Home
Quality in Studies and Education

UiB’s Quality System for Education

The University of Bergen's quality system was revised in 2018, and the system description of the new quality system was approved in February 2020.

Fem studenter sitter rundt et bord med laptop.
Photo:
UiB

Main content

The system description presents UiB's quality system, and is intended to be a guide in the practical and systematic quality work.

The sub-areas, processes and measures discussed here form the cornerstones of the quality work, and the system description shall serve as the basis for the university's systematic work with maintenance, revision and further development of the quality in the educations.

1. Background

1.1 QUALITY SYSTEM FOR BACHELOR’S ANDMASTER’S PROGRAMMES, ONE-YEAR COURSES,CONTINUING AND FURTHER EDUCATION
The quality system for education is part of UiB’s overall internal controlsystem, and encompasses bachelor’s-, and master’s programmes, one-year courses and continuing and further education.

The process description of the system for quality work in education at UiB has been prepared on the basis of a proposal from an interdiscipli-nary work group. The system was adopted by the University Board in October 2018.

The quality system, as part of UiB’s overall internal control system, shallprovide for a continuous focus on quality development of all study op-tions, and ensure that UiB’s study programmes maintain a satisfactory level of quality.

The quality work can be represented as a cyclical process in four phases. This entails requirements for continuous improvement and learning whereby the elements of planning, conducting, evaluating and correcting are repeated within all activities and at all levels. Deficiencies in quality shall be identified and met with systematic solutions for follow-up and documentation of action taken. Students shall be involved in all phases of the quality work.

The quality system for education shall ensure that UiB complies with the requirements of the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Ed-ucation and the Academic Supervision Regulations concerning:

• the systematic quality work (Section 4-1 of the Academic Supervision Regulations)

• that schemes are in place to systematically check that all study options, both new and established, meet the requirements in Sections 3-1 and 3-2 Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education, and Chapter 2 of the Academic Supervision Regulations

• that knowledge gained from the quality work is used to further develop the quality of the study options (Section 2-1 (1) of the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education). Qualitywork shall be documented and shall be grounded in the strategy and management of the institution (Section 4-1 of the AcademicSupervision Regulations).

Through its quality work, the university will contribute to the promotion of a culture of quality among staff and students. UiB’s Action Plan for Quality in Education, which was adopted by the University Board in 2017, is normative for UiB’s work on quality of education. The plan includes a number of subsidiary objectives, initiatives and measures that together will contribute to the promotion of a culture of quality at UiB.

1.2 QUALITY ASSURANCE OF THE PHD EDUCATION

The quality assurance of the PhD education follows the same overall principles for evaluation and reporting as the quality system for the first and second cycle. An organized research training report that provides a status update from the previous year is presented annually to the University Board.

In addition, an anonymous satisfaction survey, called the candidate survey, is carried out among PhD candidates who have completed their studies. Furthermore, the system contains requirements for procedures for the implementation of course evaluations every three years, and requirements for programme evaluations. These reports provide a basis for considering whether to introduce measures to improve the faculties’ PhD programmes or UiB’s organized research training as a whole. In addition, the quality system for the PhD education has a system for progress reporting and midway assessment of the candidates’ individual PhD projects.

A detailed description of the procedures can be found on UiB’s staffpages: uib.no/foransatte/95455/kvalitetssikring-av-forskerutdanningen (in Norwegian only).

2. DEVELOPMENT ANDCONTROL OF QUALITYIN EDUCATION

At UiB there are two overarching processes that together ensure that the quality of the educational programmes is continually developed and that the programmes meet the requirements established for accredited study options. The first is the annual process of selfassess-ments, dialogue meetings, and education quality reports, which represent the ongoing work with quality in education. The second process comprises cyclical evaluation and reaccreditation of the programmes. At the department and faculty levels, support functions have been established that are central to this development.

2.1 SUPPORT SYSTEMS FOR DEVELOPMENT ANDCONTROL OF QUALITY IN EDUCATION

The support system consists of:

• one central and seven faculty-specific learning design groupsresponsible for providing guidance to academic communities indesigning new study programmes, and for quality development inexisting study programmes

• one central and seven faculty-specific quality of education commit-tees tasked with assessing whether new and established study pro-grammes fulfil the requirements for accreditation.

