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The Swedish Higher Education Authority's Evaluation 2014

Basic info about the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ – Universitetskanslersämbetet)


The Swedish Higher Education Authority’s Evaluation 2014
The Swedish Higher Education Authority* has the task of evaluating all higher education courses and programmes. All courses and programmes at undergraduate (first-cycle) and master’s (second-cycle) levels are to be evaluated by the Swedish Higher Education Authority by 2014. All information concerning the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts can be acquired on this webpage.

*(Universitetskanslersämbetet (UKÄ) in Swedish, formerly Högskoleverket, HSV (The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education))

Questions regarding the evaluations of courses and programmes carried out by the Swedish Higher Education Authority.

Why is this particular course/programme/degree being assessed?
The course/programme in question is not unique in terms of this evaluation. Higher education in Sweden is required to maintain a high standard and the Government has assigned the Swedish Higher Education Authority with the task of evaluating all higher education. The Government has laid down national qualification descriptors for each qualification awarded by higher education institutions (HEIs). Irrespective of how studies leading to the award of a qualification have been organised, the quality of courses and programmes must always be high enough to ensure that the qualitative targets laid down in the qualification descriptor are attained.

How are the Swedish Higher Education Authority’s evaluations carried out?

The Swedish Higher Education Authority’s task is to evaluate the outcomes of programmes; by outcomes is meant how well the course/programme in question fulfils the requirements laid down in the Higher Education Act and the qualification descriptors in the statutes linked to the Act. In other words, the Swedish Higher Education Authority’s evaluations are to assess to what extent the learning outcomes actually achieved by students correspond to the intended learning outcomes.

The evaluations are carried out by external experts, where subject experts as well as students and representatives from working life are represented. The assessments are based on students’ independent projects (term papers/ degree projects), the HEI’s own self-evaluations, questionnaires from former students (alumni questionnaires) as well as students’ experiences of the outcomes achieved in relation to the qualitative targets laid down in the qualification descriptors.

Each qualification/degree is given one of the following overall judgements:
• Very High Quality 
• High Quality

• Inadequate Quality

What does the overall judgement: "Very High Quality" signify? 
The Swedish Higher Education Authority gives the overall judgement: "Very High Quality" when it assesses the course/programme as having fulfilled the requirements laid down in the Higher Education Act and in the qualification descriptors in the statutes linked to the Act in a very satisfactory way. The overall judgement "Very High Quality" entails the higher education institution receiving extra quality-based funding, in addition to the government funding it normally receives.

What does the overall judgement "High Quality" signify? 
 The Swedish Higher Education Authority gives the overall judgement "High Quality" when it assesses the course/programme as having fulfilled the requirements laid down in the Higher Education Act and in the qualification descriptors in the statutes linked to the Act.

What does the overall judgement "Inadequate Quality" signify? 
 
 The Swedish Higher Education Authority gives the overall judgement "Inadequate Quality" when it assesses the course/programme as not having fulfilled the requirements laid down in the Higher Education Act and in the qualification descriptors in the statutes linked to the Act.
The Swedish Higher Education Authority focuses on how courses and programmes achieve qualitative target attainment only. From 2007 onwards, the Swedish higher education sector has been adapted to the reform called the Bologna Process whose aim was to promote European higher education cooperation. This resulted in the launching of first-cycle and second-cycle qualifications/degrees (that is, qualifications/degrees at undergraduate and master’s levels). For these qualifications, there are nation-wide qualitative targets, and in Sweden there are specific arts-based qualifications/degrees whose qualitative targets have been adapted in accordance with arts-based activities. What the Swedish Higher Education Authority has looked at in this evaluation is how satisfactorily our students have attained these qualitative targets. In other words, how student’s competencies correspond to the competencies an arts-based first-cycle (undergraduate) qualification/degree promised. Essentially, this evaluation does not say more than how well we assure that our students attain these qualitative targets. A course/programme that is assessed with the overall judgement "Inadequate Quality" can have other excellent qualities. National qualitative targets are important and the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts intends to assure that qualitative target attainment is achieved in all its courses and programmes, and will have one year to correct any weaknesses and shortcomings in the case of a course or programme being judged as being of inadequate quality.

A HEI’s entitlement to award a qualification/degree and what happens in the event of these degree-awarding powers being questioned or a course/programme no longer being qualified to award qualifications/degrees?

HEIs in Sweden are required to be granted the entitlement to award a qualification/degree. The entitlement to award a qualification/degree applies to a specific main field and a specific level (first-cycle (undergraduate), second-cycle - master’s 60 Higher Education Credits and second-cycle-master’s 120 HECs, or a specific professional/vocational qualification/degree. In the case of the University of Gothenburg, a first-cycle, a second-cycle 60 HECs’, and a second-cycle 120 HECs’ programme within a particular main field can all be granted the entitlement to award individual qualifications/degrees.


In the event of degree-awarding powers being questioned, the Swedish Higher Education Authority will have called attention to certain shortcomings that the HEI must rectify within a one-year period. During the period of time a HEI’s degree-awarding powers are being questioned, the institution may still admit new students to the programme in question and also issue the qualification/degree in question. If the HEI does not succeed in rectifying the shortcomings that were called attention to during the appointed period of time, the Swedish Higher Education Authority can withdraw the former’s degree-awarding powers. The HEI is longer permitted to admit new students to the course/programme, but students who have already been admitted still have the right to be awarded their qualifications/degrees. Students who have been admitted to freestanding courses within a main field have the right to complete the course they have started.

Page Manager: Pia Ahnlund|Last update: 5/22/2014
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