Audits of higher education institutions 2018–2024
FINEEC's audit framework has been renewed for the third cycle of audits (2018–2024). The FINEEC audits have a special emphasis on the student-centred approach in education and the societal impact of higher education institutions' (HEIs) activities.
Purpose of FINEEC audits 2018–2024
- to evaluate whether the quality work in the HEI meets the European quality assurance standards,
- to assess whether the quality system produces relevant information for the implementation of the strategy and the continuous development of the HEI's activities, and whether it results in effective enhancement activities,
- to encourage internationalisation, experimenting and a creative atmosphere at HEIs, and
- to accumulate open and transparent information on quality work at Finnish HEIs.
Central premise and focus
A central premise in the planning of the audit framework has been the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in European Higher Education Area (ESG), which emphasises competence-based, student-centred and research-based approach in education. In the student-centred approach, students are encouraged to take an active role in the learning process.
Another central premise in the audits continues to be the autonomy of HEIs to develop their quality systems according to their own needs and goals. The autonomy and strategic development of HEIs is supported in the audit by offering HEIs the possibility to select one of the areas of evaluation as well as a benchlearning target.
The audit framework emphasises the impact of the HEI's activities as part of the education, research and artistic activities. The impact can be manifested in education and culture, well-being, research which generates new knowledge, or as active participation in regional development, reform in society or solving global challenges.
FINEEC audits cover all the activities of the HEI
Audit is independent evaluation conducted by an external audit team. The FINEEC audits cover all the activities of the HEI. The focus of the audit is on the procedures used by the HEI to maintain and enhance the quality of its activities, which is assessed in four evaluation areas (see the Audit manual for higher education institutions 2019-2024).
The outcome of each audit is decided by the Higher Education Evaluation Committee, members of which are representatives of universities and universities of applied sciences, students and working life.
Principles of online implementation 2020-2024 (addendum to the audit manual)
Re-audit process 2019-2024 (the link will be updated)
Enhancement-led principles guide the audit process
The purpose of the audit is to support the continuous development and improvement of the activities of HEIs as a whole. The audit engages staff, students and stakeholders of the HEI in recognising strengths, good practices and enhancement areas in its activities.
New methods and features
Benchlearning is used as a method in the audit. The purpose of benchlearning is to receive feedback on the own organisation’s activities and to learn from the good practices of another organisation.
The audits include the opportunity of being awarded the Quality Label for Excellence. In order to qualify for the Quality Label for Excellence, the HEI must provide evidence of exceptionally high-quality enhancement activities in connection with the evaluation area in question and criteria of excellence.
The audit process has been updated by introducing a digital audit platform, which functions as a template for the self-evaluation and the audit report. The digital platform makes the audit more transparent, interactive and the results easier to use. This promotes participatory and open quality culture.
Audit timetable and projects
The project descriptions of ongoing audit projects can be found on the right hand menu.