A quality label for Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Higher education Touko Apajalahti

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre has conducted an audit of the Karelia University of Applied Sciences and has awarded the institution a quality label that is valid for six years from 29 January 2018. The quality management system of the Karelia University of Applied Sciences fulfils the national criteria set for quality management of higher education institutions, and corresponds to European quality assurance principles and recommendations for higher education institutions.

The audit team commends the subsidiarity principle that overarches Karelia’s quality system for it reduces barriers for acting upon issues at the closest level possible.

“The subsidiarity principle promotes an enhancement-led feedback culture and strengthens the community members’ trust in their possibilities to have an impact in the organisation. There is a balanced and steadily flowing distribution of work and responsibilities for the development of the quality system.” notes the Chair of the audit team Vesa Taatila, Rector of Turku University of Applied Sciences.

Quality work forms a relevant and meaningful part of everyday activities.

The quality system covers all the basic duties of the institution and gives room for taking into account their unique features. The project management procedures, together with the essential project portfolio tool, give reliable and efficient support for operations management. The systematic partnership management model is the backbone of quality management of societal impact and regional development work.

The freely selected audit target chosen by Karelia was security management which integrates with all the activities of the institution. According to the audit team, security activities at Karelia is practical and it is carried out in close co-operation with key stakeholder groups. The security system is able to react swiftly to any deviations and the activities are developed in a systematic manner.

Regarding recommendations of the audit team, the Chair of the audit team Vesa Taatila concludes:

“The recommendations centre around the issues of student participation and internationalisation. A key challenge is to get students to participate in development activities beyond their own degree programmes. Internationalisation is visible in Karelia’s strategy but not yet in practice in the quality management system.”

The audit team also recommends Karelia to reflect on how to integrate a future anticipation perspective with the quality cycles that are based on feedback gathered from existing operations and to develop participatory methods that motivate students to take part in quality work.

Report

Further information

Chair of the audit team, Rector Vesa Taatila, Turku University of Applied Sciences, vesa.taatila@turkuamk.fi, +358 50 598 5761

Senior advisor Touko Apajalahti, FINEEC, touko.apajalahti@karvi.fi, +358 29 533 5534