Oppsummering – ENQA Targeted Review 2023
Innholdet under er en kopi av oppsummeringen i ENQAs endelige rapport etter evalueringen av NOKUT.
This report analyses the compliance of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (Nasjonalt organ for kvalitet i utdanningen, NOKUT) with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG 2015) Part 2 and 3. The report is based on an ENQA targeted peer review, following the methodology described in the Guidelines for ENQA Targeted Reviews and considering the Use and Interpretation of the ESG by the EQAR’s Register Committee. In addition to the agency and its stakeholders, the report is meant to provide information for the ENQA Board’s decision on NOKUT’s renewal of membership and to EQAR to support the agency’s reapplication to the register.
The external targeted review was conducted from July 2022 to April 2023, with a site visit of the review panel in charge of the evaluation taking place between December 5 and 7, 2022.
NOKUT was established in 2002 as the agency responsible for external quality assurance of Norwegian higher education. It is a European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) member agency and has been listed in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) since 2013. In its capacity of an independent expert body under the Ministry of Education and Research of Norway, the agency aims ‘to contribute to society at large having confidence in Norwegian higher education and tertiary vocational education’1. In their work, the dialogue and cooperation with students, educational institutions, and other stakeholders is strongly considered for achieving NOKUT’s one liner: ‘secure quality – provide trust’.
The agency performs a broad range of external quality assurance activities, varying from the level of study programmes to the level of institutions of higher education and tertiary vocational education. Based on the Terms of Reference for this targeted review, the panel has analysed the activities related to higher education following under the scope of ESG: institutional and study programme accreditation and supervision, periodic review of institutional quality assurance practices, evaluations of quality in education (the latter being a new activity implemented since the last ENQA evaluation).
The ESG specifically addressed in this targeted review are 2.1 Consideration of internal quality assurance, 2.4 Peer-review experts, 2.7 Complaints and appeals, which were found partially compliant at the last EQAR Register Committee’s renewal decision, and standards 2.1 to 2.7 for the new activity introduced, i.e., Evaluations of quality in education. On agency’s request, ESG 2.3 Implementing processes was also considered for analysis by the panel (since, despite being found compliant by EQAR, it was found partially compliant by ENQA at its previous review). ESG 2.2 is particularly tackled as a selected enhancement area.
The panel considered the evidence given in the self-assessment report, additional evidence requested by the panel and provided by the agency (full list of additional documentation is in Annex 4) and performed an onsite site visit where meetings with a wide range of audiences were held. The panel thoroughly analysed and discussed all the evidence and concluded that NOKUT complies with the ESG as presented in the summary table below. Since the last ENQA review, the agency has made significant progress in relation to ESG 2.1, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.7, which were previously found partially compliant. At the same time, the panel was deeply impressed by the agency’s willingness to step out from the regular external quality assurance procedure and to develop new, innovative ones, hence better serving the Norwegian higher education system to continuously develop. Continuing an open communication with stakeholders and strengthening their role in designing the methodologies, especially in setting the evaluation criteria for periodic reviews, as well as better exploiting the outcomes of the Evaluation of quality of education for making the periodic reviews slimmer – with less administrative burden, could help NOKUT to perform reviews that contribute to enhancement and not just control of the Norwegian HEIs.
|ESG||Compliance according to the targeted review (1)||Compliance transferred from the last full review (2)|
|2.2||Compliant (for new QA activities only)||Fully compliant >> Compliant (for QA activities reviewed during the previous full review only)|
|2.5||Compliant (for new QA activities only)||Fully compliant >> Compliant (for QA activities reviewed during the previous full review only)|
|2.6||Compliant (for new QA activities only)||Fully compliant >> Compliant (for QA activities reviewed during the previous full review only)|
|3.1||Not included in the targeted review||Fully compliant >> Compliant|
|3.2||Not included in the targeted review||Fully compliant >> Compliant|
|3.3||Not included in the targeted review||Fully compliant >> Compliant|
|3.4||Not included in the targeted review||Substantially compliant >> Compliant|
|3.5||Not included in the targeted review||Fully compliant >> Compliant|
|3.6||Not included in the targeted review||Fully compliant >> Compliant|
|3.7||Not included in the targeted review||Fully compliant >> Compliant|
(1) Compliance refers to the focus areas that were evaluated in depth and are part of the Terms of Reference, i.e., standards that were only partially compliant with the ESG during the last full review, ESG Part 2 for newly introduced or changed QA activities of the agency, ESG 2.1 for all QA activities and any standard affected by substantive changes since the last full review. If any of the standards of Part 2 of the ESG are covered due to the newly introduced or changed QA activities, a remark “for new or changed QA activities only” is added in brackets to the compliance assessment.
(2) Compliance refers to the last EQAR Register Committee decision for renewal of inclusion on the Register,or in case when an agency is not renewing its registration in EQAR, compliance refers to the last ENQA Agency Review report and should its judgement differ from that of the panel, the judgement of the ENQA Board, as stipulated in the membership decision letter by the ENQA Board. Compliance refers to the QA activities of the agency that were reviewed during the previous full review.