Quality of results

Continuously improving together

We regularly evaluate the situation regarding teaching and studying on various levels and continuously assess the QM system in terms of structural requirements and potential for development. Various QM tools have been established at FAU for this purpose.

Evaluation at FAU

Students in front of chemistry building (Image: Uwe Niklas)

(Image: Uwe Niklas)

The framework for evaluations is defined in the Evaluation Regulations of FAU. FAU takes a decentralised approach to evaluation, as it does to all quality management measures. The key criterion here is that data collection and evaluation are linked to the appropriate levels.

The faculties are responsible for the evaluation of teaching units, modules and degree programmes. This is the best way to guarantee that evaluations are fully integrated into the decentralised quality development and quality assurance systems and used effectively. Each faculty has developed its own evaluation concept.

Some aspects of the evaluation of teaching and studying are carried out centrally. Evaluation, responsibilities and available data are stipulated in the centralised evaluation concept. The following tasks are carried out by the Evaluation working group at L1: Legal Affairs and Academic Quality Management:

  • Conducting the annual general student survey ‘FAU-St’
  • Conducting a survey among FAU graduates every two years
  • Processing and providing administrative data in conjunction with Data and Management Information
  • Organising and coordinating other (external) surveys across the University

FAU-St – FAU’s student survey

The ‘FAU-St’ student survey is a key element in teaching and studying and has been conducted annually at FAU at a central level since 2011. It provides a detailed overview of students’ opinions and what they think about study conditions and their study situation at FAU. We now have data available from a total of nine surveys (2012 to 2020). The data from the 2021 student survey are currently being evaluated. The next survey will take place in summer semester 2022. The “FAU-St in pictures” series provides an overview of the results.

The survey collects information which gives an impression of the studying conditions at FAU in general. ‘FAU-St’ supplements the evaluations of individual lectures, seminars and modules, as well as the analysis of study progress based on administrative data. The student survey provides an opportunity to find out about topics such as the level of satisfaction, study situations, initial experiences at FAU, motivation and reasons, expectations, evaluations of infrastructure and service centres at FAU, promoted areas, prospects and career entry and additional issues relating to the areas found to be requiring action, as well as problems and difficulties which may be encountered at FAU.

The central student survey was first conducted across the various faculties and subjects in December 2011. The objective was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of courses offered and initiate specific measures aimed at improving teaching if necessary. The survey was fundamentally revised in the summer of 2015 due to increasingly low participation and a high number of participants not completing the survey. It was renamed from ‘FAU-Panel’ to ‘FAU-St’ and more detailed questions regarding specific groups of students and study situations were developed within newly defined survey focus areas. Students receive different questions depending on their personal study situation and the experiences associated with it (e.g. new students, returning students, students about to complete their studies).

The evaluation concept of FAU-St is continuously developed according to the evaluations required. The analysis of the 2016 FAU-St survey resulted in a concept for conducting the survey where general and specific topics alternate every two years.

The survey’s findings are published in FAU’s online publication system OPUS FAU as part of the ‘Studierendenbefragung’ publication series.

The survey findings are an opportunity for decision-makers at FAU to use the empirical evidence as a basis to make contact with students and discuss specific situations in individual degree programmes and to initiate processes of change.

In addition to the final report, the findings of the student survey are sent in writing to the faculties, and to the degree programmes (where data protection regulations allow). They are presented and discussed in various committees at faculty and University level. The internal accreditation process ensures that the findings of the student survey are taken into account when making changes to degree programmes. The findings are also presented on request in other University committees such as the Student Council.

Q Interviews and Q Report

The Vice President Education meets all Deans of Studies for the annual Q interviews to monitor whether our QM system is still as functional and effective as possible, and to pinpoint any areas with room for improvement. The Q interviews focus on topics regarding developments in the areas of teaching and studying, defined in the meeting with the Deans of Studies. The results are published in the Q Report that is sent by the Deans of Studies to the Faculty Boards and via VP-E to the Executive Board and the Commission for Teaching and Studying (LuST) before being made available to all members of the University after approval.

Praise and criticism

We would like to provide all members of FAU the opportunity to pass on any praise or any urgent problems regarding teaching and studying to the right places and make a direct contribution to improving the situation with constructive suggestions for solutions. In this way, we hope to meet the requirements of our participative and communicative approach to quality management.

Have you got any critical or positive feedback or suggestions for improvements on the topic of teaching and studying?

Please feel free to send your comments to the central quality management department. Your feedback will be treated as strictly confidential. Please include your name and e-mail address in the form if you would like a response.

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