Guidelines for the evaluation of first- and second-cycle programmes

In the guidelines, we describe the main principles for evaluation of first- and second-cycle programmes. You can also read about the different assessment areas and assessment criteria.

The programme evaluations emphasise the actual conditions and results, i.e., how the programme meets the requirements of applicable laws and ordinances. The programme evaluations focus on how the programme ensures that students are given good opportunities to achieve the objectives of the System of Qualifications, and how the HEI ensures that the students have achieved the qualitative targets upon graduation. The assessment criteria can be adapted to some extent to different degrees to allow the fairest review possible. The HEIs are also to describe and evaluate how well their follow-up, measures, and feedback routines contribute to systematically ensuring and developing the reviewed programmes.

In addition to monitoring the programmes’ outcomes, the reviews are also to help the HEIs improve quality. In the report, the HEI may therefore be informed of both good examples and areas in need of development identified by the assessment panel.

Assessment areas

First- and second-cycle programme evaluations include four assessment areas:

  • preconditions
  • design, implementation and outcomes (including gender equality and follow-up, measures and feedback)
  • student perspective
  • working life and collaboration

The assessment areas contain one or more assessment criteria. An overall assessment will be given for each assessment area. For the evaluations to be legally correct, predictable and transparent, the assessment criteria are to be made known in advance and be common to all programmes within the same evaluation.

The purpose of the programme evaluations is to monitor the programmes’ outcomes and to contribute to the higher education institution’s own quality improvements for the reviewed programmes.