Quality label for Aalto University – excellent reviews of all evaluation areas
Aalto University passed the quality system audit conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre FINEEC (Karvi) in 28 April and was awarded a quality label for six years.
Aalto received special praise from the audit team for the systematic use of annual strategic processes in development of its core activities. Aalto’s strengths also include unique operational environmental analysis, strategic cross-cutting approaches and constant dialogue with external stakeholders.
Aalto University is the first higher education institution in Finland to receive the level ‘excellent’ from all evaluation areas in the FINEEC audit.
The three evaluation areas were research, education and societal impact. EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) was the special fourth theme chosen by the university, and the audit report said that Aalto has well-functioning procedures and tools in place to enhance equal and non-discriminatory treatment of staff and students.
Passing the audit shows that the university’s activities and quality system meet both the national and European criteria.
‘We are extremely happy for this great result – we have worked hard to develop our quality system and all operations. A warm thank you to everybody involved in the preparations and interviews,' says Kristiina Mäkelä, Aalto University Provost and Chair of the Audit Task Force.
According to the FINEEC report Aalto University’s three strategic cross cutting areas - radical creativity, entrepreneurial mindset and solutions for sustainability - and the seven key research areas are central means to promote societal impact and innovative solutions.
‘Particularly in sustainable development and entrepreneurial mindset, Aalto’s progress in cross cutting approaches is commendable. Students’ entrepreneurial competences are strongly supported,' says Antoinette Perry, the chair of the audit team and Associate Professor at the University College Dublin.
The report also highlighted areas of improvement, one of them being feedback-on-feedback: Aalto should focus on developing more systematic procedures for informing students about changes introduced based on student feedback.
The audit was conducted by an audit team of four international experts – two professors, a business leader and a student member. Key elements of the FINEEC's quality system audit model were self-assessment of university’s own operations, quality system documentation and an audit visit in January 2023.
The quality audit assessed the appropriateness, functionality and effectiveness of the university's quality system. It focused on the university's operating methods, the processes by which it pursues its own goals.
Aalto University performs regularly extensive evaluations and feedback surveys of different functions according to the university's evaluation programme to improve university activities.