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Umeå University has a coherent quality system for education, which is integrated into the university’s operational cycle. The quality system comprises education on all levels and is based on nine activities aimed to support, improve and create awareness of how Umeå University works to improve quality in education.
• Umeå University's Quality System for Education
This page described how the Faculty of Social Sciences works with the university's quality system for education.
Umeå University has four centrally initiated surveys aimed at students and doctoral students: the New Student Survey and the Student Barometer for first-cycle education students, as well as the Employee Satisfaction Survey and the Postgraduate Exit Survey for doctoral students.
First and second-cycle education – Bachelor's and Master's levels
The New Student Survey and the Student Barometer alternate every autumn semester. The New Student Survey is aimed at students who started their studies in the autumn semester. The Student Barometer is aimed at programme students who are in the middle of their education.
At the Faculty of Social Sciences, the results from the two surveys are broken down onto programme and department levels and are submitted to programme councils and directors of studies. The results are commented on in the programme's annual report or operational plan (see Activity 6) and forms basis for continuous discussions in various forums and between the Faculty Board and the relevant programme council or department. Furthermore, analyses and summaries of data are made on faculty and university levels.
The Faculty Office is responsible for the faculty's administration of the New Student Survey and the Student Barometer.
Previous results of the surveys
The Employee Satisfaction Survey covers all employees and doctoral students and is carried out every three years. The Postgraduate Exit Survey is sent continuously, about three weeks after the defence of a doctoral thesis. The results are analysed and commented in the annual reports and operational plans of the departments and the faculty, and is included in operational dialogues.
The Faculty Office is responsible for the faculty's processing of the Employee Satisfaction Survey and the Postgraduate Exit Survey.
Previous results of the surveys:- The latest Postgraduate Exit Survey (university-wide)- The Employee Satisfaction Survey 2018 (university-wide)
The Student Union Report is compiled jointly by the student unions every three years and covers courses and study programmes on all levels of education. The Student Union Report gives student unions the opportunity to express their views on the university's activities and take an active part in the work with further developing education.Umeå Student Union is responsible for highlighting issues with particular relevance to the Faculty of Social Sciences. Areas in need of improvement are prioritised in consultation with the Faculty Board. Based on the prioritisations, ongoing discussions take place between the Faculty Board, programme councils or departments and Umeå Student Union in various forums. Information on systematic work and potential remedial measures are commented on in the annual reports and operational plans of the programmes, departments and the faculty, and is included in operational dialogues.The Associate Dean with responsibility for first and second-cycle education is in charge of the faculty's work with the Student Union Report.The Student Union Report from 2013: after reviewing the report and discussions with the student union and departments, the following was prioritised- Course evaluations- Supervision- Course syllabiThe Student Union Report from 2016: after reviewing the report and discussions with the student union and departments, the following was prioritised- Course evaluations- Personal treatment- Links to working life in doctoral studiesThe Student Union Report from 2019: after reviewing the report and discussions with the student union and departments, the following was prioritised- Personal treatment- Prolongation of doctoral studies- Student mental health
Feedback from students on a course, together with views and experiences from teachers and staff form basis for the course evaluations. Course evaluations also give students the opportunity to reflect on their own learning process and take an active role in improving courses.A course evaluation aims to address the course content and conditions, and describe how learning activities and examinations ensure that students are given the opportunity to achieve the expected learning outcomes. For third-cycle courses that to not have a course syllabus, the evaluation is related to the national qualitative targets for the course in question.Based upon the quality system for education, the Faculty of Social Sciences has drafted a procedure for course and programme evaluations for first-cycle educations.Assessment and evaluation of courses and study programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences
Students who take study programmes on first or second-cycle levels must be given the opportunity to express their views on the programme as a whole. For third-cycle (doctoral) studies, see Activity 6. Programme evaluations are aimed at improving and developing study programmes.
Based upon the quality system for education, the Faculty of Social Sciences has drafted a procedure for course and programme evaluations.
Compilations and analyses of programme evaluations fall under Activity 6. Annual reports and operational plans for study programmes and third-cycle subject areas.
