Life and Death of Quality Assurance in Switzerland
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Life and Death of Quality Assurance in Switzerland Charles Kleiber State Secretary 2 nd conference on internal quality assurance at higher education institutions Bern, November 30. Quality Assurance in Switzerland – Before year 2000 Cantons with universities had right to subsidies

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Life and Death of Quality Assurance in Switzerland

Charles Kleiber

State Secretary

2nd conference on internal quality assurance at higher education institutions

Bern, November 30


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Quality Assurance in Switzerland – Before year 2000

  • Cantons with universities had right to subsidies

  • Federal council (Bundesrat) decided on subsidy-related recognition for other institutions

  • Quality assurance was a non-issue


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Quality Assurance in Switzerland – The Current Practice (1)

  • Cantons with universities have principally right to subsidies – without obligation for an accreditation procedure.

  • Federal council (Bundesrat) decides on subsidy-related recognition.

  • Universities and programs have been able to request accreditation since the beginning of 2003.

  • Federal subsidies for new institutions depend on a mandatory institutional quality examination (evaluation).


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Quality Assurance in Switzerland – The Current Practice (2)

  • Evaluations in the context of subsidy-related recognition are carried out by the OAQ on behalf of the SER.

  • In contrast to the accreditation procedures these evaluations are obligatory.

  • Decisions are made by the Federal Council (Bundesrat) at the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs or in the event of the examination of the right to subsidies by the Ministry itself.

  • Decision-making authorities have always followed the recommendations of the OAQ.


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Quality Assurance in Switzerland – The Current Practice (3)

  • First step towards accreditation of universities: quality

  • evaluations based on an audit procedure (audits)

  • The first cycle of audits at the 10 cantonal universities took place in 2003 – 2004.

  • Recommendations must be implemented by the next audit cycle in 2007– 2008.


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Quality Assurance in Switzerland – The Current Practice (4)

  • Remarkable changes happened at the universities, e.g.:

    • setting up offices for quality assurance

    • concepts for the systematic evaluation of sub-units

    • allocation of resources for internal quality assurance

    • inclusion of quality assurance in strategic planning

    • first research assessment based on bibliometric data


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Quality Assurance has become an issue – why? (4)

  • Increase of competition nation- and worldwide

  • Generally trend towards more quality

  • Students compare universities with help of evaluations and rankings

  • The money follows partly the students

  • Quality assurance has become a main steering tool for the system (bottom-up based)


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Quality assurance in Switzerland – The Future (1) (4)

  • Constitution, article 63a

  • Framework Legislation on Higher Education

  • Co-operation Convention


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Quality assurance in Switzerland – The Future (2) (4)

  • Each Institution is responsible for its own quality assurance

  • Institutions of higher education may – on a voluntary basis – request an accreditation.

  • For public institutions of higher education institutional accreditation is a prerequisite to be eligible for public funding.

  • The identical rules apply to universities of applied sciences and universities.

  • The new conference on higher education (CUS+) decides on the quality assurance guidelines


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Quality assurance in Switzerland – The Future (3) (4)

  • Two independent bodies:

    • National Accreditation Agency (ex OAQ)

    • Accreditation Council

  • Program accreditation may be carried out by other approved agencies

  • List of accredited institutions will be published

  • Refusal or revocation of accreditation may be followed by cutting of subsidies


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Quality assurance in Switzerland – The Future (4) (4)

  • Draft Framework Legislation in 2007

  • Consultation in 2007/2008

  • Message to the Parliament in 2008

  • Entry into force not later than 2012


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