Quality assurance - HTW Chur

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Quality assurance

Quality at HTW Chur

HTW Chur pursues the holistic approach of EFQM Business Excellence. for its quality assurance. It defines quality assurance on the basis of the terminology of the Ordinance of the Higher Education Council on Accreditationwithin the Higher Education Sector (Higher Education Act) and understands by this the safeguarding and development of quality.

 

Quality culture practised in the sense of a learning organisation

The quality awareness of staff, the values «forward-looking approach», «reflection», «appreciation» and «responsibility» anchored in the guiding principles and the quality assurance control system (plan-do-check-act cycle (PDCA)) form the core elements of quality assurance at HTW Chur.

'The central element of our quality-assurance system is the control system comprising the...
'The central element of our quality-assurance system is the control system comprising the objectives, measures, assessment and quality enhancement phases.'
Martin Studer, Pro-Vice-Chancellor

Quality assurance strategy

Quality assurance is treated at HTW Chur as a comprehensive and ongoing development process within the meaning of EFQM Business Excellence and is geared towards the tasks and requirements, standards and needs of all stakeholder groups of HTW Chur.

Based on the guiding principle «Quality provides the foundation for our good professional reputation and is a core success factor» the quality assurance strategy (see Quality assurance framework concept, section A) sets out the objectives for the period from 2017 to 2020. The quality assurance system is integrated into the HE institution’s strategy. 

The objective of quality assurance and development is for

  • HTW Chur to uphold and expand its position as a subject-oriented teaching and research institution;
  • a quality culture to develop that is practised throughout the university as a learning organisation;
  • HTW Chur to fulfil its statutory mandate in terms of quality assurance and development and implement its strategic objectives;
  • regular reviews to be carried out on whether the objectives have been met and whether the tools as well as the financial and structural framework conditions are expedient.

The quality assurance strategy contains the guiding principles of quality assurance and development at HTW Chur. The procedure in accordance with the quality assurance control system safeguards the quality of the activities of HTW Chur as well as the long-term quality development of the HE institution at all levels by improving results that are still less than optimal in a renewed cycle run according to the steps - plan, do, check, act - within the applicable performance area. This also serves to promote the development of the quality culture.

Quality assurance system

The quality assurance system (see Quality assurance framework concept, section B)

  • discusses the structure of the quality assurance system of HTW Chur with the corresponding elements (actors, stakeholder groups, control systems, input and output) at University Council level for long-term planning, University Executive Board level for multi-year planning, and departmental level for annual planning and the budget.
  • determines which internal and external tools are used at each level to develop and secure the defined quality requirements.

The levels of the quality assurance system are not independent from one another but connected via a principle of countervailing influence: the output of one level serves as the input for another level. The individual levels are structured according to the following pattern: 

  • Framework conditions (top): the decisive framework conditions for the actors
  • Actors (far left): the decisive actors for the level
  • Input: the input from the next higher and lower level and external stakeholder groups
  • Content (centre): the content part of a level
  • Output: the output to the next higher and lower level and to external stakeholder groups
  • Stakeholder groups (far right): the decisive stakeholder groups for the level

HTW Chur has been certified in accordance with ISO 9001 since 2012. The entire HE institution is currently certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 (Quality management systems) and ISO 29990:2010 (Learning services).

Quality assurance system with three levels for the areas of governance (G), teaching (T), research (RE), resources (RS) and communication (C)

Quality assurance control system


A core recurring element of the quality assurance system is the quality assurance control system. The objective of the quality assurance control system lies in continuous quality development throughout the entire HE institution (at all levels).

Quality assurance control system

Our quality assurance control system consists of the objectives, measures, assessment and quality development phases. The starting point of the control system comprises the objectives including criteria, indicators and the targets derived from them, which determine the quality to be achieved. Measures are then deployed for achieving the objectives. The assessment reviews whether these have been achieved. Finally, further development of the objectives, measures and assessments takes place on the basis of the results of the assessment.

 

Evaluations

Institutional Accreditation


In 2018 HTW Chur was institutionally accredited by the Swiss Accreditation Council according to Swiss Higher Education Act (HEdA).

EFQM recognition

The University Executive Board undertakes to review the effectiveness of the quality assurance system at regular intervals.

HTW Chur implements this guiding principle from the quality assurance strategy by means of internal and external EFQM assessments. In doing so it meets the quality assurance system evaluation requirements in accordance with the Ordinance of the Higher Education Council on Accreditation within the Higher Education Sector.

Committed to Excellence
HTW Chur achieved the «Committed to Excellence» level during an external meta-evaluation by the EFQM assessors in 2012.

Recognised for Excellence (R4E) 4 Stars
HTW Chur achieved the second highest distinction with four stars at the «Recognised for Excellence» level in 2016.

Recognised for Excellence (R4E) 5 Stars
HTW Chur has set itself the target of achieving the highest distinction with four stars at the «Recognised for Excellence» level in 2019.

ISO recognition


HTW Chur used internal and external ISO audits to evaluate its quality assurance system with a focus on process management.

2016 ISO recertification
HTW Chur was recertified in 2016 in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 (Quality management systems) and ISO 29990:2010 (Learning services).

2017 ISO monitoring audit
HTW Chur was recertified without any provisos.

2018 ISO monitoring audit
HTW Chur was recertified without any provisos.

Evaluation of employee satisfaction

HTW Chur checks the satisfaction if its employees as part of a survey of the University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland (FHO) every three years. From time to time, HTW Chur reviews the impact of the measures introduced by means of a direct measurement.

 

Employee satisfaction 2015
The survey of student satisfaction was carried out in autumn 2015.

Direct measurement 2017
An initial review of the effectiveness of the measures introduced was conducted via the direct measurement 2017.

Evaluation of student satisfaction

HTW Chur aspires to improve its teaching continuously by conducting periodic evaluations. 

HTW Chur implements this guiding principle from the quality assurance strategy by conducting regular surveys of student satisfaction and subsequent direct measurements. The surveys of student satisfaction are carried out every three years by the University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland. From time to time, HTW Chur reviews the impact of the measures introduced by means of a direct measurement.

2016 student satisfaction
The survey of student satisfaction was carried out in May/June 2016.

2017 direct measurement
An initial review of the effectiveness of the measures introduced was conducted via the 2017 direct measurement.

R&D Reviews

From 2018, based on the quality concept, HTW Chur will conduct regular qualitative, two-tier evaluations of the institutes and centres (R&D reviews) with external peers as well as research strategy audits.

 

Contact

Studer Martin
Prof., Dipl. Informatik-Ingenieur ETH