Taking on responsibility together
Our QM system builds on a coordinated process over and above the faculties and their varying structures as well as on a structural four level model.
This four level model incorporates all relevant levels of quality and control in teaching and studying:
- Degree programme
Committees for teaching and studying
Several committees exist at the University level that meet regularly to deal with quality assurance and development in teaching and studying (dates of committee meetings):
The Accreditation Review Committee is appointed by the Executive Board and evaluates the degree programmes on a regular basis. In addition to the VP-E, the Committee’s members include a professor from each faculty, FAU’s women’s representative, two representatives of the research associates, two students as well as an external consultant and an external student (Overview of all Accreditation Review Committee members).
The Accreditation Review Committee decides which degree programmes are to be granted accreditation and approves any measures that may need to be taken (quality control loop). It determines the requirements needed to complete any measures that are necessary and decides on the consequences if these measures are not completed. The Committee performs spot checks to test the plausibility and transparency of the preceding steps carried out by L1 and the Offices of the Deans of Studies as defined in the agreed test procedure. In addition, the Committee advises the Deans of Studies’ meeting and the Commission for Teaching and Studying (Uni-LuSt) on structural matters in accreditation and quality management.
The Commission for Teaching and Studying (Uni-LuSt) discusses central strategic aspects including those relevant to quality in teaching and studying. In addition to the VP-E as chairperson, the Commission’s voting members include a Dean of Studies from each faculty, two representatives each for students and research associates, and FAU’s women’s representative. Apart from the voting members, other student representatives from each faculty, the Q coordinators from the faculties and representatives from the skills areas for supporting teaching and studying participate as advisory members (overview of the current members of Commission for Teaching and Studying (Uni-LuSt)).
The Commission for Teaching and Studying (Uni-LuSt) offers a forum for exchanging ideas between the faculties, the central institutions and committees as well as students in order to bring together the interests of the various status groups. It makes recommendations to the Senate about the applications made by the faculties to establish, modify and terminate degree programmes and other programmes and draws up guidelines for all faculties for structuring teaching and studying. The Commission also deals with the development of fundamental and comprehensive aspects of quality management in teaching and studying. It devises guidelines and advice for dealing with external requirements in this respect, provides support to individual subjects and summarises their expectations across all faculties. The Executive Board considers the Commission’s recommendations and passes resolutions that concern the strategic focus and the implementation of the QM system.
The Deans of Studies at the faculties and schools are responsible for quality assurance in teaching at this level.
With the VP-E as chairperson, the Deans of Studies’ meetings are held several times a semester to discuss interdisciplinary topics in teaching and studying. This facilitates a regular exchange of solutions across the faculties and promotes close collaboration between the University members responsible for controlling quality management at the University and faculty level. This enables the University to react quickly and flexibly in close collaboration with all faculties to make any changes to teaching required at short notice, and means these changes can be communicated quickly and clearly to the faculties.
In conjunction with the Deans of Studies, the Q coordinators are responsible for quality assurance and development at the faculties and schools. The Q coordinators make a significant contribution to increasing professionalism at the operational level and to supporting the Deans of Studies with establishing and developing quality management within the faculties.
During the regular Q meetings, topics that affect all faculties from the areas of teaching and studying are discussed and prepared for further discussion in the Deans of Studies’ meeting and in the Commission for Teaching and Studying (Uni-LuSt). The Q meetings between the Q coordinators and L1 represent an institutionalised form of coordination on the operational level. The Centre for Teacher Education is also represented during the meetings.
Students are involved in our QM system both via the committees described above and in a regular round table with students, which the VP-E usually holds twice a semester. This offer is open to all students at FAU who are interested and offers the opportunity to directly exchange information and ideas about teaching and studying. The members of the Working Group for Teaching and Studies (Ref LuSt) act as contacts for students. Information about the meetings is available in the StudOn group that is open to all.
Roles in teaching and studying
The following relevant roles and responsibilities have been defined at the University level:
The responsibility for quality management in teaching and studying at the Executive Board level lies with the Vice President Education, who is also the spokesperson in the central committees and commissions for teaching and studying. These are the Commission for Teaching and Studying (Uni-LuSt), the Central Committee for the Allocation of Tuition Fee Compensation (ZGS), the Centre for Teacher Education, the Accreditation Review Committee, the Deans of Studies meeting, and the Round Table for Students.
Quality assurance and evaluation are important for teaching and studying as they enable processes and internal structures to be defined and optimised. The Quality Management, Degree Programme Development and Evaluation working group at L1 is responsible for continuous degree programme development and evaluation, which allow quality assurance to be guaranteed.
- Providing support for accreditation and ongoing conceptual development of degree programmes as well as for the evaluation of study situations in cooperation with the faculties
- Setting up, amending and terminating full-time and part-time degree programmes, degree programmes for professional development and cooperative degree programmes, degree programmes for working professionals and elite degree programmes (including providing support for applications for funding for elite degree programmes at the Elite Network of Bavaria)
- Preparing and organising the Commission for Teaching and Studying, the Accreditation Review Committee, the Dean of Studies’ meetings, Q interviews and the FAU round table with students,
- Networking local and centralised quality management (including organising Q meetings, advising evaluation officers)
- Responsibility for the database for degree programme accreditation
- Conducting the FAU-St student survey and surveys for graduates as well as analysing the contents of databases of the Student Records Office and the Examinations Office
- Analysing the surveys and providing data and analysis reports as a basis for the accreditation and ongoing development of degree programmes.
At the faculty level, the structural quality for teaching and studying is divided into the faculty, school (if applicable), degree programme and module level and varies according to the faculty. Whilst recognising the need for uniformity, the specific QM structures and the stakeholders of decentralised quality management at the faculties take the requirements of each school and faculty into consideration.