formulae. We see this review as an important aspect of the quality assurance of our own work and a step towards further improvement.

This self-evaluation report was prepared by a group in the Department of Quality Assurance. It was discussed at two seminars in the Department as a whole as well as at a meeting with the management level at the Agency. Comments from other departments have also been solicited and taken into account.

We are now looking forward to feedback from the panel assigned to review the Agency´s quality assurance activities.

Lars Haikola
The University Chancellor

Maria Sundkvist
Head of the Department of Quality Assurance

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