LEARNING DESIGN GROUPS
Learning design refers to the formation and development of learningcontent. Each faculty shall have learning design groups with the nec-essary expertise in the particular academic character of the study programmes at that faculty. Each faculty decides the group’s compositionand mandate, based on what characterises the relevant teaching, learning and assessment within the various disciplines at the faculty. In collaboration with the learning design group at UiB’s Learning Lab, each faculty learning design group contributes with:

• interdisciplinary competence; academic, administrative andeducational

• academic-educational motivation

• interpretation and translation of external requirements in specificacademic contexts

• relevant methods and toolboxes

• providing an arena for the collegial conversation about educationand teaching

• design of learning outcomes

• learning design competence

The faculty-specific learning design groups can be formally defined groups or a team/network. They are tasked with providing guidance to academic communities in the development of the study programmes at the faculties, also related to study programme evaluations.

QUALITY OF EDUCATION COMMITTEES
The central Quality of Education Committee is appointed by UiB’s Education Committee and is responsible for treating applications to es-tablish new study programmes, in accordance with the requirements of the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education and the Academic Supervision Regulations. The committee makes its recommendations to the Education Committee and the University Board. On its own initiative, or by special request, the committee may make a corresponding assessment of existing study programmes. The Education Committee approves the composition of the committee.

The faculties each have a quality of education committee on the model of the central Quality of Education Committee, with a special responsibility for reaccreditation of the faculty’s existing programmes. The committee makes recommendations for reaccreditation to the faculty board.

The faculties’ academic management and students shall be represented in the committees, together with others that the faculty board appoints.

2.2 PROCESSESANNUAL SELF-ASSESSMENTS AND DIALOGUE MEETINGS

The quality of education shall be reviewed annually in the form of self-assessments at the subject level, programme level, department and faculty level. The self-assessments form the basis of the annual dialogue meetings between the faculty level and the institution’s management, which culminate in UiB’s overall quality of education report. The purpose is to have an ongoing focus on educational quality at all levels, and continuous follow-up wherever there is a decline in quality. The process will also help to provide a status update regarding UiB’s requirements and objectives related to quality work as determined in the UiBs Action Plan for Quality in Education. This process is described in Chapter 3.1.

EVALUATION AND RE-ACCREDITATION
The course evaluations schemes, conducted every three years, and programme evaluations, conducted every five years, shall ensure that the study options meet the quality requirements set forth in the national requirements for accreditation. The national requirements in this context are the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education, the Academic Supervision Regulations, national guidelines for health and social sciences education (RETHOS), and in the national framework requirements for education where these exist.

2.3 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN QUALITY OFEDUCATION WORK

The responsibility for the quality work in education follows the academic management structure.

Person with course responsibility
All courses shall have a designated person with course responsibility in the semesters when the course is taught. The head of department appoints the person with course responsibility. The person with course responsibility is responsible for:

• the implementation of the course.
• annual self-assessment (Chap. 3.1)
• conducting a course evaluation at least every 3 years. (Chap. 4.1), and for following up the course evaluation in consultation with the programme board.

Chairperson of the programme board
All study programmes will be led by a programme board/programme council headed by a chairperson. The head of department appoints the programme board and the chairperson of the programme board.

The chairperson of the programme board is responsible for:
• operating the study programme
• ensuring the quality of the study programme, including that regulatory requirements are met (Chap. 1)
• advising the department and faculty regarding quality of education, and planning for the development of courses and study pro-grammes
• specifying assignments for external peers (see Chap. 4.1 on external peers )
• preparing a brief annual self-assessment of the programme, based in part on the self-assessments of the courses (Chap. 3.1)
• creating a course evaluation plan, and for ensuring that recommendations and course evaluations are followed up in consultation with the department
• conducting a programme evaluation at least every 5 years (Chap.4.1)
• ensuring student involvement in processes and decisions with implications for the study programme and learning environment.

The head of department is responsible for:
• ensuring that the department’s educational portfolio is in accordance with the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education and the Academic Supervision Regulations
• seeing that requirements for educational competence are complied with in appointments to academic positions and in the event of promotion, cf. Rules for assessing educational competence at UiB
• contributing to and facilitating continuous quality work in the study programmes
• creating a course evaluation plan for the department’s course portfolio in consultation with the programme boards
• ensuring the quality of the department’s study programmes, including creating a plan for follow-up of the annual self-assessments from the programme boards, and the cyclical programme evaluations (every 5 years.)
• preparing an annual quality of education report based on the programme boards’ self-assessments and programme evaluations. The education quality reports form the basis for the dialogue meeting with the faculty.
• conducting an annual overall self-evaluation of the department’s programme portfolio (Chap. 3.2)
• ensuring student involvement in processes and decisions with implications for study programmes and learning environments.

