Quality work for student
At the University of Eastern Finland, quality management and the promotion of sustainable development constitute integral parts of the implementation of the university's strategy.
The university has held a quality certificate issued by the former Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council nowadays Finnish Education Evaluation Centre since 2010 and the certificate is valid 6 years at a time. The university has been recognised as a Fairtrade University since 2014. Furthermore, University Services has held the Green Office diploma since 2012.
The Diploma Supplement (DS) Label has been awarded to the university in 2013 by the European Commission as a honorary distinction for applying the Diploma Supplement correctly in all respects. The University has also received the European Commission acknowledgement "Human Resources (HR) Excellence in Research" as provider and supporter of a stimulating and favourable working environment in 2014. Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development the university has signed in 2015.
Our quality work aims at ensuring that:
our education is of a high standard both by national and international comparison, and that it meets working life needs;
our teaching, study counselling and student supervision are of a high standard, diverse and versatile;
we use modern learning environments and teaching methods;
our operating culture is uniform in all academic departments, campuses and faculties, and that matters can be taken care of and information obtained smoothly;
our activities are student- and learning-centred;
we promote student well-being and support accessibility in studies; and
we promote multiculturalism, global social responsibility and sustainable development.
Quality in education and teaching refers to students knowing:
their rights and responsibilities as students;
basic things about the university as an organisation;
what kinds of services the university offers at different stages of their studies and how the university works to support their well-being;
where they can obtain guidance and counselling;
how they can influence matters at the university; and
how they can participate in quality work in their own academic department.
Learn about our Quality Management System
The university's Main Quality Manual describes the university’s activities as well as, for example, the goals and practices relating to the planning, implementation, development and evaluation of education.
You will find further information about the practices of your academic subject in the quality manuals of the faculties.
Some units also have their own quality or operating manuals.
The university’s quality website features more detailed information about the university’s Quality Management System and quality work.
The Introduction to Quality Thinking online course (1 credit) is organised every autumn and spring, allowing you to learn about the basics of quality thinking and about quality management systems, which are also useful in working life.
The Quality Management System of the university operates under the principle of continuous, systematic development in accordance with the Deming Cycle (PDCA).
The principle of continuous development, the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, also works for students:
PLAN – students plan their own goals, studies and timetables
DO – students study in accordance with their study plan and give feedback on teaching
CHECK – students participate in discussions and obtain feedback on their skills and progress
ACT – students modify their own plans and participate in the development of teaching
Students’ role in quality work
Students participate in quality work especially in quality-related matters pertaining to education. The academic departments’ working groups for the planning and development of teaching have student representation.
You can impact the evaluation and continuous development of education and teaching by giving feedback on the quality of education, i.e., on the contents, teaching arrangements and study counselling and student supervision.
Students can participate in quality-related training organised by the university.
Students can participate in the audit of the university’s Quality Management System also as auditors. We are working together with the Student Union to find student representatives for the university’s internal audits. Participating in an audit is a good way to learn about the activities and quality work of the university. In addition, expertise relating to auditing and quality is also valued in working life.
Quality, sustainable development and social responsibility go hand in hand, and students also have opportunities to participate in these activities of the university through various working groups, seminars and nationwide campaigns.
Communication relating to quality is the responsibility of the Quality Manager/Quality Coordinator, along with each faculty and the persons in charge of quality-related matters at the academic departments in cooperation with students’ subject associations.
At our university, teaching is developed in accordance with the university's strategy and principles of the European Standards and Guidelines in a direction where the learning process is increasingly collaborative, studend and learning centred, and catering for different learners. Representatives of students are included in the planning of teaching through involment in various working groups and bodies. Cooperation and interaction with student associations and the Student Union take place on a continuous places. Feedback from students is collected at different phases of studies and by using a variety of methods, and this feedback is discussed extensively in the faculties and units, as well as in the university's annual management review. The key principle in the processing of feedback is that students always receive counter feedback.
Indeed, for the quality of teachingand its development, giving feedback is the most important channel for students o influence. Students also have the possibility to make a written complaint when they seem it necessary.
Further information on the quality of teaching and its development can be found in the university's Main Quality Manual and in the quality manuals of the units. The figure below illustrates student and learning centred teaching:
FINEEC audit at the University of Eastern Finland in 2016
In Finland, evaluation and monitoring is used in the development of universities and universities of applied sciences. In accordance with the national evaluation model, quality management systems of higher education institutions are audited at least every six years. The University of Eastern Finland already has a valid certificate from the audit carried out in 2010.
Audits of higher education institutions are carried out by an independent expert, the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre, FINEEC.
Finland's own national model defines what the quality management system should be like both in view of national and European requirements. In auditing, the quality management system developed by each higher education institution from its own viewpoints and objectives is evaluated. The quality management system refers to the overall entity of developing activities, which consists of the organisation for quality assurance, division of responsibilities, procedures, and resources. Quality management refers to the procedures, processes or systems with the help of which a higher education institution monitors, maintains and develops the quality of its activities.
The objective of auditing is to support higher education institutions in the development of quality management systems that conform to the principles of European quality assurance, and thus to demonstrate that Finland has well-functioning and consistent quality assurance both in higher education institutions and at the national level.
The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre, FINEEC, will evaluate the Quality Management System of the University of Eastern Finland on 13–15 December 2016 the next time. The audit is an international audit, which means that the audit team will also have foreign quality experts as members, and that the language of the audit will be English. In the audit, the university's staff members, students and representatives of stakeholders will be interviewed on a broad basis. The result of the audit and the related report will be published in the spring 2017.
Further information about the university's FINEEC audit is available on the audit website, which can be accessed via these quality websites.