Audit of the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences 2022

Higher education

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences passed FINEEC's audit - SAMK is the driving force of working life, education and RDI in the region

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) successfully passed an audit carried out by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC). The audit team praised SAMK for its high-impact activities in the region, the systematic and comprehensive nature of its quality system, and its curriculum work that promotes equality and working life relevance.

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences has a strong influence in its region

SAMK has a strong influence and is a driving force of working life and education as well as research, development and innovation (RDI) in its region. 

  • ­Its activities show a strong desire to serve the region’s companies as well as the public sector by participating in various innovation platforms and ecosystems of research, product development and education that generate expertise, says the chair of the audit team Heidi Ahokallio-Leppälä, Vice President of Häme University of Applied Sciences.

SAMK has launched determined efforts to develop knowledge-based management. Diverse information about the external operating environment and stakeholders’ needs and expectations are produced to support management. The organisation also systematically monitors the achievement of its goals. The information produced by knowledge-based management at SAMK is currently compiled in different systems. This practice is considered fragmented, and it is to some extent challenging for the personnel to find the information they need. Consequently, SAMK should develop its knowledge-based management as a whole to ensure that the completed reports are targeted more accurately at different personnel groups. 

Information from the quality system is used in SAMK’s work and management

SAMK’s quality system is systematic and comprehensive, and the information produced by it is used diversely in the UAS’s work and management. 

  • The personnel are deeply invested in maintaining a goal-oriented quality culture, and the quality work finds a concrete expression in the daily life of the personnel as codes of practice, in particular, which the personnel experience as an effective set of instructions guiding their work. The audit team considers the quality system could be developed further to support an increasingly experimental and innovative operating culture, says Ahokallio-Leppälä.

SAMK invests diversely in developing personnel competence. Competence development supports strategy implementation and practical work. Well-being at work is also monitored regularly and actions have been taken to improve it.

Course feedback system as an area of development

The needs of the region's companies and the public sector guide the planning and development of the education provided by SAMK. SAMK engages students, staff and external stakeholders in curriculum work. The audit team praised particularly the inclusion of uniform student assessment practices in the curricula. The work on updating curricula promotes students’ equality and improves the working life relevance of curricula. 

SAMK has also introduced a new course feedback system. Not all students are familiar with the new system yet, however, and the volume of feedback provided by students is often low. Students also receive little response to their feedback. The audit team recommends that, when developing the course feedback system, SAMK should ensure that the volume of feedback given and response feedback received by the students will be increased. 

Staff are committed to promoting internationalisation

SAMK’s strength in internationalisation is an internalised understanding of the need for internationalisation and the staff’s commitment to achieving the strategic targets related to it. The importance of cultural factors in the integration of international students and staff has also been recognised. According to the audit team, however, efforts should be made to manage the ambitious expansion of internationalisation by coordinating the international activities better, ensuring sufficient resources and eliminating overlaps.

SAMK strives to fulfil the wishes of local enterprises concerning the availability of skilled labour, and efforts have been launched to facilitate interaction between local companies and international talents. In the future, SAMK should consequently build closer cooperation with companies and other actors in the region to help international students find employment. 

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) 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 SAMK's activities and quality system 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, research and societal interaction. The audit criteria have been published inFINEEC's Audit manual for higher education institutions

The audit report is available on FINEEC’s audit platform

The contact person at FINEEC

Niina Nurkka

Niina Nurkka

Senior Evaluation Advisor
Higher education
+358 29 533 5573 Helsinki