The Dean is responsible for:
• ensuring that the faculty’s course portfolio is in accordance with the requirements of the Regulations on Quality Assurance in High-er Education and the Academic Supervision Regulations
• ensuring that requirements for educational competence are complied with in appointments to academic positions and in the event of promotion, cf. Rules for assessing educational competence at UiB
• applying to the University Board for the creation and discontinuation of study programmes
• conducting dialogue meetings with the departments based on their annual self-assessments
• participating in dialogue meetings with the university management
• preparing an annual quality of education report based on the departments’ quality of education reports and instructions from the university management (Chap. 3.1)
• creating an overall schedule for systematic review of the faculty’s course and programme portfolio, with specification of the year for assessment of the individual study programmes
• determining re-accreditation of study programmes following programme evaluations, based on recommendation from the faculty’s quality of education committee
• conducting an annual overall self-evaluation of the faculty’s programme portfolio (Chap. 3.2)
• ensuring student involvement in processes and decisions with implications for study programmes and learning environments.

The rector is responsible for:
• the quality system
• UiB’s overall programme portfolio
• ensuring that the university’s course portfolio is in accordance with the requirements of the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education and the Academic Supervision Regulations
• ensuring that requirements for educational competence are complied with in appointments to academic positions and in the event of promotion, cf. Rules for assessing of educational competence at UiB
• carrying out dialogues with the faculties’ management based on the faculties’ quality of education reports
• ensuring that an overall quality of education report is prepared each year for the university based on the faculties’ education quality reports and dialogue meetings between the faculties and the university management
• ensuring student involvement in processes and decisions with implications for study programmes and learning environments
• creating and discontinue study programmes in response to appli-cations from the faculties
• adopting the university’s overall quality of education report.

3. PROCESS DESCRIPTION– ANNUAL PROCESSES

Annual dialogue meetings will be held between the university management and the management of the individual faculty and between management at the faculties and at the departments. Furthermore, annual peer reviews of all study programmes will be carried out. The scheme is intended to ensure a continuing focus on educational quality at all levels, and measures will be taken when necessary.

The dialogue meetings shall be based on self-assessments from the persons with course responsibility, chairperson of the programme board, department and faculty, and peer reviews. Minutes from the dialogue meetings with the departments form the starting point for the faculty’s annual quality of education report, including plans for follow-up of quality of education. The quality of education reports and minutes from dialogue meetings between the faculty and university management form the basis of the university’s overall plans for follow-up of quality of education. The university’s overall quality of education report is presented to the University Board.

3.1 ANNUAL SELF-ASSESSMENTS, DIALOGUEMEETINGS AND QUALITY OF EDUCATION REPORTS

Outline of the procedural process
The person with course responsibility submits a brief annual self-as-sessment of the course to the programme board. The self-assessment should briefly describe the teaching plan for the course, what worked or did not work in the teaching situation and what is being done to follow this up, as well as any other circumstances of significance to the quality of the course.
The programme board prepares a brief annual self-assessment of the programme(s) to the department management. The programme board uses as its basis the self-assessments from the persons with course responsibility, as well as the assessment from the peer review. Consideration should also be given to whether planned or implemented changes at the course level affect the entirety of the programme. If the results from the Study Barometer and/or other surveys show the need for follow-up, this should be stated in the self-assessment. The programme’s completion rates shall also be reviewed and accounted for.
The department’s management prepares a brief annual quality of education report for the faculty management. The report shall include an assessment of and plan for follow-up of the programme boards’self-assessments, brief description of measures for increased quality of education carried out at the department, and assessment of the department’s completion rates and whether they have consequences for the departments’ resources. The department’s assessment forms the basis for dialogue with the faculty.
The faculty management conducts dialogue meetings with the management of the departments, based on the department’s quality of education report. The departments’ quality of education reports and minutes from the dialogue meetings with the departments form the starting point for the faculty’s quality of education reports with plans for follow-up of the quality of education.

In addition, the following topics must be addressed in the faculty’sand university management’s quality of education reports:
  - follow-up of the previous year’s quality of education report
  - main conclusions from the faculties’ dialogue meetings
  - completed and scheduled course and programme evaluations
  - budget priorities
  - course portfolio and dimensioning
  - Areas of special emphasis- status related to objectives for quality of education established in UiB’s plans of action, including the UiB’s Action Planfor Quality in Education
  - Development agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Ed-ucation and Research

The University management carries out dialogue meetings with the faculties based on the faculties’ quality of education reports

The quality of education reports and minutes from the dialogue meetings must be stored in the Study Quality Database.

