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Prof. Dr. Hans Weder, President of the University of Zurich






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WCU-2, Shanghai 2007. Quality Assurance and the Promotion of Excellence in the Swiss University System. Prof. Dr. Hans Weder, President of the University of Zurich. General remarks. General remarks. World Class Universities. Concise system of quality assurance
Prof. Dr. Hans Weder, President of the University of Zurich

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WCU-2, Shanghai 2007

Quality Assuranceand the Promotion of Excellencein the Swiss University System

Prof. Dr. Hans Weder, President of the University of Zurich

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  • General remarks

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General remarks

  • World Class Universities

  • Concise system of quality assurance

    • externally controlled accreditation

    • internal measures establishedby universities

  • Promotion of excellence

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General remarks

  • Quality assurance

  • costs vs. benefits

  • regular reporting to the public  confidence

  • core business of universities: deliver quality(rather than prove its existence)

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  • Accreditation procedurein the Swiss university system

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • Common convictions of all Swiss universities

1. Quality assurance is our own business.

  • quality assurance units established bythe universities

  • quality assurance as a competitive factor

    2. The cost of quality assurance has to be keptas low as possible.

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • The Swiss Model: Principles

  • In general: Accreditation is optional.

  • Exception:

Quality assurance systems of the universities

Center for Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities (OAQ)

summary evaluation (every 4 years, compulsory)

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • The Swiss Model: Principles

In case of positive evaluation by OAQ

  • no further accreditation of courses and programs compulsory

  • institutional accreditation

    (of autonomous universities)

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • The Swiss Model: Principles

Center for Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities (OAQ):

  • independent public institution

  • controlled by supervisory board

  • with full autonomy

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • Audits

Procedure designed by political authorities.

Subjects of the audit:

instruments / measures of quality assurancein a certain university

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • Minimal standards for the quality assurance system of a university

  • The university has a coherent strategy of quality assurance, which is published and university-wide known.

  • The system includes all relevant aspects (research, education, central services) and is well integrated in the general strategy of the university.

  • The procedures are legally defined, responsibilities are correctly assigned.

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • Minimal standards for the quality assurance system of a university (II)

  • The university has established a system of systematic and comprehensive evaluations, checking all relevant fields of activity.

  • The university supports and fosters the personal and scientific development of academics, which includes academic career development and gender equality.

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • Minimal standards for the quality assurance system of a university (III)

  • The decision making process of the university is based on a set of appropriate and robust information, both qualitative and quantitative.

  • Transparent information about procedures and outcomes of the measures taken is granted by the university; information about offered courses and delivered degrees is provided regularly.

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Accreditation procedurein Switzerland

  • self-evaluation report of the university

  • peers visit the university

  • final report, produced by OAQ

  • political authority decides on publishing of results

  • restart after 4 years

  • Quality Audit: Procedure

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  • Promotion of Excellenceat the University of Zurich

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Focus on quality

  • mission statement: commitment to academic excellence and the highest international standards

  • UZH is no. 58 in overall SJTU ranking(26/29 in Life Sciences and medicine)

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Staffing policy

Goal: Get the best candidates for academic and administrative positions

  • important: composition of search committees

  • attractive offer

  • clusters of excellence as „magnets“

  • involvement of the Executive Board

  • good facilities

    (ratio of successful appointments: almost 90 percent;

    almost 50 percent of professors from abroad)

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Promotion of research

University Research Fund

  • strategic part

    • promotion of inter-university and inter-faculty projects (centers of excellence)

    • support for researchers when competing for national projects (National Centres of Competence in Research, NCCR)

    • matching fund

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Promotion of research

University Research Fund

  • competitive part

    • academic career development (PhD students, postdocs)

    • only criterion: quality

    • problem: too many applications  good projects have to be rejected

    • support in competition for national funding

    • competitive approach attracts additional private funding

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Promotion of teaching

Award for good teaching

  • financial support of external foundation

  • changing focuses every year

  • student survey  nomination by special committee  confirmation by Executive Board

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Promotion of teaching

Student surveys

  • part of systematic evaluation process

  • new standardised survey on the quality of courses and teaching performances of academics

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Board of the University

Evaluation Office

Senate

Extended Executive Board

Executive Board

Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Evaluation process at UZH

  • independent Evaluation Office

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Evaluation process at UZH

  • independent Evaluation Office

  • main goals of the evaluation process:

    • improvement of quality in science and administration evaluation as a formative tool

    • data for medium and long-term strategic planning

    • basis for reporting to the public (accountability)

  • important: evaluations on a high scientific level

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Follow-up

Agreement on objectives

Monitoring of implementation of agreement

Informed Peer Review

Evaluation Office

Executive Board

Evaluation Office

Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • self-evaluation report

  • experts’ report

  • comprehensive evaluation report written by Evaluation Office

  • recommendations to Executive Board

  • Evaluation process at UZH: Procedure

  • results of informed peer review  Executive Board sets goals

  • work out agreement

  • implementation of measures

  • 2 years after signing agreement

  • Evaluation Office reports on implementation of measures

Re-Evaluation

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Evaluation: Main focuses of agreements

  • intensification of research

  • creation of profile

  • academic career development

  • improvement of cooperation

  • clarification of organisational structures (administration)

  • formulation of mandates

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Promotion of Excellence at UZH

  • Evaluation at UZH: Experiences

  • lot of work, time-consuming for all participants

  • considerable benefits

    • acceptance of the procedure within the university

    • identity

    • communication and transparency

    • uncovering strengths and weaknesses

    • structure and development planning

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  • Thank you for your attention.

  • For more information:

  • www.evaluation.uzh.ch


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