Audits of higher education institutions 2018-2024


FINEEC’s audit model has been renewed for the third round of audits (2018-2024). The aim of the new audit model is to support higher education institutions in the continuous development of their operations, and to encourage internationalisation, experimenting and a creative atmosphere at higher education institutions. In the new audit model, there is a stronger emphasis on student-centred approach and societal impact of activities.


The purpose of the audit model 2018-2024 is:

  • to evaluate whether the quality work in the HEI meets the European quality assurance standards,
  • to assess whether the quality system produces relevant information for the continuous development of operations and whether it results in effective development activities,
  • to encourage internationalisation, experimenting and a creative atmosphere at HEIs, and
  • to accumulate open and transparent information on quality work at Finnish HEIs

A central premise in the planning of the audit model has been the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in European Higher Education Area (ESG), which emphasises the student-centred approach, as well as learning and research as the basis for planning, implementing and developing education. In the student-centred approach, students are encouraged to take an active role in the learning process.

Another central premise has been the autonomy of HEIs to develop their quality systems according to their own needs and goals. The autonomy and strategic development of HEIs is supported in the audit model by offering HEIs the possibility to select one of the areas of evaluation as well as a benchlearning target.

The audit model emphasises the impact of operations as part of the educational task. Likewise, the impact of research and artistic activities is seen as part of the HEI’s tasks. The impact may manifest as education and culture, well-being, research which generates new knowledge, active participation in regional development work, or competitivity in reforming the society.

Benchlearning is utilised in the audit. According to the principles of enhancement-led evaluation, the purpose of benchlearning is to learn from the good practices of another organisation. The HEI selects a target and a partner for benchlearning.

The audit process is updated by introducing a digital audit platform, which functions as a template for the self-evaluation and the audit report. The digital platform makes the audit more transparent, interactive and the results easier to use. This promotes participatory and open quality culture.

A Quality Label for Excellence is another new element in the model. In order to qualify for the Quality Label for Excellence, the HEI must provide evidence of exceptionally successful development activities in the particular area of evaluation.

The new FINEEC audit platform

Audit model for higher education institutions 2018-2024 – leaflet

Audit manual for higher education institutions 2018-2024  (pilot phase) – An updated version of the handbook for 2019-2024 will be published in autumn 2019.

Video of the audit model for higher education institutions 2018–2024

For further information, please contact

Counsellor of Evaluation Marja-Liisa Saarilammi, + 358 (0)29 533 5528,