A letter will be sent to the faculties each year containing a scheduleand specification of which topics the faculties should address in their quality of education reports. Relevant reports from Tableau and STAR for use in self-assessments at the programme level and quality of education reports can be extracted here (in Norwegian only):
• programme level: rapport-dv.uhad.no/#/workbooks/1573/views
www.fellesstudentsystem.no/applikasjoner/star/studieprogramledere.html
• faculty level: rapport-dv.uhad.no/#/site/UiB/projects/428

3.2 ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE COURSE PORTFOLIO

The status of the course portfolio is reviewed annually. This is done as part of the annual quality of education reporting. The review shall have an overarching strategic focus, and shall be conducted at the department and faculty levels, as well as overall for UiB.

The departments carry out a self-evaluation of the status of all study programmes including program formation, assessment of changes, and discontinuation or creation of new study programmes.

Based on the quality of education reports, the faculty management and university management make a strategic assessment of whether the course portfolio is in line with strategic objectives or whether it should be changed.

4. PROCESS DESCRIPTION– CYCLICAL PROCESSES

The process of assessment and re-accreditation of the established study options aims to ensure a constant focus on enhancing the qual-ity of UiB’s study programmes and ensuring that all of the study options satisfy the quality requirements that are set forth in the national requirements for accreditation, cf. Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education Sections 3-1 and 3-2, the Academic Supervision Regulations Chap. 2, as well as any national framework requirements.

UiB is self-accrediting, meaning that the university itself can decide to create a study programme without applying to NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality in Education) for accreditation. Self-accrediting institutions are themselves responsible for ensuring that the study options meet the national quality requirements set forth in the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education and the Academic Supervision Regulations. It is therefore necessary to apply to the University Board to establish new study programmes.

Similarly, the regulations require that educational institutions are obliged to have schemes that ensure that also the established study programmes meet the same national requirements. We call the process for assessing established study programmes re-accreditation. The process is based on the programme evaluations that are carried out at least every 5 years. The work of deciding whether the evaluated study programme meets the national requirements for accreditation is carried out by special faculty-appointed quality of education committees, which make their recommendation for re-accreditation to the facultyboard. It is the faculty board that decides whether the programme can be re-accredited, or if changes need to be made to the study programme in order to satisfy the requirements of the regulations.

4.1 EVALUATION OF ESTABLISHED STUDY OPTIONS

3-YEAR CYCLE – COURSE EVALUATION

All taught courses shall be evaluated at least every 3 years.

The chairperson of the programme board has the overall responsibilityfor creating a course evaluation plan such that all courses have under-gone a more thorough evaluation, including a student evaluation, overa three-year period.

The person with course responsibility is responsible for evaluating thecourse, for ensuring that a student evaluation is carried out, and foranalysing and following up the results, including drawing up proposalsfor improvement measures.

As part of the course evaluation, the person with course responsibility shall describe and account for pedagogical choices, and reflect on the student’s learning as a result of these choices. Course evaluations should also include at least:

• follow-up of previous evaluations
• student evaluation and other evaluations relevant to the course
• the experiences of others who contribute to the teaching of the course, both students and staff
• course failure percentage
• peer review where relevant
• assessment of correlation between the description of the course’slearning outcomes and the forms of teaching, learning and assess-ment
• an assessment of whether the progression and organization ofthe course are in accordance with the established objectives of thecourse and programme.
• In the cases where practice or work relevance are associated with the course, an assessment should be made as to whether the ar-rangement works satisfactorily.

The person with course responsibility prepares a report from the course assessment, which is submitted to the programme board andresponsible unit. Reports on courses included in inter-faculty studyprogrammes are to be be treated by the programme board. The pro-gramme board should, if necessary, request evaluation of other factors,such as how the course works in other study programmes. The reportis to be published in the Study Quality Database, along with the mainresults from the student evaluations, and a plan for how the reportshould be followed up. The report and plan are to be communicatedto the students.

The programme boards, which use the course, must provide feedbackon courses that do not function well.

EVALUATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE OF SUPERVISED PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
Supervised professional training may be organized as a separate courseor be integrated into a programme. Supervised professional trainingmay be carried out at an institution, school or business in Norway orabroad. The academic responsibility for supervised professional trainingis the same as for courses and programmes.

A contract shall be entered into between the parties. The contract between the department/faculty and the cooperating workplace for su-22 pervised professional training shall include at least the following elements:
  - scope of the training in relation to the course (partial/com-plete supervised professional training in the course)
  - type of training cooperation (case/teaching/physical participation at the workplace/work shadowing)
  - number of students and their study levels (academic year/semester of a degree)
  - content and purpose of case/training experience
  - time scope and distribution of training period
• financial conditions (salary/travel expenses)
• the obligations of the cooperating workplace
• obligations of the faculty/department
• occupational injury insurance
• regulation of copyright and other IPR
• information about the preparation of individual contracts between the department/faculty, the student and the workplace.

