Audit of the Aalto university 2023
Aalto University passed FINEEC's audit with excellent results – close connection of strategic management with the quality system is the institution's strength
Aalto University received special praise from the audit team for systematic use of annual strategic processes in development of the core activities. Strategic annual processes ensure continuous development of educational provision. Aalto’s strengths also include unique operational environment analysis, cross cutting approaches and constant dialogue with external stakeholders, all advancing societal impact of the university. Aalto is able to provide strong evidence of the impact of its quality system on enhancing the core activities. Aalto University is the first higher education institution in Finland that received the level excellent from all evaluation areas in FINEEC audit.
Aalto has solid procedures in place for competency-based education planning
Aalto’s annual strategic processes strongly support curriculum development and ensure working life relevance of degree programmes and continuous quality development. Internationalisation aspects are well integrated into Aalto’s education offerings at all levels. Aalto’s research and innovation culture is strong and impacts education activities. Students and external stakeholders participate systematically in planning of education. Aalto has substantial procedures for counselling and other services to support student study progress and well-being.
However, more formative feedback should be provided for students to support their learning. In addition, students should be informed more systematically of changes introduced based on their feedback.
Societal impact is deepened by constant dialogue with external stakeholders
Aalto has excellent procedures in place for managing societal engagement and impact. Multilayer operational environment analysis supports Aalto to continuously monitor trends and update its strategy to respond global and societal changes. Constant dialogue with strategic partners deepens the university’s impact on society. The three strategic cross cutting areas, linked to all Aalto's research, teaching and development work; radical creativity, entrepreneurial mindset and solutions for sustainability and seven key research areas are central means to promote societal impact and innovative solutions.
- Particularly in sustainable development and entrepreneurial mindset, Aalto’s progress in cross cutting approaches is commendable. Students’ entrepreneurial competences are strongly supported, says Antoinette Perry, the chair of the audit team and Associate Professor at the University College Dublin.
The audit team recommends Aalto to further clarify the concept of impact. Aalto could also continue to increase the visibility of cross cutting approaches between schools, particularly in artistic activities.
Aalto can provide strong evidence of the impact of its quality system on enhancing the core activities
The university has a comprehensive and well-functioning quality system that is closely linked with the strategic management. Through the annual strategic processes and systematic use of internal and external evaluations, Aalto continuously monitors and development the quality of its activities. Aalto has strong evidence of using the quality system in enhancing its activities.
The University has well-functioning procedures and tools in place to enhance equal and non-discriminatory treatment of staff and students. As Aalto is a global university, it should ensure that international staff and students feel fully integrated with implementing the quality system. Aalto should also consider implementing formal student and staff representation in the Board.
Aalto University passed the audit conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) and was awarded a quality label for six years. Passing the audit shows that the activities and the quality system of the university of applied sciences meet both the national criteria and the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. The audit focuses on higher education institutions’ procedures for maintaining and enhancing the quality of education, RDI activities and societal interaction. 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.