FINEEC conducted an audit of LUT University in spring 2021.
LUT was the first university to pass an international audit conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC). LUT was awarded a quality label which is valid for six years. Two out of three evaluation areas in the audit were assessed at an excellent level. LUT received special praise in the audit for its systematic and target-oriented approach in managing and improving its activities in education, research and societal engagement.
Organisational culture supports innovation and collaboration
The audit clearly manifested an entrepreneurial ‘can do’ organisational culture at LUT in which new ideas and innovations are encouraged within the university and with partners. There is a desire to solve things together as well as a will to improve and go further. LUT works actively to maintain and develop a creative campus atmosphere and invests in strategic partnerships with other universities and with companies.
“LUT is a relatively small university and takes full advantage of its size and the combination of technology and business. With a clear direction, systematic approach and with activities and mechanisms directed at different target groups and levels, LUT succeeds in engaging and creating impact at the regional, national and international levels.”, says professor Håkan Wiklund from the Mid Sweden University, the chair of the audit team
The university’s role in the region is vital, and there are close connections between LUT and the local cities. LUT actively engages with its surrounding environment, uses various ways of collecting foresight information but, at the same time, is proactive in its approach and wants to influence its environment.
A strongly strategy-driven approach in management and quality development
LUT has a strongly strategy-based and systematic management and improvement of its activities. This approach is supported by a quality culture that is inviting, participatory and open to both staff and students.
“The audit team was in many ways impressed by how LUT works in a systematic and target-oriented manner and how it engages its staff, students and stakeholders in the development of the university. LUT knows what it wants to achieve and how, how to measure its success and use the information to further improve its activities.” says professor Wiklund.
On the other hand, the university could stimulate and utilise the commitment of its staff and students even more by systematising the work of sharing and discussing ideas and good practices within the higher education community. This also relates to the experiences in online teaching and learning. Students’ voices in the audit point out to some variation in the student experiences both in on-site and online teaching and learning. The audit team advises the university to look into this as well as to strengthen the role of course evaluations in its quality system. The audit team also recommends that the university to a greater extent involves its international students in quality work and in shaping their university.
International accreditations have enhanced the quality culture
Education at LUT systematically reflects the university’s strategy and a competence-based approach. LUT has actively sought international accreditations especially for its master’s degree programmes, and international accreditations have enhanced quality assurance on the degree level sustainably and contributed to the development of the quality culture. The university has also systematic procedures in place to ensure that its degree programmes and other provisions have a strong relevance for working life.
The audits of higher education institutions’ quality systems were launched Finland in 2005. All Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences have participated in the audits. The third audit cycle, which began with pilot audits in 2018, is currently under way. The higher education institution may choose between a national or an international audit team to carry out the audit. FINEEC conducts audits in Finnish, Swedish and English.
The audit report is available on FINEEC’s audit platform.
The audit team
- Vice-Chancellor Håkan Wiklund, Mid Sweden University, Sweden (chair)
- Student Irina Duma, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania
- Quality manager Birgit Kraus, Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
- Region manager Matti Kuronen, Bonava, Finland
For further information, please contact
Mirella Nordblad, project manager of the audit, +358 29 533 5541, mirella.nordblad(at)karvi.fi
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