Procedure for programme evaluations

Aims

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

Basis for the procedures

From 2009 up to and including 2015, the evaluations of the degree programmes were conducted under the auspices of the programme accreditation system. In accordance with the Danish Act on the Accreditation of Institutions of Higher Education of 12 June 2013, the programme evaluations have as per 2015 been conducted in compliance with the University of Copenhagen’s own guidelines for programme evaluations, cf.

Programme evaluations

The programme evaluations comply with the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines and the degree programmes must use the UCPH template for programme evaluations.

The programme evaluation builds on the annual programme reports and distinguish itself from these by including a large amount of data for analysis and by the participation of an external panel of experts. You can read more about the Faculty of Social Sciences' procedure for the annual programme reports here. The year that a degree programmes conducts its programme evaluation, the department does not submit a programme report as the elements contained in the programme report are incorporated into the programme evaluation.

Schedule for programme evaluations

The schedule for programme evaluations at the Faculty of Social Sciences is shown 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 external panel

The University of Copenhagen defines external experts as individuals with substantial knowledge of the degree programme’s academic content and context, and individuals who can provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the degree programme. The way in which external partners are used as a sounding board may vary depending on the individual degree programme’s development potential and needs. External experts can not be involved on a day-to-day basis in the development, planning and implementation of the degree programme (e.g. by being a panel member in the degree programme’s panel of employer representatives.

University of Copenhagen makes the following minimum requirements for the number and composition of the external experts.

Three external experts must be involved in the programme evaluation, of which at least two must be from (an) external institution(s):

  • One non-UCPH expert must be a researcher (core academic expert)
  • The second non-UCPH expert must have an academic profile that supports specific elements of the programme evaluation, e.g. a quality-assurance expert; an external examiner; a didactics expert; an employer representative (who is not a panel member in the degree programme’s panel of employer representatives); a head of studies from a related degree programme; a recruitment/marketing expert; a representative of a special interest organisation.
  • As far as possible, the third expert must be an external student from a related degree programme. If it is not possible to identify any such student, they are replaced with another expert profile who is not involved in the development, planning and implementation of the degree programme. 

At the Faculty of Social Sciences, an external panel is made up of a minimum of three members appointed by the Dean’s Office. The panel is usually made up of:

  • an education expert (e.g. a head of studies from another programme)
  • a potential employer (not a panel member in the degree programme’s panel of employer representatives)
  • a student (from another degree programme, not necessarily from another university).

Data on which the programme evaluations are based

The data included in the programme evaluations are gathered in a template. The Faculty Secretariat inserts the data in the template.

The head of studies ensures that the following is prepared:

  • Research matrix
  • Competence matrix

The Faculty Administration ensures that the following material is included:

  • Department strategy
  • The common part of the curriculum
  • The programme curriculum
  • Report by the chair of the external examiners (latest)
  • Minutes of meetings in the employer panel (for the past three years)
  • Graduate survey (latest)
  • Summary course evaluation reports (for the last three years)
  • Study environment survey (latest)
  • Faculty strategy
  • Key study data for the Faculty

Along with the head of department and the study board, the head of studies fills in the rest of the template. The template must state the nature of the study board’s involvement. For degree programmes on which students progress naturally from one to the other degree programme, the head of studies draws up a joint template covering both degree programmes. However, the quantitative material must always be detailed separately for each degree 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.

Communication

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

  • the employer panel
  • department administrator
  • all full-time academic staff.

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

Responsibility

The head of studies is responsible for drawing up programme evaluations. The head of studies is responsible for ensuring that the study board is included in the programme evaluation. The head of studies and the head of department are responsible for following up on the results of the evaluation. The departmental study administration assists in this work.

The Associate Dean for 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 maintains ongoing dialogue with heads of department and the Faculty Management Team (FLT) to ensure that the requisite follow-up work is done. The Dean’s Office 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 degree programmes.