The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre FINEEC conducts audits of Finnish universities. In an audit, the quality system the university has developed from its own needs and goals is evaluated. The audits assess how well the quality system meets the strategic and operational management needs of the university as well as how comprehensive and effective the quality management of the basic duties of the higher education institution (HEI) is.
Xamk was established when Kymenlaakso and Mikkeli universities of applied sciences merged in the beginning of 2017. The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre conducted an audit of both universities 2012 vs. 2013 and awarded the institutions with a quality label.
HEIs with valid audit labels are listed in the FINEEC audit register.
Mamk’s audit report can be read in the following address
The following were regarded as key strengths of the quality system:
- The quality system supports the management of the Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences very well. Management systematically uses the data generated by the quality system in its steering and strategic decision-making procedures.
- A good case of how well the quality system works in practice is the way in which all staff members take care of the students from the beginning of their studies all the way to graduation. The principle of taking care of students has a crucial impact on the wellbeing of students, and consequently on the educational results.
- There is an open and interactive quality culture in the University of Applied Sciences. All members of the University participate actively in activities related to quality.
Among others, the following recommendations were given to Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences:
- Various activities have accumulated in the quality system over the years and some of them are overlapping. The extensive documentation generated by the quality system should be streamlined and existing documentation be made lighter.
- Quality management practices have been harmonised since the previous audit. The practices and documentation procedures should be further enhanced to ensure that all units operate on the same quality system principles.
- The relations between the University of Applied Sciences and regional actors are trustful and open. To further promote this, a systematic and transparent management system for partnerships is recommended, and stakeholder inquiries should be carried out more systematically than at present.
Kyamk’s audit report can be read in the following address
As key strengths of the quality system were regarded the following:
- The management of the institution is strongly committed to the processes of the quality system as part of operations management and is, on average, well aware of the objectives and implementation mechanisms of operations management and quality management.
- Cooperation with regional actors is interactive, goal-oriented and effective. The institution is valued by businesses and other actors in the area as a developer, influential actor and partner.
- The institution has developed a pedagogical and organizational approach titled Learning and Competence Creating Ecosystem (LCCE) to produce competences for the future and to support regional development.
Among others, the following recommendations were given to Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences:
- A consistent quality culture is still taking shape, and this is an area on which the institution should focus particularly in its development work. In particular as regards degree programmes, the institution should assess how the unique features of various fields are reflected in the quality culture and how, for example, they influence the implementation of the Learning and Competence Creating Ecosystem (LCCE) approach.
- The quality system as a whole should be developed to support the institution in achieving the objectives it has set for its key operations, to enhance a joint quality culture, and to make processes more consistent and efficient. Requirements for this include a re-assessment of the development procedures and also making a more efficient use of external evaluations.
- The institution should aim for a clearer integration of its electronic systems, also taking into consideration how the various communication channels and up-to-date information disseminated through them could serve various user groups in the most appropriate manner.
Xamk audit 2020
The quality systen of Xamk is audited by Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) for the first time in 2020. FINEEC conducts this audit according to its audit manual for HEIs 2018 – 2014.
FINEEC audits are enhancement-led evaluations that are involving and interactive. The goal is to help HEIs to see their strengths, weaknesses and development targets. The audit aims at answering the following questions:
- Does Xamk quality work meet the European quality assurance standards?
- Does Xamk quality system produce relevant information in terms of operations development?
- Does the audit result in impactful development measures?
In addition to Xamk staff, also our students and stakeholders participate in the audit implementation. More information on the FINEEC audit model is available at https://karvi.fi/app/uploads/2015/02/KARVI_0215.pdf
OTHER EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS
In addition to the FINEEC audit we also participate in other external quality evaluations. For example, some of our laboratories are accredited. In addition, success in externally evaluated and managed project and thesis competitions is a good indicator of Xamk quality.
FINAS accreditation services accredited KymiLabs on 10 November 2017, and the accreditation is valid until 13 December 2021. KymiLabs carries out emission and concrete testing and provides CE marking services. This accreditation guarantees that KymiLab services meet the T197/SFS-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard requirements.
More information on KymiLabs accreditation is available here.