The responsibility for quality assurance of supervised professional training, and thus of the company, institution or school where supervised professional training is carried out, lies with the academic group that owns the relevant course or programme. Students shall evaluate the supervised professional training when the training period is completed.

5-YEAR CYCLE – PROGRAMME EVALUATION
The programme board (chairperson of the programme board) is responsible for conducting a programme evaluation of existing studyprogrammes at least every 5 years. Students, external peers and representatives from working life or community life relevant to the study options, shall contribute to the evaluations. New study options should be evalutated after a shorter time and the programme boards may decide on more frequent evaluations if needed.

The programme evaluation must at least include:
• an assessment of whether the study programme satisfies the requirements in Section 3-1 to 3-3 of the Regulations on Quality As-surance in Higher Education, and the Academic Supervision Regulations Chap. 2, cf. also Section 4-1 (3), including requirements for accreditation of the study option and requirements for the competence and size of the academic group.

Additionally, the evaluation shall include:
• assessment of completion rates, dropout rates, graduation rates
• assessment of the learning environment
• reasons for choice of courses and for forms of teaching, learningand assessment
• compliance with any national curriculum regulations and guidelines for the programme
• description of how the following are ensured:
  - workplace relevance- supervised professional training
  - internationalisation
  - that learning outcomes are in line with the National Qualifications Framework (NKR)
  - that teaching is research-based
  - how results from peer reviews are followed up in the period
  - student involvement- that requirements for pedagogical competence are in place
  - the size of the academic group- educational competence.

The report shall contain proposals for improvements where needed.

The basic material for the programme evaluation is the annual self-assessments of courses and programmes, the 3-year evaluations of courses, overviews of credit production, and feedback from involved students and teachers, including student evaluations. The report shall be stored in the Study Quality Database, together with information on follow-up measures.

The faculties are responsible for creating an overall schedule for programme evaluations that indicate the year when each programme should be reviewed. The plan is to be made available on the faculty’s website. Relevant reports from Tableau and STAR, see links provided at the bottom of Chapter 3.1, and other relevant basic data shall be used as the basis for programme evaluations.

RE-ACCREDITATION OF STUDY PROGRAMMES
The faculty’s local quality of education committee will review, assess and decide whether the programme evaluation demonstrates that NOKUT’s Academic Supervision Regulations have been met, and that the programme can be re-accredited. Alternatively, the committee provides advice on what is necessary for the programme to be re-accredited. The local quality of education committee gives its recommendation to the faculty which presents the case to the faculty board.

The faculty board may approve the recommendation for re-accreditation. If the faculty board does not approve such a recommendation, the programme board may be instructed to implement changes to the programme. In cases where the local quality of education committee recommends the discontinuation of a programme, the faculty board can decide to recommend to the University Board that the study programme be discontinued. The faculty board may recommend the discontinuation of a programme also in situations in which the localquality of education committee does not recommend this.

Evaluation of interdisciplinary and interfaculty study programmes is carried out in cooperation with the faculties involved. The owner of the study programme is responsible for coordinating the process.

The programme board is responsible for ensuring that all involved sub-ject areas, faculties and units are adequately informed and heard in the programme evaluation as well as for ensuring that the local quality of education committee has all available information for the re-accreditation process.

ANNUAL CYCLE – PEER REVIEW
All study programmes shall have appointed one or more external peers. The faculty appoints a peer on the recommendation of the academic groups. The mandate for a peer is described in Appendix 1.

The peer shall carry out an annual assessment of the whole or part ofthe study programme, in accordance with the instructions of the programme board. The peer reviews are central to the work on the programme evaluations and re-accreditation of programmes. The peer can also contribute to the triannual evaluation of courses.

The peer is part of the continuous and periodic quality work through annual reporting to the programme boards and through participationin UiB’s Quality of Education Committee when the academic group inquestion applies for the creation of new study options. The peer report shall be stored in the Study Quality Database, together with informationon follow-up measures.

4.2 ACCREDITATION – NEW STUDY PROGRAMMES

PROCEDURES FOR CREATION AND DISCONTINUATION OF STUDY PROGRAMMES

The templates for programme creation and application shall be used for all new programme creations. In the event of the creation of new programmes that do not follow the specified schedule, all steps in the process must nevertheless be completed.

In March each year the faculty reports which study programmes the faculty wishes to create and to discontinue. The starting date for newly created programmes is in the autumn semester of the following aca-demic year.

