Audit of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences 2023

Higher education

Haaga-Helia UAS passed FINEEC’s audit – active utilisation of feedback and working life-oriented development as a strength

Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences passed the audit conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC). Haaga-Helia UAS received special praise from the audit team for its competence oriented degree programmes and enhancing relevance of degree programmes and societal impact in co-operation with working life.

Haaga-Helia considers the competence orientation of their degree programmes as a crucial quality standard

Haaga-Helia UAS has systematic and inclusive planning processes that ensure the relevance of its programmes for working life, which is also seen and appreciated by students and regional stakeholders. Haaga-Helia has implemented systematic monitoring and evaluation of its degree programmes, development of qualification goals, and planning of degree programmes.

- Haaga-Helia’s education reform offers flexible degree programmes with individual paths designed for the needs of individual students. This enables target-oriented learning and an active role for students in their own learning process, notes Karim Khakzar, the chair of the audit team.

However, Haaga-Helia should continue and expand its efforts in preparing international students for the Finnish labour market. Moreover, since the new education reform is still in a transitional phase it should consequently be followed and improved by focusing on the planning criteria, i.e., of course portfolios.

Regular dialogue formats with external stakeholders allows Haaga-Helia to continuously identify trends and phenomena for their RDI activities

The audit team considers that reorganisation of the management of social impact initiatives and research, development and innovation (RDI) projects as well as the refocusing of responsibilities shows that societal impact plays an important role in Haaga-Helia’s overall strategy. Clear procedures for applying for and implementing RDI projects support the motivation of teaching and research staff to commit to RDI projects. Haaga-Helia also maintains valuable European and international networks.

In relation to this the audit team recommends that, for example, the potential and advantages of the European University Alliance Ulysseus would to be communicated actively within Haaga-Helia and towards external stakeholders. Haaga-Helia should also provide its staff enough opportunities and possibilities for getting involved in RDI activities. In addition, management and administration of RDI projects requires more support.

The Work&Study model responds appropriately to the needs of future education, working life and continuous learning

Haaga-Helia’s management is committed to the quality system and its enhancement, and the staff is familiar with Haaga-Helia’s goals. The students and staff are encouraged to participate in enhancing Haaga-Helia’s procedures in order to achieve its objectives. Overall Haaga-Helia has created a positive culture towards professional development and continuously supports the staff’s individual competence development.  However, in order to optimise the benefits of Haaga-Helia’s quality system cycle "Plan-Do-Check-Learn&Develop-Communicate", the feedback procedures should be systematised and students and companies should be encouraged to give feedback more actively.

The Work&Study model in which learning goals are achieved by working and connecting the practical work with a theme-related knowledge base, is well in line with Haaga-Helia's profile and strategic goals. The model serves competence-based learning and provides tools to meet competence development needs in the future. Haaga-Helia also actively and continuously develops the model based on received feedback. The process of developing the model supports the innovative organisational culture of Haaga-Helia.

However, the standards and implementation of the Work&Study model should be harmonised to ensure transparent and equal criteria for the recognition of competences. Haaga-Helia should ensure that participating companies are committed to implementing the model in accordance with the competence goals defined for the courses and contribute to guiding the students in a way that supports the development of competence. In addition, Haaga-Helia should invest in the development of personnel skills to ensure equal and uniform application of Work&Study.

Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences 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 Haaga-Helia'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. 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 in Finland in 2005.

The audit report is available on FINEEC’s audit platform.

Further information

Helka Kekäläinen.

Helka Luodelahti

Head of Unit
Management and administration, Higher education, Liberal adult education
+358 29 533 5513 Helsinki