The systematic and participatory feedback and development processes of Tampere University provide an excellent basis for quality work in teaching – the HEI passed FINEEC’s audit
Tampere University received special praise from FINEEC’s audit team for its effective quality management processes, which help the University identify its strengths and development areas. Diverse cooperation with stakeholders supports the working life relevance of the degree programmes and students’ integration into working life well. Societal impact is understood as part of the University’s basic task.
The strategic basis for planning the education has been clearly defined and the core processes of education work well
Tampere University has defined the processes and actors for the planning of education clearly. The leadership and the personnel are familiar with these processes and understand their role in them. A competence-based approach has been broadly adopted as the basis for teaching and assessment, and its implementation is systematically supported. As for future development work, the audit team recommends that the University ensure the implementation of individual teaching arrangements and recognition of prior learning in a manner that is equal and pedagogically of a high quality, and increase the feedback given on learning.
The University’s systematic feedback and development processes provide a good basis for the quality work in teaching. In the audit team’s view, the University should in future evaluate and enhance its processes to strengthen the link between teaching and research and systematically promote the multidisciplinarity of education. The development of the quality of teaching and guidance requires pedagogical consideration and open discussion about the goals. At Tampere University, open discussion about the background of the change in the teacher’s role, the goals and the method of implementing the change is required and utilisation of pedagogical expertise in carrying out the change should be ensured.
The University’s extensive networks support the societal impact of research
Research conducted at Tampere University has many types of impacts and experimental development is carried out with a widely with different stakeholders. The advisory board focusing on this theme promotes the evaluation of the societal impact. A key development area at the University is systematic guidance of the impact. To enhance this, the audit team recommends that the University develop a comprehensive impact model. The clear framework it provides, the shared goals and the systematic processes and indicators would ensure the realisation of the societal effects and impact of the University’s activities. In addition, the University’s more extensive development measures should in the audit team’s view be implemented as projects so that their progress can be monitored while also ensuring the achievement of the goals.
The University’s extensive networking supports the impact of research. The University should also take advantage open-mindedly of the potential and opportunities in the cooperation between Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences when enhancing societal engagement and impact.
The University has a strong quality culture that supports the activities
Tampere University has developed its quality policy systematically over the years and the responsibilities in quality work are clear. The University also engages its stakeholders widely in strategic planning and supporting management.
“The goal-oriented approach in identifying the development areas with help of the quality system is revealed, for example, in the way in which Tampere University has analysed and used the feedback received in the external TAU RAE evaluation (Research Assessment Exercise, 2022) for enhancing the quality of research activities,” says the chair of the audit group, Markus Granlund from the University of Turku.
However, the University should clarify its operating processes to be able to better identify when and how it is appropriate to take measures based on the collected feedback. The audit team encourages the University to use the received feedback and the open management culture to enhance the wellbeing of the staff.
The university experiments to find solutions to challenges in the guidance of the study plan
Tampere University has successfully and extensively identified challenges related to the guidance of the study plan. Student representation in different working groups is strong, and the University has enhanced the guidance of the study plan based on student feedback. In future, the University must ensure equal and timely access to guidance services and clarify the roles of the different parties providing guidance, the division of work and communication about the services to students.
The University has versatile guidance services and a large number of good guidance practices. The audit team encourages the University to actively share them within and between the units and faculties. The monitoring of the progress of studies and keeping contact with students who progress slowly in their studies have been developed actively in projects such as the TreSilienssi projects.
The audit team recommends that the faculties develop guidance services in cooperation with persons who provide guidance. According to the audit team, sufficient resources and time should be ensured for the guidance of study plans and the responsibilities of the tutor teachers should be clarified. The transition “from being a teacher to being a provider of guidance” will also benefit from the discussion about the objectives of the reform.
Tampere University passed the audit conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) and was awarded a quality label valid for six years. Passing the audit shows that Tampere University’s activities and quality system meet both the national criteria and the European quality assurance criteria for higher education institutions. The audit focuses on higher education institutions’ procedures for maintaining and enhancing the quality of education, research, and societal engagement and impact. The audit criteria have been published in FINEEC’s Audit manual for higher education institutions. The audits of higher education institutions’ quality systems were launched Finland in 2005.
The audit report is available on FINEEC’s audit platform.
Markus Granlund, Professor, Dean, Chair of the audit team, tel. +358 50 411 8588, markus.granlund(at)utu.fi
Helka Kekäläinen, Head of Unit, tel. +358 29 533 5513, helka.kekalainen(at)karvi.fi