Diaconia University of Applied Sciences is required to undergo a re-audit

Higher education Virpi Pietiläinen

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) has conducted the audit of Diaconia University of Applied Sciences. The audit was carried out by the national audit team. Based on the audit report, the Higher Education Evaluation Committee has decided in its meeting on 15 May 2017 to require the institution to undergo a re-audit. The re-audit will be conducted in two to three years from the decision.

The object of the audit was the quality system that Diaconia University of Applied Sciences has developed based on its own needs and goals.

The key strengths of the quality system are:

  • The quality culture is open and interactive, it goes hand in hand with the strategy, and it promotes operations in accordance with the central guidelines steering the institution’s work. A value-based approach and strategic awareness have been widely accepted as cross-cutting themes by the personnel.
  • The quality system is based on the model of continuous improvement. The personnel are thoroughly familiar with the cycle of continuous development (PDCA), which lies at the core of the model, and know how to make use of the steps of the cycle in their own work.
  • The OSKE approach helps to strengthen the relevance for working life of the training and RDI, as well as regional cooperation. The OPS2015 curriculum reform helps to ensure student participation in working life-oriented research and development projects.

Among others, the following recommendations were given to Diaconia University of Applied Sciences:

  • Harmonising the feedback culture and creating a comprehensive feedback chart are the most important development priorities in the work to strengthen the functional aspects of the quality system. Students should be provided with more extensive and effective opportunities to participate in the development of training and to influence the process. The audit team urges Diaconia University of Applied Sciences to develop, in cooperation with the students, a feedback system that produces information that can be systematically used in the development of study units, teaching and the training as a whole.
  • As part of the operational improvements, and especially in the efforts to improve the quality of training, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences should also ensure the consistent use of qualitative feedback.
  • Diaconia University of Applied Sciences should analyse more systematically the information produced by its quality system at different organisational levels so that it could be used more effectively in such areas as knowledge-based management.

The re-audit will focus on the Quality system’s link with strategic management, Degree education, Societal impact and regional development work and on the Quality system as a whole.

Diaconia University of Applied Sciences was audited last time in 2009. The audits of the quality systems of Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences in 2005.

Report:

Susanna Niinistö-Sivuranta, Pasi Ahoniemi, Kari Kiviniemi, Virpi Mattila, Jukka E. Mäkinen, Kirsi Mustonen & Kari Holm. Audit of Diaconia University of Applied Sciences 2017. Julkaisut 9:2017. Kansallinen koulutuksen arviointikeskus.

For more details, please contact:

Chair of FINEEC Higher Education Evaluation Committee Jouni Välijärvi, tel. +358 505677210, jouni.valijarvi (at)jyu.fi

Chair of the audit team, Susanna Niinistö-Sivuranta, tel. +358 505115382, susanna.niinisto-sivuranta(at)helsinki.fi

Project manager Kirsi Mustonen, tel. +358 29 533 5515, kirsi.mustonen(at)karvi.fi

Report orders: Administrative assistant Arja Bilund, tel. +358 29 533 5503, arja.bilund(at)karvi.fi