The academic groups that wish to create new study programmes are put into contact with the UiB Learning Lab, which assists with the first draft application and design of the study programme. The deadline for submitting the first draft of applications for the creation of new programmes is 30 April.

The deadline for submitting the final application is 31 August. The final application for the creation of new study programmes will be assessed by a centrally appointed Quality of Education Committee, which presents its recommendation for accreditation to the Education Committee.

Parallel to this, the department that is to create the study programme reports this by the deadline for changes to course plans at the faculty. The faculty board recommends the creation and discontinuation of programmes of study to the University Board. The faculty submits the application for the creation and discontinuation of study programmes to the Division of Student and Academic Affairs. The central Quality of Education Committee assesses whether the study programmes applied for are in compliance with the requirements in the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education and the Academic Supervision Regulations concerning accreditation. The committee’s assessment forms the basis for subsequent processing by the Education Committee and thereafter the University Board. The Education Committee gives its recommendation for the creation and discontinuation of study programmes to the University Board. The University Board makes the final decision on creation and discontinuation in November, with the earliest starting date for new study programmes in the fall semester of the following year.

Application for the creation of a study programme
An application for the creation of a new study programme must show that criteria set out in the Academic Supervision Regulations have been met. The application form and guide are available on UiB’s web-site: uib.no/foransatte/88791/opprette-studier (in Norwegian only).

The procedures for creating new study programmes also apply to continuing and further education. If necessary, the University Board will also processes such applications in the spring semester. This makes it possible to expedite requests from external parties for new study options that can be started up outside of the university’s regular procedures for creating programmes.

Continuing – and further education activities are based on the same requirements established for other study options in UiB’s quality assur-ance system, but are also based on norms and procedures established through Flexible Education Norway (FuN). The procedures that apply to the creation of new study programmes and the discontinuation of study programmes also apply to further education at UiB.

5. JOINT DEGREESAND JOINT STUDYPROGRAMMES

The university may enter into binding agreements on educational cooperation with Norwegian and foreign institutions, in the form of joint degrees or joint study programmes. Joint degrees are a cooperation whereby the participating institutions together award diplomas, while joint study programmes are a cooperation whereby the individual institution awards diplomas. Guidelines for diplomas for joint degrees are set out in UiB’s study regulations.

The procedures described for the creation of new study programmes also apply to the creation of joint degrees and joint study programmes. However, the work usually takes longer as the programme must be approved by several educational institutions. In the case of jointstudy programmes, one of the participating institutions creates the programme and has the formal responsibility for operating the programme and awarding the degree, but with significant contributions from the other participants.

For joint study programmes where UiB is the institution awarding the degree, UiB’s quality system applies. For joint degrees where other institutions award degrees, UiB’s quality system applies to the courses offered by UiB. In addition, dedicated guidelines will be drawn up for quality assurance at the programme level, based on the participating institutions’ quality systems and international standards. Supplementary regulations for joint degrees are set out in the document «Veiledning for utvikling og drift av fellesgrader»:w2.uib.no/filearchive/uib-veiledning-fellesgrader_mai-13.pdf(in Norwegian only).

6. INTER-FACULTY STUDYPROGRAMMES

Separate guidelines have been drawn up for the creation and operation of the interfaculty programme to ensure that the quality of educa-tion for students is maintained, see Appendix 2. The guidelines shall ensure a clear governance structure and distribution of responsibilities between the parties participating in the programme. The guidelines contain requirements for clarifications related to resource assessments, finances, and obligations related to the operation of the study programme.

7. SUPPORT FORQUALITY WORK

7.1 DIGITAL SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Mitt UiB is UiB’s learning platform, the main component of UiB’s digital learning environment. Mitt UiB is UiB’s channel for communication between teacher and groups of students. In Mitt UiB, students can be involved in learning activities such as discussion forums, quizzes and the submission of written assignments. Students also find general information about their courses in Mitt UiB, such as reading lists and schedules.

The Study Quality Database (quality.app.uib.no) is UiB’s central archive for the departments’ and faculties’ quality of education reports. Evaluations of courses and study programmes, evaluations from peers, minutes of dialogue meetings and other documents relevant to quality of education and work on quality of education are to be entered in the database. Templates for use in the evaluation work are made available in the Study Quality Database. The contents of the database are publicly accessible.

UiB is working to put in place a digital tool to support and simplify the processes related to the development of courses and study programmes. The introduction project aims to pilot the tool in the academic year 2020–2021. Adjustments will be made to the Study Quality Database in connection with this work.