Assessment and evaluation of courses and study programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences
Instructions for programme councils at the Faculty of Social Sciences
First and second-cycle education – Bachelor's and Master's levelsIt is incumbent on Umeå University to show that students who have obtained a first or second-cycle degree have achieved the respective degree's national qualitative targets. Therefore, a qualitative target matrix is established for each degree, showing the relationship between the national qualitative targets and the course objectives expressed as intended learning outcomes (förväntade studieresultat or FSR in Swedish). The matrix also comprises five of the perspectives that are to be commented on in the annual report and operational plan.The compilation and analysis of the national qualitative targets fall under
Activity 6: Annual reports and operational plans for study programmes and third-cycle subject areas. Achieving of national qualitative targets on first and second-cycle levels including appendices:Achieving of national qualitative targets on first and second-cycle levelAppendix A: Template for achieving of national qualitative targets for higher education qualificationAppendix B: Template for achieving of national qualitative targets for Bachelor's degreeAppendix C: Template for achieving of national qualitative targets for Master's degree (one-year)Appendix D: Template for achieving of national qualitative targets for Master's degree (two-year)Third-cycle (doctoral) studiesQualitative target for third-cycle courses and study programmes are followed up through the individual study plan and through the routines applicable to defences of a doctoral thesis. The qualitative target matrix constitutes a basis for the third-cycle subject area's annual report and operational plan, see Activity 6.Achieving of national qualitative targets
The annual report included in Activity 6 is aimed at compiling and analysing the information and data generated in Activity 1-5 and Activity 7. Activity 6 also includes follow-up of previous years' annual reports and operational plans.The operational plan included in Activity 6 aims at identifying measures for the development of study programmes and third-cycle subject areas based on the analysis in the annual report.The Faculty of Social Sciences has a specific procedure for the annual report and operational plan that the programme councils are to establish annually.Instructions for programme councils at the Faculty of Social SciencesAnnual report and operational plan for study programmes and third-cycle subject areas – procedure for the Faculty of Social Sciences
First and second-cycle educationThe purpose of external peer reviews is to help ensure the quality of the content and implementation of study programmes and provide support for quality development. The evaluation is based on the programme syllabus, the qualification descriptor, the study programme's annual report and operational plan and other material specified by the faculty. The Dean appoints a reviewer after consultation with the relevant programme coordinator. Each study programme is evaluated at least every six years.External peer reviewers evaluating study programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences are generally employed at Umeå University. The reviewer summarises their assessment and recommendations for improvements to the programme coordinator and Programme Council. Based on the report, the programme coordinator and Programme Council produces a plan for developments to be discussed with the Faculty Board.Third-cycle (doctoral) studiesAt least every six years, the Faculty Board initiates an analysis of the annual reports and operational plans of third-cycle subject areas for recent years. The analysis is to be carried out by an expert within the disciplinary research domain or a director of doctoral studies.Educational evaluation through external peer reviews – procedure at the Faculty of Social SciencesEducational evaluation through external peer reviews at the Faculty of Social Sciences – assignment and instructions
Faculty audits are aimed at developing the quality work of a faculty, the Umeå School of Education or a chosen office of the University Administration based on collegial views and recommendations and by looking at how the education is organised, supported and quality managed within the organisation.The University Management appoints an audit group in consultation with the Strategic Council for Education and the Strategic Council for Research and Doctoral Education at Umeå University. This group consists of representatives of various functions at the university, students included. External representatives may also be included in the group.Constant audit themes:- Organisation of, and support for, courses and programmes at all levels- The body's quality work concerning courses and programmes at all levelsAdditional themes can be determined in consultation with the body in question.The audit group holds group discussions (site visits) with a number of different staff categories as well as with students at the audited body, and writes a report based on the discussions. The report summarises what has emerged from the review of various documents and discussions. Both identified strengths and areas of improvement are to be highlighted in the audit report. The Faculty Board's analysis of the audit report and proposed remedial measures are commented on in the faculty's annual report and operational plan and forms basis for operational dialogues.The Faculty of Social Sciences was last audited in 2020.
Umeå University's quality system undergoes external reviews through the Swedish Higher Education Authority's (UKÄ) educational evaluations, thematic evaluations and the audits of the university's quality assurance work. For Umeå University's internal process related to the educational evaluations of the Swedish Higher Education Authority, please see special administrative procedures.Administrative Procedures for External Educational Evaluations (UKÄ)Additionally, annual dialogue meetings are held between the University Management, faculties and the student unions, focusing on quality in education.
Faculty coordinatorMarianne Schedin+46 90-786 74 77
Faculty director of studiesNils Eriksson+46 90-786 63 10+46 70-340 07 45