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University of Helsinki

Reform of the degree structure at the University of Helsinki

Reform of the degree structure:


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Strategic Planning and Development
University of Helsinki

Evaluation and quality assurance

One of the aims of the Bologna Process is to develop quality assurance systems at universities and to ensure that they become an integral part of the universities’ activities. Even in its current form, the Finnish higher education system embodies many elements of quality assurance.

The strategic aim of the University of Helsinki is to consolidate its position among Europe’s leading multidisciplinary research universities. This will require a high standard of quality in all its activities, and confi rmation of this by means of international evaluation. The policy decisions concerning the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes to be implemented throughout the University in conjunction with the degree reform have provided the University with a good opportunity to discuss and prepare policies and practices together with the faculties and to bring about greater transparency. This will allow the creation of common quality criteria and improved comparisons of education and degree programmes.

The Universities Act states that the universities must evaluate their education, research and social impact, and must publish the results of their evaluations. The University of Helsinki has decided to conduct regular evaluations of its operations in order to ensure high standards. For example, research and education will be evaluated at six-year intervals. Moreover, the University will systematically develop the quality of its operations as part of normal activities. The University has been developing a system for quality assurance in education and has notifi ed the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council that it is prepared to carry out an audit of the quality assurance system by the end of 2007. The national goal is that the quality assurance systems of all universities will be audited by the end of 2008. The auditing and development of quality assurance systems is part of the creation of the European Higher Education Area by 2010.

Monitoring and annual reporting
The quality and results of the operations are reported in the annual performance negotiations between the faculties and the Rector. The annual reporting associated with the performance negotiations is being developed so as to better meet the needs of monitoring and evaluating educational quality. Parameters obtained from various reports and the quality matrices created for different University operations are used to assess quality.

Teaching Evaluation Matrix
The faculties are responsible for the quality of the degree programmes. The University has recommended that the Teaching Evaluation Matrix be used as a tool in the development and quality assurance of the faculties’ educational provision. The University’s concrete vision of the quality of teaching at the departments is defi ned in the Teaching Evaluation Matrix.

Student feedback systems and graduate follow-up
The faculties and departments use a variety of student feedback systems. Feedback is used in curriculum design and to improve operations. Student feedback systems and the application of the information they provide are continuously being developed.

The University is systematically collecting feedback from its graduates. It also collects feedback from those in the labour market at regular intervals. The material thus obtained is used to draw up reports to be used by the faculties. The faculties, for their part, examine the feedback obtained from graduates and use it in curriculum design and to improve operations.