An international audit group appointed by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre evaluated the University of Helsinki's quality system and issued a quality label to the University, valid for six years from 27 February.
The University’s quality management fulfils the Finnish criteria and corresponds to the European quality assurance recommendations for higher education institutions.
The path to better teaching
According to Quality Manager Aimo Virtanen, the University’s quality system means, among other things, that researchers and teachers have well-functioning services at their disposal.
“For example, we provide opportunities for teachers who want to develop their pedagogical skills. Every University of Helsinki faculty has a lecturer specialised in university-level teaching and learning, and pedagogical training is available to all teachers."
Rector Jukka Kola points out that the founding principle of the Teachers’ Academy was to share good practices.
“A key sign that the quality system is working is that feedback received through various channels has an impact,” states Virtanen. “This means student feedback, feedback on staff services, suggestions from alumni and partners as well as the comments the University receives from employers about the skills and knowledge of recent graduates.”
Visibly excited researchers
The audit group praises the University’s quality culture. The University is committed to ambitious goals and quality work is well integrated into the University’s operations management. Staff are enthusiastic about developing teaching, research and community interaction.
According to the auditors, quality management has been developed in a long-term, systematic manner. Operations manuals, information generated from various monitoring and audit processes as well as other data produced by the quality system also support leadership at the units.
The audit group considered the area most in need of development to be the visibility of quality work at the University. The goals and impacts of the quality system should be discussed in a way that enable staff to better recognise their roles in the operations and development of the system. The audit group proposes a project which would share and further establish first-rate quality management procedures.