7.2 UiB LEARNING LAB

The UiB Learning Lab consists of an interdisciplinary team that, in collaboration with staff at UiB’s Programme for University Pedagogy, offers guidance and help to the academic communities in developing and designing courses and study programmes. UiB’s learning platform MittUiB is operated from the learning lab. Employees at UiB can borrow the premises for work related to the development of teaching, and request support services from the UiB Learning Lab. Services are also offered within media productions (uib.no/en/learninglab) and other digitaltools and services (uib.no/en/learninglab/96807/tools-and-services).

7.3 STUDENT PARTICIPATION
Both the faculties and the central university are responsible for ensuring that the competence that student democracy represents through subject committees, student committees and student councils etc., isused in the work on quality of education at all levels of the organiza-tion. Student participation is therefore integrated into all processes of importance for quality work.

At least 20% student representation is required in all decision-making bodies. In advisory bodies, there shall be student representation if this is stated in the rules of the body.

7.4 LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Learning Environment Committee (LMU)

The Learning Environment Committee (LMU) at UiB has been appointed in accordance with the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges Section 4-3, point 3. LMU is an advisory body responsible for dealing with questions related to the university’s physical and psychosocial learning environment, cf. the committee’s mandate. Under the law, the students and the institution shall have an equal number of representatives in the committee. Five students are appointed by the student organizations. The five remaining representatives are employee representatives. Four of the employee representatives are high-level managers. The fifth representative has a particular responsibility for safeguarding the rights of UiB students with disabilities and ensure that their special needs are met. The position of chairman of the committee alternates between students and the institution every second year. The committee has four regular observers. The Learning Environment Committee prepares, updates and follows up UiB’s action plan for strengthening of the learning environment.

Reports on the learning environment

Speak Out
Speak Out is a system for students and staff who wish to notify the university of negative and positive conditions within the learning envi-ronment. The system contains procedures for receiving and processing and ultimately reporting about the notifications. Registration is done electronically via a web form. The notifications are processed by separate faculty-level reception groups that distribute the follow-up of the cases to the appropriate body. Cases that are marked as serious are first handled at the central level, before being forwarded, if appropriate, to the faculty level. The Learning Environment Committee is informed twice a year about the scope and type of notifications relating to the physical and social learning environment. The notifications come from Speak Out, the HSE deviation system and other sources. The Learning Environment Committee follows up the notifications in dialogue with the faculties in connection with the Learning Environment Committee’s meetings, and as needed, by proposing new or amended regulations and guidelines, action plans and budget priorities.

Student Ombudsman
The student ombudsman is an independent support person tasked with providing advice and assistance to students at the UiB in matters related to the students’ study situation. The student ombudsman shall ensure that the cases receive correct and proper processing, and that the students’ rights are safeguarded. The ombudsman has a duty of confidentiality, and contact can be made without obligation.

7.5 INCENTIVE SCHEMES
Support can be applied for via national and institutional incentiveschemes for initiating projects that help strengthen the quality of edu-cation in the programmes. The Norwegian Directorate for Internationalisation and Quality Development in Higher Education (DIKU) is responsible for the scheme run by the Centre for Excellence in Higher Education (SFU), and also has a number of programmes and funds directed at strengthening quality ineducation, diku.no/en/programmes.

Each year, UiB announces incentive funds directed at initiatives aimed at strengthening the quality of education. The Education Committee approves the priority areas in advance of each announcement.

Learning Environment Award
UiB presents a learning environment award once a year based on a decision by the Learning Environment Committee. All students or student organizations may nominate candidates. The purpose of the award is to give recognition to environments or individuals at the university who have succeeded exceptionally well in facilitating learning through academic, educational and social efforts, or through the adaptation of the physical or psychosocial learning environment.

The Owl Award
The Owl Award is the University’s internal award for quality in education. The award is presented by UiB’s Education Committee, to the academic group that can document particularly successful initiatives for quality of education. The winner of the Owl Award is nominated for the Ministry of Education and Research’s national award for quality of education.

7.6 INFRASTRUCTURE
Both the faculties and the university administration are responsible for material and non-material support systems for teaching activities. Important support systems in this context include services at the University Library, the Division of Student and Academic Affairs, the Estate and Facilities Management Devision and the ITDivision. Needs for services from other divisions can be reported at uib.no/en/service-development/130216/uibhjelp-service-portal.

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1

GUIDELINES FOR EXTERNAL PEERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN

1. Peer reviews form an important part of UiB’s work on the quality ofthe study options.

2. The faculties appoint one or more peers for each study programme. The appointment period is normally four years.

3. The programme board to which the study programme belongs shall specify each year which aspects of the study options are to be assessed by the peers. Previous peer reviews, internal programme and course evaluations, feedback from students and teachers in-volved as well as overviews of credit production, exam results and dropout rates will give the programme boards the basis for deter-mining which questions the peer reviews should investigate more closely. However, the peers are free to examine other aspects of the study programme. In that connection, they may ask for any documentation that they find appropriate.

