Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya

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The AQU model

The main features of the review methodology used by AQU Catalunya are as follows:

The combination of internal assessment (self reports) with external review (external experts). The internal self-evaluation report is the key evidence on which the external review is based, the objective of which is to validate and help improve the diagnosis carried out by the unit itself and also to guide and advise on proposals that are put forward.

The combination of performance indicators (outcomes) and input and process indicators. Input indicators serve as a benchmark for outcome indicators. For example, assessment of the adequacy of academic outcomes will depend on the student profile (entry grade, combination of studies and employment, etc.), as well as aspects concerning the process (evaluation calendar, group size, strategies used, etc.). At the same time, the main function of outcome indicators in the methodology that is used is to provide guidance on process quality, given that it is the processes, i.e. the means whereby the outcomes can be modified, where improvement and enhancement can be made.

The combination of quantitative and qualitative information. The evidence on which the analysis is based is of a quantitative (data, indicators, rates, etc.) and qualitative nature (opinions of the review panel, external experts, students, etc.). The quantitative information is contextualised and interpreted by the review panels, through the combined analysis of different types of evidence.

Accountability and quality enhancement. As mentioned above, there is a dual purpose to the evaluation: to provide information to society, and the continuous enhancement of quality.