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Periodic supervision of higher education institutions’ systematic quality assurance practices (audit)

Norwegian universities and university colleges have the responsibility to conduct quality assurance in accordance with laws and regulations. NOKUT’s periodic supervision controls that institutions’ quality assurance practices comply with NOKUTs regulations for the supervision of the educational quality in higher education (Academic Supervision Regulations), and aims also to stimulate further development beyond the requirements.
  1. Quality assurance practices must be embedded in a strategy and cover all areas of importance for the quality of students’ learning outcomes.
  2. Quality assurance practices must be embedded in all levels of the institutions’ management. Through their QA practices, institutions must promote a quality culture among staff and students.
  3. Institutions must systematically ensure that all study programmes meet the requirements in national laws and regulations, including any additional regulations stipulated by the institutions themselves.
  4. Institutions must systematically gather information from relevant sources in order to evaluate the quality of all study programs.
  5. Knowledge derived from quality assurance practices must be used to enhance the quality of the institutions’ study programmes and reveal instances of insufficient quality. Insufficient quality must be rectified within a reasonable timeframe.
  6. Results derived from quality assurance practices form a part of the knowledge base used in evaluating and developing the institution’s total study program portfolio.
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NOKUT requests documentation from institutions at two different levels:

  1. Documentation from the institution’s management that enables experts to assess the quality assurance practices from an overall institutional perspective. This includes:

    – A selection of the institution’s governing/overarching documents
    – A self-assessment written by the institution’s management

    In addition, NOKUT provides the experts with the following background documentation: a summary of information about the institution based on publicly available data, a voluntary statement from the institution’s student democracy and a short description provided by the institution of contextual conditions deemed relevant for the institution’s systematic quality assurance practices.

  2. Documentation from the study programme level makes it possible for the experts to assess institution’s quality assurance in practice within some selected study programmes. This includes:

    – A selection of documents and overview of quality assurance practices within the study programmes.
    – A self-assessment written by the study programme’s quality assurance manager/officer

    We also request links to the study programme’s curriculum plan for the current year, which should provide an overview of the programme’s structure and learning outcomes. This serves as background information for the experts.

Before the experts make their final assessment of the institution’s quality assurance practices, an institutional site visit is conducted, which includes interviews with relevant stakeholders. The interviews serve as a final, important source of evidence for the experts in the assessment of the institution’s compliance with the regulations for systematic quality assurance.

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The experts prepare a report that is sent to the board of NOKUT. Based on the report and the individual institution’s comments to the report, the board then decides whether the institution’s quality assurance practices are compliant with the requirements for systematic quality assurance, have some deficiencies or have serious deficiencies.

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