INTEGRATED QUALITY EVALUATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS C Technica 568
|Kustantaja:||Oulun yliopisto|| |
|Oppiaine:||Teknillinen tiedekunta|| |
|Painos:||Osajulkaisuväitöskirjan yhteenveto-osa|| |
|Sijainti:||Print Tietotalo|| |
|Tekijät:||KAUPPILA OSMO|| |
The role of higher education as an essential component of the productive economy has been emphasized in the 21st century, resulting in a constant need to demonstrate compliance and excellence to various stakeholders. To achieve this, a large variety of internal and external evaluation processes have been developed. However, to connect these evaluations with continuous improvement has often proved challenging due to factors arising from organizational complexity.
This compilation dissertation examines how various quality evaluations in higher education could be integrated in a meaningful and synergistic manner. Integration is analyzed both horizontally across the three missions of the university, as well as vertically ranging from external evaluations to self-assessment. The four research articles each support this whole from a different viewpoint. The results of the articles are complemented by a literature review of chosen relevant topics on quality management and evaluation in higher education.
The results of this work suggest that a planned process of evaluations starting from the institution level could help evaluations build upon each other and to drive continuous improvement. A holistic view on evaluation and evaluation criteria could be of use in avoiding sub-optimization and ensuring that issues such as stakeholder engagement and societal impact are included in evaluations. The integration of evaluations would constitute a part of integrating an institution’s management system and advance unity of effort. The ubiquitous concept of excellence can be seen as linking factor in integration, and an excellence award model was used as an example of a holistic evaluation framework.
The theoretical contribution of this study contributes in the discussion regarding quality evaluation, excellence and the integration of management activities in higher education. For practitioners this dissertation work provides both practical tools arising from the results of the research articles, as well as a synthesis of theoretical and practical issues that should be accounted for when developing quality evaluation approaches in institutions of higher education.