The premise and implementation of the audit

The work of the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) is based on the principle of enhancement-led evaluation and producing impactful information which contributes to the enhancement of education.

The purpose of the audit model is

  • to evaluate whether the quality work in the HEI meets the 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 model are described in the audit manual.

The implementation of the audit

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

  • Antoinette Perry, Vice Principal and Associate Professor, University College, Dublin, Ireland (chair)
  • Mia Brzakovic, student, University of Belgrade and Trinity College, Dublin, Serbia
  • Mika Konu, CEO, Technology Centre, Merinova, Finland
  • Geir Øien, Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.

Sirpa Moitus from the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) acted as the project manager of the audit, and Kirsi Mustonen was the backup project manager. In addition, Sirpa Moitus, Kirsi Mustonen and Lassi Kannel from FINEEC supported the implementation of the audit visit. The audit is based on the material submitted by the Aalto University, a self-evaluation report (SER), additional material requested by the audit team and the audit team’s visit to the institution between 25 and 26 January 2023. During the audit visit, the team conducted 19 interviews and workshops for staff and students. The audit team also had access to essential digital materials and systems. The main stages and timetable of the audit were:

Appointment of the audit team 13 September 2022
Agreement negotiation 27 September 2022
Submission of the audit material and self-evaluation report by Aalto 30 November 2022
Information and discussion event at Aalto University 16 December 2022
Audit visit 25–26 January 2023
Higher Education Evaluation Committee’s decision on the result 28 April 2023
Publication of the report 28 April 2023
Concluding seminar 16 May 2023
Follow-up on enhancement work 2026

Evaluation criteria

The 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, stakeholders, or both. The HEI presents compelling examples of successful enhancement activities.

The level good for the 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, the evaluation areas I–III should reach at least the level good.