Quality Audit

Occasion and legal framework of the audit

The University Quality Assurance Act of 2011 obliges Austrian universities to rate and certify their quality assurance system by an external agency ("Quality Audit"). According to the performance agreement of the University of Vienna, the results have to be available at the latest by 30 June 2015.

 

Topic of the audit

Reference point of the Quality Audit is the universities’ obligation set out in §14, Universities Act 2002, to build up an internal quality assurance system. The Audit serves to review this system.

For this purpose, the following scopes were defined by the quality assurance act (University Quality Assurance Act, § 22,2):

  1. Quality Strategy and its integration into management tools of the higher education institution;
  2. Quality-assurance structures and procedures in the areas of degree programmes and teaching, research or advancement and appreciation of the arts or applied research and development, organisation and administration and staff;
  3. Integration of internationalisation and societal objectives into the quality management system;
  4. Information systems and involvement of stakeholder groups;
  5. Quality-assurance structures and and procedures for certificate programmes for further education offered by providers of University of Allpied Sciences Studies Act as well as certificate programmes for further education that are run jointly in the meaning of § 3 para. 2 sub-para. 11 of the University of Applied Sciences Studies Act;
  6. Quality-assurance structures and procedures for teacher training for schools or elementary educational institutions, in particular for the evaluation of the academic and professional requirements for the provision of degree programmes.

 

The Audit Agency

The University of Vienna charged the "Swiss agency of accreditation and quality assurance" (AAQ; until end 2014 "OAQ") with the implementation of the Quality Audit.

Specific requirements on the university quality assurance concerning the individual scopes are not defined by law, the concretisation resides with the agencies. For the auditing process according to the University Quality Assurance Act, the Swiss agency altogether formulated 18 quality standards in the following 6 fields of action:

  1. Quality assurance strategy
  2. Governance
  3. Teaching and learning
  4. Research
  5. Recruiting and developing staff
  6. Internal and external communication

 

Certification decision

The issue of the audit is a certification decision by the agency:

  • Certification with no conditions attached  (but as appropriate.recommendations for the review/development of the quality assurance system)
  • Certification on condition (and p.r.n. recommendations); in this case amendments and a follow-up-proceeding at the certifying agency has to be accomplished at the longest within 2 years.
  • Non-certification; in this case, a new audit, which has to be implemented by the Austrian agency AQ Austria, is due.

 

Schedule of the Quality Audit at the University of Vienna

  • End of 2012: Choosing the audit agency
  • 28 February 2013: Kick-off event of the audit
  • 2013: Constituting the Project Group Audit, developing systematic presentations of the core processes to be audited
  • First half of 2014: Preparation of the self-evaluation report
  • 16 October 2014: Release of the self-evaluation report to the agency, in October and November submission of the report to governing bodies and functionaries
  • 28 November 2014: Preparing the on-site visit by the group of experts
  • 25 to 27 February 2015: On-site visit by the group of experts
  • Q-2 2015: Expert report, statement of the University of Vienna
  • 5 June 2015: Certification decision by the Swiss Accreditation Council and publication of the results

Contact

Dr. Michael Hofer

T: +43-1-4277-18010
michael.hofer@univie.ac.at

Dipl.-Pol. Jürgen Roth

T: +43-1-4277-18005
juergen.roth@univie.ac.at