Chalmers University entrance.

Quality culture gives Chalmers a good rating from the Swedish Higher Education Authority

​In five out of six areas, Chalmers University of Technology fulfils the requirements from the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) for quality control of undergraduate and postgraduate education. In the area of gender equality, we are deemed to need to develop systems to systematically ensure equality aspects in the planning and shaping of our education in order to reach all the way. That is the indication from the review on quality control work for undergraduate and postgraduate education that UKÄ has recently completed.
“We can be very proud of the review we have received. UKÄ believes that the way our quality systems are integrated into Chalmers education is functional and benefits us and our students well, but it also shows that we need to have a better system in how we work with gender equality,” says Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson, who is the Vice President of Education and Lifelong Learning.
 
UKÄ's assessment team finds that Chalmers has a well-developed and appropriate quality system, with a high level of ambition, which ensures the quality of the education. In particular, they highlight the fact that the quality control program is integrated with the university's other processes and structures, which gives a holistic view of strategic planning, prioritisation and follow-up.

Education according to the needs of the students

The organisation of undergraduate and Master's education, where the education programs order courses and the department teachers deliver these, also receives a positive assessment from the assessment group. This means that the courses are ordered from a student perspective with the students' needs in focus.
 
The assessment group also emphasises that the introduction of the faculty model, which allows teachers to both teach and research, ensures close collaboration between education and research. The model means that both research-active teachers participate in the education and that the syllabuses and course content are updated based on the research that is ongoing at Chalmers.

The postgraduate education

The quality control work in the postgraduate education is characterised by the fact that each doctoral student has an individual study plan, which differs from the structure within the undergraduate education. Systematics in the quality work is achieved by prerequisites, degree objectives and rules of procedure for the doctoral students being designed and updated centrally within the postgraduate education board where the Doctoral Student Guild and the Head of Departments participate. Further quality control takes place within the network of graduate schools Presidents, where experiences of challenges and possibilities are exchanged. Good access to sufficient resources to employ doctoral students and the long-term work to support and develop supervisors in postgraduate education help to ensure high quality.
 
“It is very positive that our quality work processes are considered to be of good quality. Chalmers has a very developed quality culture that is carried by our employees at all levels of the education and it is gratifying to now get it confirmed,” says Anders Palmqvist, who is Vice President of Research and Research Education.

Gender equality is a development area

When it comes to gender equality, the assessment team finds that Chalmers has routines and processes to ensure that the gender equality perspective is included when the educations are being conducted. However, a clearer way of working is needed to include gender equality in the continuous development of the content and shape of all educations.
 
The architecture education is highlighted as a good example and the extensive investments in equality that Chalmers has started in recent years are an asset in the development work. Other good examples mentioned are, among other things, follow-up of equal treatment in the course evaluations, efforts to achieve a more equal gender balance among teachers and follow-up of inclusive working methods in group projects.

Participation, commitment and responsibility

All in all, the assessment group notes that Chalmers has systematic processes that encourage both teachers and other staff, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students to participation, commitment and responsibility. There are clear and well-functioning routines that give both undergraduate and postgraduate students a good basis for influencing their education and a developed system for collaboration with the industry and the surrounding world. Chalmers also ensures that the educations prepare students to meet changes in the working life.
 
“The quality work in undergraduate and postgraduate education is always ongoing. Now we have received a confirmation that our way of working is really good – and that is a good starting point, among other things for our work with equality,” says Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson.

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Text: Anita Fors
Photo: Johan Bodell/ Chalmers
 

Published: Thu 02 Apr 2020.