3.4 The HEI’s examples of successful enhancement activities

Development and implementation of enhancement-led visits

Enhancement-led visits are aimed at strengthening organisational quality at UL Members; they also help them to plan improvements in those areas in which they wish to make progress. For UL Members, enhancement-led visits are useful from a number of aspects. During preparation, they perform a SWOT analysis of the quality assurance system and review progress by activity over three years. On this basis, they choose four topics where they wish to make improvements, then identify possible solutions and dilemmas. During an enhancement-led visit (one-day workshop) they acquire new perspectives on the (often protracted) complex challenges, establish that other UL Members are also dealing with similar challenges, share ideas, get to know other UL Members’ practices in this area, and identify their hidden, as-yet-unactivated potentials. An enhancement-led visit is concluded with concrete proposals for measures in each of the topics. These proposals are the result of joint research and reflection. A UL Member supplements and approves the measures, and includes the results in their regular planning and monitoring.

Enhancement-led visits encourage cooperation between different groups and a recognition of different perspectives. The excellent facilitation stimulates the use of participatory leadership and constructive communication elsewhere (e.g. in the UL Member management, in the study process).

Enhancement-led visits develop a new view of quality, since those participating gain experience of the development of quality that is relaxed, cooperative, creative and at the same time highly focused and effective (in contrast to the otherwise common view of quality as an additional burden or control).

Enhancement-led visits encourage cooperation within a UL Member, between UL Members and with UL, and strengthen mutual trust.

By taking part in enhancement-led visits, UL Members gain a more comprehensive overview of their operation and an incentive to identify priority topics in which they wish to make improvements.

Training for better preparation of measures for improvements

The way the measures are set out in UL Members’ business reports and study programme self-evaluation reports vary greatly in quality. The quality fluctuates greatly between UL Members, and even between areas within an individual report and between study programme reports.

Comments or objectives often take the place of measures and the measures are often not set out with sufficient precision. Training for the successful preparation of measures has been provided since 2015. The training provider gives participants concrete feedback on their UL Members’ or study programmes’ measures. They note that the quality of the written (proposals for) measures in the plans and reports is improving.

Quality Culture Programme

UL first began to systematically carry out training for the development of all staff and training aimed at teaching development as part of the KUL project. Participants identified the topics, method of work (experiential learning with reflection) and providers as important for their development and work. Owing to the positive response from participants, the UL leadership decided, at the end of the project, to continue the training and provide it with its own funds. We subsequently carried out teacher training within the INOVUP project, and continued general training within Quality Culture Programme using our own funds.

Effects of improvements: empowering staff with important skills, supporting cooperation, good communication and care for psychophysical health as important UL values.

Connecting and establishing trust between different groups of staff, different UL Members and with the UL, developing affiliation with the UL.