The University of Turku passed FINEEC’s audit - an inclusive quality culture and systematic curriculum development are the University’s greatest strengths
The University of Turku (UTU) passed the audit conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC). The University of Turku received special praise from the FINEEC audit team for its inclusive quality culture, which enables staff and students to participate widely in the development of the University’s operations and services. The development of curricula is systematic. The University has a strong commitment to promoting multidisciplinarity and societal impact.
The development of education is systematic
The University of Turku has good procedures for developing curricula and degree programmes. Curriculum development is systematic and well managed. The audit team appreciates the University’s collaborative and participatory quality culture. The voices of staff and students are heard in a wide range of ways in the university’s development work. Feedback from working life is also actively collected and used in the development of education. However, some students feel that their opportunities for participation need to be strengthened. The university should ensure that international students, continuing education students and doctoral candidates have opportunities to participate in the development work.
Students’ learning is supported through a variety of teaching and assessment methods. Similarly, teachers’ pedagogical skills and the development of teaching methods are supported in a variety of ways. The university should ensure that students receive sufficient feedback on their learning to support the achievement of learning objectives.
Multidisciplinarity as a strength of the university and a focus for development
Multidisciplinarity is strongly reflected in the University of Turku’s strategy and is one of its strengths. The University actively seeks to develop multidisciplinarity in both research and education. The University’s regular Research Assessment Exercise promotes the development of multidisciplinarity, research impact and open science.
The University of Turku could further strengthen its multidisciplinarity by increasing cooperation between its faculties and bodies representing different fields of research. In addition, UTU could introduce internal funding models that reward multidisciplinarity. UTU could also attract more international talented researchers, encourages the Chair of the audit team, Professor Milena Žic Fuchs, from the University of Zagreb in Croatia.
A wide range of actions to promote social impact
One of the University’s strengths is the strong commitment of the entire academic community to promoting social impact. The University engages in multi-level collaboration with its stakeholders and is a dynamic and valued partner regionally and internationally.
The audit team suggests that the University of Turku should further develop its partnerships. The University should make better use of its strategic potential and its position as a developer in the Baltic Sea Region. Similarly, the University could consider the same type of progressive cooperation with the cities of Pori and Rauma as it already has with the City of Turku.
University knowledge-based management is getting stronger
The University of Turku’s quality system and steering system are closely linked. UTU’s annual planning processes and feedback systems produce a wide range of information that the UTU’s management, faculties and departments use to promote the implementation of the strategy and develop the University’s core activities and services. The integrated development process has resulted in a high level of awareness and commitment to the strategy among the University staff.
The University is strengthening its knowledge management and management information systems. The audit team therefore considers it important that the University develops the knowledge base for strategic planning processes and decision-making and its transparency to the whole community. UTU should also make the feedback collected and the resulting development actions more visible.
UTU has paid considerable attention to the competence development, support and well-being of its staff, making it an attractive employer. The audit team proposes that pedagogical studies should be made compulsory for all teachers. Access to staff training for international staff should be improved by increasing the availability of training in English.
The University of Turku 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 the University of Turku’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, which it uses to maintain and enhance the quality of education, research and societal interaction. The audit criteria used in the audit have been published in FINEEC’s Audit manual for higher education institutions. Finland launched the audits of quality systems of higher education institutions in 2005.
The audit report is available on FINEEC’s audit platform.
For further information, please contact
Milena Žic Fuchs, Professor, Chair of the audit team, mzicfuch(at)ffzg.hr
Sirpa Moitus, Counsellor of Evaluation, Audit project manager, +358 29 533 5518, sirpa.moitus(at)karvi.fi