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What is the Quality System?

Who does what?

How will you be heard?

Where do you decide?

The Quality System – structure

The Quality System at the University of Stavanger Photo: Elisabeth Tønnessen

What is the Quality System? The Quality System is all of those things we do to ensure that the study quality is at a sufficiently high level, through ensuring continuous improvements, documenting the work, and uncovering failing quality. Together, students, lecturers and institution work towards a high study quality, and there can hardly be anyone who desires a poor study quality. Also, systematic work on the quality system is legally required. To be accredited as a university in Norway, institutions are required to have a quality system approved by NOKUT (The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education); the public agency for quality assurance for these systems.

The law and accompanying regulations demand that the system covers all processes affecting the study quality, from information to potential applicants to the closing of the studies. At the University of Stavanger, we have gone further, and also include processes after completed studies, such as candidate follow-ups and alumni activities.


Who does what? Employees and students have clear roles and a responsibility for working towards continuous study quality improvements. These are the most important contributors in the work to ensure and further develop the study quality:


As a student, you can contribute to the development of quality in studies by actively participating in student fora, such as for instance the Faculty Board and Student Parliament; in the formal organs, such as the University Board, Faculty Board, Department Board, Centre Board, Committee for Learning Environment, Education Committee, Quality Committee etc., and by taking part in evaluations and dialogues and investigations. Additionally, you can use the various reporting systems.

Lecture in charge

The lecturer in charge is responsible for the study quality within a subject / topic. It is his responsibility to stay up to date in terms of the subject and Head of Department contribute to a high quality through active All our study programmes belong to participation in evaluation, reporting and follow ups a department where the Department at subject level. The lecturer in charge will take the is responsible for the study quality initiative to meetings with student representatives, at the programme level. The Head and works closely with, and reports to, the Head of of Department prepares the annual the Department. report for the particular programme, and the collected annual report for work on quality at the department. The Head of Department works closely with the lecturers in charge and reports to the Dean. -3-

Pro-Dean for Teaching

Each faculty has a Pro-Dean for Teaching. The Pro-Dean is fixed leader of the faculty’s quality committee, and has certain tasks associated with the quality work. The Pro-Dean works closely with students and teaching staff, as well as with administrative employees at the faculty. They work together and with the pro-deans at the other two faculties, and with the Vice-Rector and the Central Quality Office.


Each faculty is led by a Dean. The Dean is the top academic and administrative manager for the employees at the faculty. The Dean is responsible for the faculty’s study programmes, and for the quality work at the faculty. The Dean works closely with his pro-deans for research and teaching, the Faculty Director and the leaders for the departments and centres.


The Vice-Rector is part of the University’s leadership, and the second in command in the University Management. The ViceRector supports the Rector in her work, and is responsible for the quality work. The Vice-Rector is the manager of the Education Committee at the University, which every year prepares annual reports on the Quality System, to pass on to the Board.


The Rector is part of the leadership. The Rector is the top academic leader at the University of Stavanger, and the leader of the University Board.


Chief Financial Officer

The Central Quality Office at the University is under the Chief Financial Officer. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for collecting, reworking and reporting the data which forms the basis for the quality work; for the Academic Quality Centre at the University; and for the service unit for furthering and ensuring quality; and for ensuring that the Quality System works as it should.


The Director is the senior manager for the administration at the University, and presents matters to the Board, such as annual reports for the quality work at the University.

How will you be heard? The Quality System at the University of Stavanger is based on dialogue and reflection, and on the thought that although not everything can be that great, everything can get better. The students’ reflections and conversations between students, student representatives and academic staff are central to this. We use different kinds of aids in this work, for instance the Quality Committees of each faculty, Early Dialogues in all topics and Final Evaluations at least every three years. Some things may however fall outside of these channels. Several solutions have therefore been implemented to report any issues:

Student representatives as well as individual students can contact the Dean or Pro- Dean for Teaching directly, in person, by e-mail or in other ways.

Student representatives as well as individual students can contact the Quality Co- ordinator directly, in person, by e-mail or in other ways. The Quality Co-ordinator can keep the identity of the student confidential if required.


Where do you decide? Faculty Board


Quality Committee Department Manager Programme Committee

Study programme


Departmental Board The illustration (fig. 1) shows the quality way through boards and panels. There are student representatives (appointed by StOr (the Student Union)) and the employee representatives on the Faculty Board, Quality Committees and Department Board. (Note that the illustration is not an organisational chart.)


Students -6-

The following boards and committees are the most central as far as developing the study quality at the University of Stavanger goes. Students (appointed by StOr) and employees are represented in all formal organs. Programme Committee The programme committees are no longer part of the formal structure for boards and committees. Where a study programme crosses two or more departments, it is still possible to use a programme committee. Authority in the quality work is then decided by the individual programme committees. Departmental councils/centre councils The departmental councils should take part in the examination of, and give advice on, the quality work, as well as during early dialogues and final evaluations. At centres that are not under departments, and where there isn’t already any centre council, such a council should be established, with a function similar to that of the departmental councils. Quality committees The quality committees secure and develop study quality in line with the Quality System, developing implementation plans for quality and preparing annual quality reports which will be sent to the Education Committee. Faculty Board The Faculty Board is there to advise the dean about matters relating to the quality work at the faculty, the annual report regarding the quality work and the quality measures fro the next period. Education Committee The Education Committee works with quality on behalf of, and at the request of, the Board. The Education Committee should among other things carry out central parts of the quality reporting, and stands for the aggregation of received quality reports, as well as preparing an annual quality report and action plan for the Board. The Education Committee should collaborate on a plan to promote quality control and quality furtherance across the faculty, programme, and academic milieu, follow up the institution’s own evaluation of the -7-

Quality System itself, and under this, maintenance of the Quality System. The Education Committee takes part in the planning and co-ordination of NOKUT’s evaluations of institutions. Committee for Learning Environment The Committee for Learning Environment should make sure that the learning environment at the University follows what is laid down in the law regarding universities and university colleges. The committee takes part in the planning of measures within the scope and also documents, considers and reports on the quality of the physical and psycho-social learning environment at the University, as well as their own function and performance.

