September 2012

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Development of the 2011 AUDIT programme call for applications

Esther Adot Giménez - Project manager of Quality Assessment Department

In the AUDIT programme's 2011 call for applications, three university colleges/faculties participated: the Terrassa School of Engineering (Escola d'Enginyeria de Terrassa, UPC), the UPC's Faculty of Optics and Optometry (Òptica i Optometria, UPC) and the URL's School of Tourism (TSI-Turisme Sant Ignasi).

Two new aspects were added to the call: one, the period for submitting applications was set from May until the end of the year (31 December), and two, affiliated schools were excluded from the call as a result of the present budget restrictions.

For these reasons, and given the special interest shown by the School of Engineering (Escola d’Enginyeria d'Igualada), a school affiliated with the UPC, a model was designed for the evaluation of the internal quality assurance system (IQAS) and set up on a pilot basis. According to the model, the university itself bears the costs of the process and provides all of the necessary means in order for the review panel to duly carry out the evaluation. Both the review process and the evaluation methodology were the same as those used in any other AUDIT call. The members of the panel were chosen by AQU Catalunya from reviewers who had participated in earlier AUDIT reviews.

Given the level of interest in the IQAS pilot scheme shown by different affiliated schools and faculties, the conditions and review process for affiliated schools and faculties interested in an IQAS review within the framework of the AUDIT programme are to be published shortly on the AQU website.

The universities' experience and knowledge of both the process and the review criteria for the AUDIT programme was evident from the IQAS that were submitted, which greatly facilitated this year's review process. In addition, the majority of IQAS submitted had taken into account recommendations from reports on IQAS of other schools and faculties in the same university.

All the schools and faculties obtained a positive end result. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that AUDIT standard 6 (Collection and analysis of outcomes for the improvement of programmes of study) continued to be one of the weak aspects of the IQAS that were reviewed. The two panels that reviewed the IQAS of the School of Engineering (Escola d’Enginyeria), Igualada, and the IQAS at the three university colleges/faculties coincided in the fact that a weak aspect is the description given for the assurance that the data are reliable and representative, together with the way in which these data are used to improve both processes and their results. A special note was also made of the gathering of data on student satisfaction.

The elements of this standard, together with those of standard 7 (Public information on programmes of study and accountability), are core aspects of the entire IQAS and the main ones in the annual monitoring of programmes of study. The aspect of public information has been correctly resolved although further work is necessary regarding accountability, which means one step further in terms of the transparency of schools and faculties, on the one hand, and the universities on the other with the different stakeholder groups.

The following graph shows the change in IQAS submitted between the Agency's preliminary report with recommendations and the final report on the improvements made, with each column representing the results for each of the eight standards in the AUDIT programme. As can be seen from the table, according to the preliminary report evaluation of the standards, 2 of the IQAS (66%) were insufficient as regards standard 6, whereas improvements made are evident from the final evaluation where not only did all (100%) schools and faculties obtain a sufficient result for all the standards, but one (33%) also achieved a satisfactory result for standard 4. The AUDIT review therefore served as an opportunity to improve the IQAS.

Results of the 2011 call. Preliminary and final evaluations

Audit 2011


With the completion of this call, all of the Catalan universities have by now participated in at least one AUDIT programme call, and almost all university school and faculty IQAS have now been reviewed within the framework of the programme. Many university schools and faculties, as well as the universities themselves, are currently involved in the process of implementing an IQAS.


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