Quality label to Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

Higher education Sara Juntunen

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) has conducted an audit of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and has awarded it a quality label that is valid for six years from 16 June 2017. The quality system of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences fulfils the criteria for the quality management of higher education institutions and corresponds to the European principles and recommendations.

According to the audit team, one of Haaga-Helia’s strengths is well-functioning strategic management, which exploits a wide range of data and information produced by the quality system. The whole institutional community is clearly engaged in the quality work.

The Chair of the audit team, Unit director Asta Wahlgrén from JAMK University of Applied Sciences, commends Haaga-Helia’s strategic management:

“Quality is at the core of Haaga-Helia’s strategy, and the chosen key performance indicators enhance the evaluation and adjustment of the strategy and its implementation. The indicators reflect well both the mission, vision, as well as the other needs of the higher education institution.”

The audit team considers that Haaga-Helia is a pedagogically-led institution and a variety of teaching methods and learning environments are in use to support this. The quality management of education is well established and covers all the key processes.  Additionally, three degree programmes were reviewed in more detail: the Bachelor´s Programme in Business Information Technology, the Bachelor´s Programme in International Business and the Master´s Programme in Hospitality Management. All the three programmes show good commitment to systematic quality management and both the bachelor´s programmes in particular are excellent examples of functioning programme-level quality work with a strong pedagogical approach and close relationships with the business and industry community.

The audit team has also given Haaga-Helia recommendations for further development. For example, the institution’s working-body architecture should be reconsidered and simplified. Haaga-Helia is also advised to stress prioritizing, coordination and realistic timing in its development activities, to avoid the situation where several improvements were started simultaneously. The role of the recently established RDI Services unit still requires clarification, as well as the RDI operations in general. The audit team recommends that Haaga-Helia’s top management should define more clearly, what research and innovation are supposed to be like in Haaga-Helia.

The quality management of the StartUp School was the audit theme chosen by Haaga-Helia. A key part of the 2016– 2020 strategy and profile of Haaga-Helia is entrepreneurship, and the StartUp School represents this with an approach that reaches across the organisation. The staff and external stakeholders are involved in its quality management, and also partially students.

Audits of quality systems of higher education institutions began in Finland in 2005.

Report: Asta Wahlgrén, Birgit Kraus, Malcolm Hoare, Miia Kinnunen, Gramoz Shpendi, Kati Isoaho & Karl Holm 2017: Audit of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences 2017. The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre.

 For more details, please contact:

• Asta Wahlgrén, Chair of the Audit Team, tel.: +358  40 576 9372, email: asta.wahlgren(at)jamk.fi
• Kati Isoaho, Senior Advisor, tel.: +358 29 533 5519, email: kati.isoaho(at)karvi.fi
• Report orders: Arja Bilund, Assistant, tel.: +358 29 533 5503, email: arja.bilund(at)karvi.fi