Centria University of Applied Sciences receives quality label

Higher education Susanne Kuosmanen

Systematic quality management in terms of social impact and regional cooperation supports strategy implementation at Centria and enhances regional vitality.

Centria University of Applied Sciences has been awarded a quality label after an audit by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC). The quality label is valid for six years from 22 September 2016. Centria’s quality management system meets the national criteria for the quality management of higher education institutions, and corresponds to the European principles and recommendations.

According to the audit team, the hard work Centria has put into organising its quality management has proved fruitful. The development of the quality system is a continuous, systematic process, and the system is evaluated regularly. An analysis of the operating environment serves as an excellent strategic management and development tool in predicting and addressing the needs of Centria and those of business, industry and working life. Regional actors actively participate in the development of Centria with regard to strategic management and education, as well as research, development and innovation (RDI). Feedback is collected comprehensively on RDI operations from working life, and the feedback is utilised.

The audit of the quality system reviewed three degree programmes in more detail; two of the programmes were selected by Centria and one by the audit team. Centria has developed good practices for ensuring the high quality of degree programmes. For example, regular internal audits support the development of the quality of degrees, as well as the development of education and learning. Other good practices include annual feedback discussions related to degree programmes, quality agreements and quality check-up calls.

According to Päivi Karttunen, Vice President of Tampere University of Applied Sciences, who chaired the audit team, Centria has a strong and open culture of engagement that supports communality and an organisation-wide quality culture and thereby promotes the development of the entire institution. Many of Centria’s operations have a strong focus on community and communal development. Centria’s quality culture has developed over a long period of time, is based on commitment and supports operations and quality development.

The audit team provided Centria with recommendations for further development. According to the team, Centria should further enhance its documentation of feedback from working life and make more effective and comprehensive use of the feedback. This would enable the information to be used for the development of the entire university of applied sciences. Even though students have opportunities to provide feedback via various channels, it is important to pay attention to the accessibility of feedback provided in response to their feedback in the future. The audit team also recommends sharing good practices within the institution and degree programmes. This would enable Centria to make use of its multidisciplinarity as an asset. In addition, the team recommends that Centria should integrate RDI opportunities more tightly into students’ studies.

The optional audit target selected by Centria was the professional growth of students as an effect of integrating teaching and RDI activities. The related quality management methods were found to be functional and well-established for the most part. These methods could be further enhanced by increasing students’ aware­ness of the full range of RDI activities offered by Centria that support professional growth.

Audits of quality systems of higher education institutions began in Finland in 2005, and all universities and universities of applied sciences are audited. The audit report is available on the website of the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre at https://karvi.fi/


For more details, please contact:

Päivi Karttunen, Chair of Audit Group, Vice Principal, tel. +358 400 469 605, email: paivi.karttunen(at)tamk.fi

Tarja Frisk, Project Manager, Audits, tel. +358 29 522 5504, email: tarja.frisk(at)karvi.fi

Report orders: Arja Bilund, Administrative Assistant, tel. +358 2953 35503, email: arja.bilund(at)karvi.fi