Åbo Akademi has been awarded a quality label – the strong quality culture forms a good basis for the quality system

Higher education Mirella Nordblad

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre has conducted an audit of the Åbo Akademi University and has awarded the university a quality label that is valid for six years from 14 March 2016. The quality management system of the Åbo Akademi University fulfils the national criteria set for the quality management of higher education institutions, and corresponds to the European quality assurance principles and recommendations.

The object of the audit was the quality management system that the university has developed based on its own needs and goals. The freely selected audit target chosen by the university was the development of teaching.

The following were regarded as key strengths of the quality management system:

• Åbo Akademi University integrates its management system and quality management in a way that amalgamates them into the organisational structure. Due to this, the responsibilities of different actors, both individuals and committees, have been defined clearly.
• A strong quality culture is a good basis for the management and quality system.
• The University Board is extremely engaged and is working proactively with the strategy and the management and quality system of Åbo Akademi University and in cooperation with the faculties and other operations.

Among others, the following recommendations were given to the Åbo Akademi University:

• Åbo Akademi University should safeguard and respect the existing quality culture in teaching and research when implementing the management and quality system.
• Training in university pedagogy and in leadership could be better adopted to the needs and requirements of different subjects, so that all personnel groups, including professors, find it meaningful to attend the training. The monitoring of pedagogical merit should be improved.
• A concretisation of the internationalisation strategy would strengthen the quality management of education and research with regards to international activity.

Audits of the quality systems of higher education institutions have been conducted in Finland since 2005. All universities and universities of applied sciences will be audited by FINEEC.

For more information, please ocntact Mirella Nordblad, project manager of the audit, +358 29 533 5541, mirella.nordblad(at)karvi.fi