NOKUT receives praise in international review
NOKUT has recently undergone an external review by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA). The conclusion of ENQA’s panel of experts is that NOKUT is an exemplary national quality assurance agency in many aspects of its work, and in compliance with European standards and guidelines.
– We are pleased to note that NOKUT’s work and the Norwegian system receive such positive feedback. We are especially pleased that the panel presents NOKUT’s knowledge-based model of accreditation and quality assurance, in which collecting and analysing data on higher education is central, as an example of good practice. We have come far, but there is still work to do on further enhancing and developing our model in the time to come, says Terje Mørland, Director General of NOKUT.
The review process began by NOKUT submitting a self-evaluation report to ENQA in December 2017. An international panel of experts then evaluated NOKUT’s various areas of activity and compared them to the Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). The panel also carried out a four-day site visit to NOKUT.
The review unequivocally concludes that NOKUT will maintain its membership in ENQA, in addition to bestowing extensive praise on the “Norwegian way” of trust, dialogue and cooperation, as well as its knowledge-based system of quality assurance in higher education.
ENQA’s panel specifically commended the following:
- The Norwegian model, which is characterized by a high level of trust, as well as a knowledge-based system of accreditation and quality assurance
- NOKUT’s work to enhance quality through collecting and analysing data on quality indicators at universities and university colleges
- NOKUT’s role as a promoter of quality in higher education, as well as disseminating information about quality assurance through public events and fora for institutions and stakeholders
- NOKUT’s Quality assurance procedures, which check necessary criteria without overburdening the institutions
- NOKUT’s internal quality assurance system
- NOKUT’s plain language initiative, which improves the readability of its reports
NOKUT also received some suggestions for further development. The panel recommended that NOKUT should produce more thematic analyses of accreditation audits, as well as meta-analyses of audits and accreditation processes. In addition, the panel recommends that NOKUT develop follow-up procedures for audits and accreditation processes, to ensure the implementation of previous recommendations.
NOKUT’s Director of Quality Assurance, Øystein Lund, emphasises that the positive review of the ENQA panel is not just aimed at NOKUT and the HEIs. It should also be seen as an acknowledgement of the Norwegian system as a whole, in which the Ministry of Education and several politicians have affirmed that NOKUT’s mandate is not just to perform quality assurance from a set of minimum standards, but rather to promote various means of quality enhancement throughout the sector.
ENQA has evaluated NOKUT’s activites in connection with quality assurance in higher education. Previously, NOKUT’s work on recognizing foreign education has also been reviewed with positive results (pdf).