Audit of the University of Ljubljana in 2024
FINEEC has conducted an audit of the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. The university passed the audit and received a quality label valid for six years. As the largest university in Slovenia, the UL plays a pivotal role in contributing to societal reforms. The university received praise from FINEEC's international audit team for its responsiveness to social needs and priorities. One of the university’s strengths was also its culture of self-reflection, self-development, and self-renewal.
The University of Ljubljana is actively improving education to meet the needs of the future labour market
The University of Ljubljana has robust processes for curriculum development. Various groups such as students, staff and external stakeholders are engaged in the processes. The UL has a strong tradition of collaboration with the surrounding community and labour market in shaping its educational provision and ensuring relevant and up-to-date curricula. There are many good initiatives at all levels of the university to actively enhance education.
The student voice is in well heard at the university, for instance, as part of the habilitation process. Students have many ways to give feedback and their feedback is considered. The UL has an efficient system for supporting students’ wellbeing. Among others, the tutoring system was praised by many students and staff.
The audit team recommends that the university streamlines its structures for the enhancement of education. Parallel structures at the faculty, academy and university levels cause complexity in the system. Responsibilities that relate to tackling institution-wide quality challenges, such as drop-outs, are not always clear. The university also needs a more strategic and systemic approach to the pedagogical development of its academic staff.
The university aims to enhance the internationalisation of its educational provision
The quality assurance of the joint educational offer conducted with international partners was chosen by the UL as an evaluation area in the audit. UL’s joint educational provision showed successful implementation strategies, many collaborative ventures, committed personnel and agile quality enhancement.
The audit team recommended that the university moves from an individual approach to an institutionalised approach in joint study programmes. This would entail a common knowledge base, a platform for sharing experiences and good practices as well as common guidelines. The planning and implementation of the joint educational offer needs to ensure common student experiences in terms of recognition, student selection, course offer, and study plan.
The university demonstrated strong responsiveness to social needs and priorities
The rich variety of disciplines, the culture of openness to different ideas, new insights and understanding the importance of internationalisation were highlighted as strengths of the university. UL encouraged experimental activities within the university and with partners both nationally and internationally. The university’s interaction with society is versatile and active. The connections with alumni and stakeholders foster collaboration, knowledge exchange and innovation.
The UL would benefit from clearer goals and the measurement of societal engagement and impact. The audit team recommended that the UL specifies university-wide objectives for societal engagement and impact, including research impact. These objectives should be linked to activities, monitoring, measurement of activities.
The university’s fragmented structure is a challenge for the common quality system
A key strength of the UL was its culture of self-reflection, self-development, and self-renewal. The UL also actively benchmarked itself against international peers. On the other hand, there was unused potential in terms of cross-faculty and interdisciplinary collaboration, sharing and learning at the university with its 23 faculties and three academies.
The university’s quality system respects the diversity of faculties and academies. The system is closely linked to the implementation of the strategy and ensures a common approach to annual planning, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting at all levels of the university.
The university’s fragmented structure is a challenge for the common quality system.
We recommend the UL to look for synergies in its existing structures, processes and responsibilities related to quality assurance and enhancement to overcome overlaps and inefficiency. The UL could also further develop common data management practices to support evidence-based decision making, says Marja Sutela, the chair of the audit team and vice rector at Tampere University.
The audit was conducted by an international audit team:
- Vice President Marja Sutela, University of Tampere, Finland (chair)
- Associate professor Lena Gumaelius, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
- Student Damon Mohebbi, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany
- Head of the department Attila Pausits, Danube University Krems, Austria
- Director Marja-Leena Rinkineva, City of Helsinki, Finland