Quality assurance of higher education

The objectives of UKÄ’s reviews are to assess the performance of the study programmes and contribute to the HEIs’ work with quality improvements in higher education.

Higher education institutions (HEIs) and the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) have a shared responsibility for quality assurance in higher education. Valuing this shared responsibility has been a core principle of UKÄ in its work with the government assignment to develop a new system for quality assurance in higher education. It has been important to create a clear link between UKÄ’s reviews and the quality assurance processes at the HEIs, while also considering how UKÄ’s reviews can contribute to further improving this work.

The system consists of four components

The new quality assurance system for higher education, which the Government tasked UKÄ to develop, consists of the following four components:

The four components

Aspect areas

The reviews will be based on aspects developed in dialogue with representatives from HEIs, teachers, students, employers and the labour market. The aspects are grouped into four aspect areas, which have been defined based on what part of the HEI’s activities they cover. The four aspect areas are:

  • governance and organisation
  • environment, resources and area
  • design, teaching/learning and outcomes
  • follow-up, actions and feedback.

Perspectives

In addition to the four aspect areas, the reviews include three perspectives. These perspectives are:

  • student and doctoral student perspective. How does student influence work in practice? Are students given opportunities and incentives to participate in the HEIs’ quality assurance processes and the development of courses and programmes?
  • working life perspective. Are the courses and programmes useful and how well do they prepare students for future careers?
  • gender equality perspective. Is equality between women and men taken into account and promoted in the processes at every level of the HEIs organisations?

Shared responsibility

Quality assurance in higher education presupposes that the quality assurance efforts are conducted by HEIs as well as by UKÄ. This means that the HEIs and UKÄ have a shared responsibility for quality assurance in higher education. The system is developed and implemented in accordance with the Higher Education Act, the Higher Education Ordinance and the ESG (Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area ).