The University Board The Board is the top organ at the University, and is legally responsible for the academic work, including ensuring that education is of a high standard. The Board determines the organisation of the work at every level, but needs to ensure an organisation that allows students and employees to be heard. Among other things, the Board should approve the Quality System, approve changes to the Quality System and suggest changes as required. It should accept from the institution the annual report on quality work, assess and approve annual action plans and initiate plans as required. The Board should further determine how quality work is a part of the strategic work at the institution, and determine the organisation and roles with regard to applicable legislation, regulations, rules and resolutions. -8-

The Quality System – structure The system is in place to secure and improve the quality of the processes. That is why the Quality System is structured around a process model, like this: Developmental processes Implementation processes

Topic and programme development, transfer of research to teaching

Student recruitment

subject admissions study start



study programme Implementing programmes and subjects

Student relations

study closure

candidate follow-up

student environment Supporting processes

joint services, administration, quality

Within the different subjects, programmes and other part processes, we have quality circles. The illustration on page 11 shows such a circle, the way it is used in the quality work.


The quality circle The circle shows these main phases: Identify, define and revise the quality criteria for the study processes, and goals for the quality work. Gather information about the execution of the study processes and the quality work (observe). Assess, analyse, aggregate and report on the quality, the goals and the work on the study quality. Plan and carry out safety and developmental measures to make sure the study quality fulfils applicable demands and criteria, and is developed in line with the applicable goals for quality in the study processes. Report on the state of the quality, planned and executed measures and achieved results.


s su e r vi ng rin n g , , c g, ons id e ri n g

Repo con rting work diti resu ando lts




D reveiďŹ nin goa sing g a critels a ria


nn a le n din g m me ea nti n sur g es p

Ob a m e l ysi ana - 10 -

Illustration: The quality circle drawn as an annual cycle. Subject start with election of student representative(s) for the subject. Early dialogue with joint report. Choice of subject for end evaluation in the autumn term. The subjects from the previous academic year are reported in the Annual Quality Report from the departments, with measures. The faculties have finished discussing and forwarded suggestions for new study programmes for the following academic year. The deadline for submitting the new study programmes is the 20th of August.



The final evaluation report with measures from the Department. The scheme for the early dialogue for autumn is prepared at the departments.


Early dialogue report with measures from the departments. Adaptation of questionnaires for final evaluations.


Final evaluations for the spring semester. The student representatives and lecturers with measures.

quality circ he










MA Deadline for the subject and programme revision of established studies for the next academic year is March 1.




Early dialogue report with measures from the Department. Adaptation of the questionnaires for the final evaluations.

The education committee’s deadline for approval of the new study planes is the 31st of October. The study programmes and the subjects from the previous academic year should be included in the communal annual report. for the quality work from the departments, with measures.

The final evaluations for the autumn term start. The University Board has set the deadline for the establishment of new DE study programmes for the next academic CE MB years to the 20th of November ER The Education Committee investigates the quality report The Board investigates the Quality Report The final evaluation for the autumn term is finished. The student representatives and lecturers compile joint reports with measures. Final evaluation report with measures from the Department. The scheme for the early dialogue for spring is prepared at the departments.

Subject start with election of student representatives for the subject. Early dialogue with measures. Choice of topic for final evaluation in the spring semester.

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Where can you find the Quality System? You’ll find the Quality System at the student web ( in the main menu under the tab ’The Quality System’ Contact information: The University of Stavanger 4036 Stavanger Telephone: +47 51 83 10 00 Fax: +47 51 83 10 50 Admissions office Arne Rettedals hus Telephone: +47 51 83 10 52 E-mail: StOr – The Student Union Arne Rettedals hus Telephone: +47 51 83 24 24 Fax: +47 51 83 24 50 E-mail: SiS – The student’s welfare organisation Kitty Kiellands hus Telephone: +47 51 83 33 00 Fax: +47 51 83 33 50 E-mail:

Faculty of Arts and Education Faculty Administration Hagbard Line-huset, 2nd floor (1st floor for Brits) Telephone: +47 51 83 34 00 Fax: +47 51 83 34 50 Faculty of Social Sciences Faculty Administration Kjølv Egelands hus, C-335 Telephone: +47 51 83 15 00 Fax: +47 51 83 15 50 Faculty of Science and Technology Faculty Administration Kjølv Egelands hus, D-320 Telephone: +47 51 83 17 00 Fax: +47 51 83 17 50

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The Quality System at the University of Stavanger  

The Quality System at the University of Stavanger

The Quality System at the University of Stavanger  

The Quality System at the University of Stavanger

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