The quality assurance and enhancement activities for research and services are based on the HTW Chur quality assurance framework concept and in particular the research guidelines:
- HTW Chur strives to achieve national recognition in its interdisciplinary network of key research areas.
- HTW Chur’s research and development exerts a strong impact on economic and social practice and makes a significant contribution to the transfer of knowledge and technology.
- Research at HTW Chur ensures the provision of research-based and practically oriented teaching.
- Research and development is continuously improved by means of evaluations.
Quality control system
The quality assurance strategy for research and services sets out the process with the following elements: quality objectives, quality measures and quality assessments. Its continual improvement is ensured by further quality enhancements.
We deploy various bodies to perform quality assurance and enhancement tasks in the area of research. This ensures a high quality of research at HTW Chur.
The quality dimensions and associated indicators for research and services are based on the performance mandate of the universities of applied sciences and HTW Chur’s understanding of quality in the field of research.
HTW Chur focusses on the following four quality dimensions:
- Impact of research on economic, social and artistic practice: this dimension measures the intensity and quality of interaction with economic, social and artistic practice
- Impact of research on teaching: in this dimension, the intensity of the link between research and teaching is expressed.
- Contribution of research to knowledge and technology transfer: this dimension reflects the intensity of the activities in the area of knowledge and technology transfer.
- Visibility in public/media response: this dimension reflects the visibility of research activities in the public domain.
On the basis of the quality objectives, HTW Chur has defined the following measures in order to enhance quality and achieve its quality objectives.
- Quality of lecturers and academic staff: as part of targeted offers in the area of continuing education and training, HTW Chur develops the individual expertise of its lecturers and academic staff and in doing so actively contributes to improving research and service quality.
- Research coaches: research coaches are available for the most important funding programmes to provide support to those applying for third party funding.
- Process management: in the QM Handbook (intranet, login required), HTW Chur governs the key processes in the area of research under business process 4.02.
- Research unit: the Research unit – comprising representatives of HTW Chur researchers from all institutes/centres and the responsible unit head – stimulates quality improvements within the institutions as part of its assessment activities and issues suggestions aimed at optimising applications in keeping with the PDCA cycle. The unit also assesses research projects that are submitted within the framework of basic funding for internal HTW start-up financing. Financing is allocated “competitively”.
The research and development performance is assessed both at an individual project level and at the level of the respective institutes/centres. The use of the instruments is defined via the QM Handbook (intranet, login required).
The following evaluation instruments are applied at the specified levels:
- Internal projects: evaluation of projects from basic funding by the Research unit and the University Executive Board according to clearly defined criteria.
- Projects with third party funding: for projects with third party funding (e.g. CTI, SNF), external evaluations are conducted by the principals and/or the funding organisation during the course of the project. These include milestone audits as well as an assessment of the project’s overall performance after the end of the project.
- Self-evaluation: in the annual reports, the institutes/centres give an account of their respective research performance each year according to a defined scheme.
- Holding of research interviews: at least once a year, the researchers discuss the achieved results with the institute/centre heads accompanied by the responsible department heads and define the quality enhancement measures to be implemented.
- Evaluation by advisory boards
- Assessments of the research indicators saved in the management cockpit
Enhancement of quality
In keeping with the continuous improvement process, HTW Chur endeavours to further enhance its quality assurance system for research on an ongoing basis. The following instruments are used here:
External and internal evaluations
HTW Chur regularly conducts internal and external evaluations across the entire university. External evaluations, such as EFQM assessments, ISO audits and institutional accreditations, review the appropriateness of the quality management system. HTW Chur also performs internal audits and assessments.
Results of assessments by principals
HTW Chur ensures that comments and possible improvements that are put forward by the principals during the research reviews and as part of project evaluations are taken into account and incorporated in the management system.
Evaluations in 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.