Programme evaluations – University of Copenhagen

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Social Sciences > About the Faculty > Quality Assurance > Evaluation > Programme evaluations

Procedure for programme evaluations

Purpose

The purpose of the programme evaluations is to systematically assure and enhance the quality of the study programmes. The programme evaluations provide in-depth insight into the current status of the study programmes and the challenges they face, and provide a basis on which to maintain and enhance their quality.

Basis for the procedures

From 2009 to 2015, the evaluations were conducted under the auspices of the programme-accreditation system. Since 2015, they have been conducted in accordance with the Act on accreditation of higher education institutions of 12.06.2013, and the University of Copenhagen’s own Guidelines for programme evaluations at the University of Copenhagen.

Programme evaluations

From 2015, all study programmes in the Faculty of Social Sciences will be evaluated according to the University of Copenhagen’s own programme-evaluation system.

The programme evaluations are drawn up according to the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines. The programmes use the template included in these guidelines. Download the template here.

Schedule for programme evaluations

The schedule for programme evaluations is outlined in the table below.

Bachelor and master’s programmes in Economics

2015

Bachelor and master’s programmes in Political Science

2016

Bachelor and master’s programmes in Social Science

2016

Bachelor and master’s programmes in Sociology

2017

Bachelor and master’s programmes in Anthropology

2018

Professional Master in Health Anthropology

2018

Master’s programme in Security and Risk Management

2020

Master’s programme in Global Development

2020

Bachelor and master’s programmes in Psychology

2020

All study programmes are evaluated every six years.

The programme evaluation builds on the annual programme reports, but involves more data for analysis and participation by an external panel of experts.

The external panel

The University of Copenhagen defines external experts as individuals with substantial knowledge of the programme’s academic content and context, and individuals who add an interdisciplinary perspective. The way in which external partners are used as a sounding board may vary depending on the individual programme’s development potential and needs. They include experts in the core academic subject matter, representatives of the corps of external examiners, employers’ representatives, education specialists, representatives of interest groups, etc. Efforts are made to ensure that one of the external experts is a student from a different study programme.

External panels consist of three members appointed by the dean’s office. The panel usually consists of:

  • a potential employer
  • an education expert (e.g. a head of studies from another programme)
  • a student (from another programme, not necessarily from another university).

Data on which the programme evaluations are based

The head of studies receives the following data from the Study and Examinations Office:

  • Student numbers p.a. during the period
  • Degrees conferred p.a. during the period
  • External experts: who and what type of external experts were involved
  • Intake p.a. and quality standard
  • Dropout rate p.a. and quality standard
  • Completion rate p.a. and quality standard
  • Graduate employment statistics p.a. and quality standard
  • No. of international students on master’s programmes and quality standard
  • Balance in exchange agreements

The head of studies, along with the head of department and the study board, fills in the rest of the template. The template must state the nature of the study board’s involvement. For programmes that progress naturally from each other, the head of studies draws up a joint self-evaluation for both. However, the quantitative material must always be detailed separately for each study programme.

Participation by the external panel

The head of studies is responsible for the panel’s visit to the programme. Visits typically last half a day. The panel meets with the study board and the management (associate dean for education, head of department, head of studies).

The external experts then draw up their comments (maximum of three pages). Based on the completed template, attached appendices and the visit, the experts propose a minimum of three recommendations for the study programme.

The external experts, the head of studies and head of department discuss new ideas and perspectives to develop the programme’s objectives, content and organisation. This adds value to the programme.

Upon receipt of the panel’s comments, the head of studies draws up perspectives for the future of the study programme, including an action plan.

The dean approves the programme evaluation, including its conclusions, action plans and any follow-up plans.

Publication of the programme evaluation

It is a minimum requirement that the following groups are informed about the main content of the programme evaluation:

  • the employer panel
  • the department administrator and programme administration
  • all lecturers
  • all students

The head of studies and head of department are responsible for following up on the evaluation in collaboration with the study board.

Timetable

Date

Task

Who is responsible

1 December

The head of studies submits a proposal to the dean regarding the type of external experts considered relevant to the specific issues faced by the programme

The head of studies, in collaboration with the study board and head of department

1 December

Reports with links to PDF files and graduate employment statistics are published

University Education Services

15 December

The head of studies and head of department receive completed template with material

The Study and Examinations Office

In January

The head of studies and head of department receive the Rector's feedback on the dean's report. Follow-up initiatives is initiated, if not already

The Study and Examinations Office

In January or February

The heads of studies informs the board of studies about the upcoming program evaluation The head of studies

1 February

The heads of studies are notified of the composition of the external panels

The dean, assisted by the Study and Examinations Office

14 February

The head of studies reaches agreement with the chair of the panel about the panel’s visit to the programme. Date, time and place are agreed.

The head of studies

In February

Head of Studies discusses the first draft of the study program evaluation with the board of studies

The head of studies

1 March

The associate dean for education receives the self-evaluation from the head of studies

The head of studies, in   collaboration with the head of department and study board

15 March

The external panel receives the self-evaluation, along with a form for their comments

The Study and Examinations Office

In March or April

If, during the visit, the external panel expresses a desire to meet with others in addition to the board of studies and management, the chair must notify the head of studies no later than two weeks before the visit

The chair of the external   panel

In April

The external panel visits the study programme

The head of studies

In May

The head of studies receives the external panel’s recommendations and comments. The chair of the board and the head of studies agree on a deadline. The panel should have at least two weeks to make its comments.

The chair of the external   panel

In May

The board of studies discusses the panel's report and discusses follow-up initiatives and action plan

The head of studies

1 July

The head of studies submits a short account to the dean (maximum one page) of whether the panel’s comments give rise to a revision of the action plan for the study programme. Where applicable, the revised action plan is   attached.

The head of studies

15 August

The dean approves the self-evaluation, the external panel’s comments and the head of studies’ account

The dean

1 October

The faculty reports to Rector

The dean

Responsibility

The head of studies is responsible for drawing up programme evaluations. The head of studies is responsible for the involvement of the study board in the work with program evaluations. The head of studies and head of department are responsible for following up on the results of the evaluation with assistance from the local study administration.

The associate dean of education maintains ongoing dialogue with the individual heads of study, the faculty’s heads of studies forum and the faculty management team to ensure that the requisite follow-up work is done. The dean is responsible for the procedure concerning programme evaluations and for managing the process. The Study and Examinations Office assists in this work.

The dean, associate dean for education, heads of study, study board and heads of department are jointly responsible for the quality assurance of study programmes.