The framework of the quality system
Overview of the quality system
The framework of the quality system
The overall framework of the quality system consists of:
- The educational profile, which forms the basis for the work with quality in the programmes, and which puts into words what we at AAU understand by high quality in our study programmes and with our graduates.
- The quality policy, which sets out the overall principles of quality work and objectives for quality areas.
- Description of responsibilities and roles of the participants in the quality work.
- The framework for the overall processes that ensures the annual follow-up on programme quality, the implementation of programme evaluations every sixth year as well as the annual evaluation and development of AAU’s overall programme portfolio.
The quality areas
AAU's quality system is divided into six quality areas. The quality areas define how quality work is implemented in practice through the overall quality objectives and defined principles and procedures. The overall quality objectives consist of objectives, standards and indicators. The indicators are concrete targets or actions to be achieved for all programmes. The quality target is met when all connected indicators are satisfactorily met.
The six quality areas follow the students through their education at the university.
- Recruitment and commencement of studies.The focus of the quality work is recruitment, information to potential students so that they choose the right programme, and that new students are offered a well-organised and introductory study start.
- Development, organisation and operation of programmes. The focus of the quality work is the continuous development of the programmes (curricula), the implementation of study activities in semester descriptions and including forms of examination, dialogue with external examiners and evaluations with students.
- Principles of Problem-Based Learning (PBL). The focus of the quality work is the systematic assessment and reassessment of the PBL principles, the implementation of the PBL principles in the programmes and the evaluation of embedding problem-based learning in the programmes.
- Study environment. The focus of the quality work is the continuous evaluation and development of the psychological, physical, aesthetic and digital study environment.
- Research-based and pedagogical competencies. The focus of the quality work is development and ensuring the academic and pedagogical skills for the teaching staff. The research-based competencies are ensured through associated research/academic environments and staffing schedule, which ensures that modules and courses are organised, taught and supervised by teaching staff with relevant research or academic profiles. The focus is also that the students have contact with research environments/academic environments throughout the programme.
- Job and career. The focus of quality work is supporting students’ employability, career guidance as well as providing contact with graduates and prospective employers.
Quality work actors
The quality work is anchored in AAU’s existing management structure, which is why formal responsibility follows the management organisation. The overall formal responsibility for quality policy therefore lies with the Rector. The Pro-rector has been delegated academic management within the field of education by the Rector, and thus has the day-to-day responsibility for AAU’s quality system and the implementation of the quality work.
The Deans’ offices and the University Director are responsible for the implementation of the quality system at the faculties and
AAU Shared Services.
The Heads of Departments implement the quality system in their departments by defining and describing their own organisation
of the quality work in terms of responsibilities and roles for carrying out, evaluating and following up on the quality work. Therefore, the interaction of the participants may differ from one department to another, and it is important that everyone knows
their responsibilities and roles within the departments.
The Study Boards play a particularly important role in the quality work, as they are responsible for ensuring organisation, implementation and development of programmes and teaching, cf. the Danish University Act.
AAU’s quality work is embedded in a quality culture, where students and staff work together to maintain a high quality of programmes and develop the programmes so that they constantly match the societal developments. Both teaching staff and students play a special role in contributing constructively to the dialogue on educational quality, including the participation of
students in evaluations of, among other things, study start, study activities, study environment and educational programmes.
The day-to-day coordination of the quality and relevance of programmes is carried out through the following bodies:
The Strategic Council for Education (DSUR) is AAU’s overall body across the faculties which coordinates overall strategic issues related to education. On behalf of the AAU Executive Management, it ensures the managerial anchoring of the development and quality of the programmes.
The Study Environment Council is an advisory board for the Prorector, which aims to ensure that AAU’s programmes are based in an attractive study and learning environment that supports problem- and project-based learning. The students are represented in this council.
The Study Boards: Much specific day-to-day quality work and dialogues on educational quality take place here.
The Department Management is also a large part of the followup quality work, as it ensures that efforts to develop the quality
of programmes are implemented.
The ongoing work to develop quality work and the AAU quality system is done through the following bodies:
The Council for Quality Assurance and Development is AAU’s overall body across the faculties, which is responsible for developing AAU’s quality system to meet external and internal requirements. The council establishes an overall framework and
common procedures for quality work. The students are represented in this council.
AAU Quality Network is an informal open network that aims to work towards a common understanding of the quality work carried
out at all levels at AAU through knowledge sharing. This helps to create a good foundation for AAU to have a well-functioning quality system and an open quality culture where we learn from each other’s well-executed quality work.