The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) has conducted an audit of the University of the Arts Helsinki and has awarded the institution a quality label that is valid for six years from 20 September 2018. The University’s quality system meets the national criteria for quality management in higher education institutions and corresponds to the European principles and recommendations.
According to the audit team, the University of the Arts Helsinki has made good progress in the quality work and in the development of the quality system in the two years preceding the audit. The University has an advanced ability to evaluate its operation and the University’s values – skill, courage and inclusivity – arise from its daily activities.
The chair of the audit team, Vice President Minna Hiillos from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, commented on the audit team’s work in the following way:
“The audit team paid attention to the fact that the values of the University of the Arts Helsinki were genuinely visible as the basis of the University’s quality work. The values were reflected in the quality processes, which have developed considerably over the past few years. A development target identified by the audit group was the harmonisation of structures, concepts and timetables in degree education, which would support the University in reaching its strategic targets.
Degree Programme in Music Pedagogy – example of the functioning quality work
Three programmes were examined more closely in the audit: the Degree Programme in Music Pedagogy, the Degree Programme in Acting in Swedish and the Doctoral Programme in Fine Arts. The commitment to quality work was at a good level in all three programmes. Especially the Degree Programme in Music Pedagogy was an excellent example of well-functioning quality work combining the utilisation of long-term self-assessments and a good dialogue between the students and the staff. A special feature of the University of the Arts Helsinki was the diverse and successful use of alumni in planning and implementing the education, which was observed in all three programmes used as examples. Furthermore, the services intended for students were praised by the audit team.
The audit team also gave other recommendations to the University of the Arts Helsinki for developing its quality system. Further development of the University’s own indicators and cutting down the number of feedback channels in a controlled manner were seen as the main areas requiring development. It was recommended that procedures be developed for documenting and processing oral feedback.
The optional audit target chosen by the University of the Arts Helsinki was the quality management of the strategic planning of the educational provision. In the audit team’s view, the long tradition of education planning at the University formed a good basis for the strategic planning of the education offered at the university level. The audit report also states that there was widely shared willingness to establish a university level academic body, to plan how joint education could be offered and to enable cross-institutional studies at the University. One of the factors preventing joint studies within the University of the Arts Helsinki was that the schedules in the provision of education in the academies were different.
Finland launched the audits of quality systems of higher education institutions in 2005.
Hiillos, M., Halonen, P., Isotalo, J., Kuivalainen, M., Laakkonen, M. & Isoaho K. Audit of the University of the Arts Helsinki 2018. Julkaisut 23:2018. Kansallinen koulutuksen arviointikeskus. www.karvi.fi
- Minna Hiillos, Chair of the audit team, tel. +358 50 583 9521
- Kati Isoaho, Senior Advisor, Project manager of the audit, tel. +358 29 533 5519, kati.isoaho(at)karvi.fi
- Report orders: Anu Lehikko, Assistant, tel. +358 29 533 5503, anu.lehikko(at)karvi.fi