The usefulness of quality assurance for university management and academic staff: a case study of Finland and Iceland

Arja Haapakorpi, Gyða Jóhannsdóttir, Guðrún Geirsdóttir

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    With quality assurance related to the Bologna goals, universities are required to fulfil internationally accepted standardized criteria of quality. This tends to reinforce control in assessment. However, control-oriented evaluations seem to lack meaning for academic staff. The article explored the possibilities and space for improvement-oriented evaluation within quality assurance processes. The implementation, outcomes and utilization of audits/accreditation processes in three universities in Finland and Iceland are explored. The data consists of documents and interviews. The findings indicate that despite increasing control of universities there is still an opportunity for improvement within the quality assurance processes. Improvement is related to the preparatory phase of the evaluation process, where staff is actively engaged in the process, leading to utilization of outcomes. The external phase with control dominance lacks meaning for staff and has limited utilization. A shortage of credibility regarding assessment is a threat to quality assurance legitimation and utilization.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Journal of Higher Education
    Volume3
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)206-219
    Number of pages14
    ISSN2156-8235
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fields of Science

    • 5141 Sociology

    Cite this

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    title = "The usefulness of quality assurance for university management and academic staff: a case study of Finland and Iceland",
    abstract = "With quality assurance related to the Bologna goals, universities are required to fulfil internationally accepted standardized criteria of quality. This tends to reinforce control in assessment. However, control-oriented evaluations seem to lack meaning for academic staff. The article explored the possibilities and space for improvement-oriented evaluation within quality assurance processes. The implementation, outcomes and utilization of audits/accreditation processes in three universities in Finland and Iceland are explored. The data consists of documents and interviews. The findings indicate that despite increasing control of universities there is still an opportunity for improvement within the quality assurance processes. Improvement is related to the preparatory phase of the evaluation process, where staff is actively engaged in the process, leading to utilization of outcomes. The external phase with control dominance lacks meaning for staff and has limited utilization. A shortage of credibility regarding assessment is a threat to quality assurance legitimation and utilization.",
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    author = "Arja Haapakorpi and Gy{\dh}a J{\'o}hannsd{\'o}ttir and Gu{\dh}r{\'u}n Geirsd{\'o}ttir",
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    The usefulness of quality assurance for university management and academic staff: a case study of Finland and Iceland. / Haapakorpi, Arja; Jóhannsdóttir, Gyða ; Geirsdóttir, Guðrún .

    In: European Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2013, p. 206-219.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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    AU - Haapakorpi, Arja

    AU - Jóhannsdóttir, Gyða

    AU - Geirsdóttir, Guðrún

    N1 - Project: Nordnet - Transnational Tendencies and Nordic School Development 2009-2011, A Nordic Research Network, Subgroup: Accountability in Higher Education Volume: Proceeding volume:

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    AB - With quality assurance related to the Bologna goals, universities are required to fulfil internationally accepted standardized criteria of quality. This tends to reinforce control in assessment. However, control-oriented evaluations seem to lack meaning for academic staff. The article explored the possibilities and space for improvement-oriented evaluation within quality assurance processes. The implementation, outcomes and utilization of audits/accreditation processes in three universities in Finland and Iceland are explored. The data consists of documents and interviews. The findings indicate that despite increasing control of universities there is still an opportunity for improvement within the quality assurance processes. Improvement is related to the preparatory phase of the evaluation process, where staff is actively engaged in the process, leading to utilization of outcomes. The external phase with control dominance lacks meaning for staff and has limited utilization. A shortage of credibility regarding assessment is a threat to quality assurance legitimation and utilization.

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