Premise and implementation of the audit

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) has conducted the audit of  the University of Oulu. The work of FINEEC is based on the principle of enhancement-led evaluation and producing impactful information that contributes to the enhancement of education.

The purpose of the FINEEC audit framework is:

  • to evaluate whether the quality work in the HEI meets European quality assurance standards,
  • to assess whether the quality system produces relevant information for the implementation of the strategy and the continuous development of the HEI’s activities, and whether it results in effective enhancement activities,
  • to encourage internationalisation, experimenting and a creative atmosphere at HEIs, and
  • to accumulate open and transparent information on quality work at Finnish HEIs.

The principles of the audit framework are described in the audit manual.

Implementation of the audit

A four-member audit team carried out the audit. The members of the audit team were:

  • Professor, rector emerita Kerstin Norén, Sweden
  • Associate Professor Guðrún Geirsdóttir, University of Iceland, Iceland
  • Student Damon Mohebbi, University of Düsseldorf, Germany
  • CEO Siamäk Naghian, Genelec, Finland.

Hilla Vuori from the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) acted as the project manager of the audit, and Mira Huusko was the backup project manager. Niina Nurkka participated in the audit visit, took notes, and helped with the practical arrangements.

The audit is based on the material submitted by the higher education institution, a self-assessment report, additional material requested by the audit team, and the audit team’s visit to the institution between 12 and 14 December 2023. During the audit visit, the team conducted 16 interviews and workshops for staff, students, and external stakeholders. The audit team also had access to essential digital materials and systems. The main stages and timetable of the audit were:

Agreement negotiation 28 April 2022
Appointment of the audit team 26 May 2023
Submission of the audit material and self-assessment report 20 September 2023
Information and discussion event at the HEI 23 November 2023
Audit visit 12-14 December 2023
Higher Education Evaluation Committee’s decision on the result 22 March 2024
Publication of the report 22 March 2024
Concluding seminar 8 May 2024
Follow-up on the enhancement work 2027


Evaluation criteria

Evaluation areas I–III are each assessed as one entity using the scale excellent, good, insufficient.

The level excellent means that the HEI shows evidence of long-term and effective enhancement work. The HEI’s enhancement activities also create substantial added value for the HEI, its stakeholders, or both. The HEI presents compelling examples of successful enhancement activities.

The level good for evaluation areas I–III is described in appendix 1.

The level insufficient means that the HEI shows an absence of or major shortcomings in systematic, functioning and participatory procedures in the evaluation area (I–III). There is no clear evidence of the impact of quality management in the enhancement of activities.

In order for the HEI to pass the audit, evaluation areas I–III should reach at least the level good.