4. It is desirable that the external peers pay particularly attention to:
   a. the correlation between the learning outcome descriptions and the learning, teaching and forms of assessment within a study    programme or individual courses

  b. the relationship between the courses included in the study programme

  c. quality development work related to the study programme

5. The peers shall prepare an annual written report that will be submitted to the programme board.

6. The follow-up of previously proposed measures should always be assessed as part of the next year’s assignment.

7. The reports from the peers shall be discussed in the programme evaluations that the programme board will carry out every 5 years.

8. At least once during their period of appointment, the peers shall meet staff and students to discuss the quality development of the study programme.

9. The external peers may be asked to contribute to UiB’s Quality of Education Committee when the academic group in question applies for the creation of new study options.

10. An appointment as external peer is remunerated by the faculty by further agreement.

APPENDIX 2

GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATION OF INTER-FACULTY PROGRAMMES

Adopted by the Education Committee 9 May 2012 Presented to the Univer-sity Board 27 September 2012
– Updated in connection with the revision of the quality system in 2018.

1. Development of new inter-faculty study options.
All study programmes should be research-based. New programmes can be initiated by internal academic groups and external environ-ments/partners. In consultation with participating faculties, it must be determined which faculty is to have the administrative responsibility.

The subsequent approval process is divided into two phases. In the first phase, the faculty with administrative responsibility submits plans for the creation of new study programmes in the quality of education report, and the plans are presented to the University Board at the November meeting, 1.5 years before the scheduled starting date. In the second phase, an application is prepared and the programmeis accredited. A description of the process and requirements for content in the programme description is given in the system description’s Chap. 4.2.

2. Resource assessments
Together with the proposal for the programme description of an inter-faculty programme, an estimate must be prepared of the resources required for teaching, academic guidance and assessment (examination work).

The estimate must be prepared in the form of calculated hours based on the programme description and a stipulated number of students. The calculation must also include hours for academic coordination and any need for increased administration.

If there is a need for additional resources to operate the programme and/or individual courses, this should be discussed in the budget process by the faculty with administrative responsibility.

Academic responsibility for the individual courses should be established in the programme description. The faculty to which the course belongs is responsible for the course’s budget and will be credited through the profit and loss budget. If several departments provide teaching in a course, the main rule is that settlement between the parties takes place through distribution of credit production. The parties may also agree on financial compensation.

3. Governance structure
In phase 2, the faculty with administrative responsibility appoints a programme board comprising representatives of the cooperating groups and students. A person with academic responsibility should act as chairperson of the programme board. The faculty/department supplies the necessary administrative capacity.

The departments/faculties participating in the interdisciplinary programmes should be represented on the programme board. Members are obliged to regularly report on the meetings of the board to the management of their own department/faculty. Members of the pro-gramme board have a special responsibility for incorporating the programme into the operation of the department.

The programme board is to function as an advisory resource for the department and faculty with regards to planning of courses and pro-grammes. In addition, the programme board is responsible for operating the programme, which involves:

• quality assurance in accordance with the guidelines in the system description of UiB’s quality work.
• planning and coordinating teaching
• ensuring follow-up of the students
• creating a plan for evaluation of the courses and the programme in accordance with the system description of UiB’s quality work
• preparing a brief annual self-assessment of the programme, based in part on the self-assessments of the courses (Chap. 3.1 in the sys-tem description)
• proposing external peers
• updating programme descriptions
• ensuring the establishment of student exchange agreements that offer course options abroad that are incorporated in the programme
• providing information to students and collaborating academic environments

Courses included in several programmes require thorough timetable planning, and a fixed teaching schedule and examination plan shouldbe established, especially for the compulsory courses. For courses where there are places available, other students than those admitted to the programme may follow the teaching.

4. Obligations
Through participation in the programme, cooperating faculties are obligated to provide teaching in those courses that are included in the programme description in accordance with the established schedule and for the entire programme period. The partnership can be terminated with effect from the admission year following a decision to discontinue made by the University Board the year before. Academic groups that wish to withdraw from the cooperation must give notice in good time to ensure that the responsible faculty in a correct and timely manner can report the wish for discontinuation in the annual quality of education report.

The programme board/faculty shall ensure that students already admitted to the programme are allowed to complete this. The number of places to be offered through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Services is decided by the University Board. The cooperation partners are obliged to provide teaching to the established number of student in the courses and specializations included in the programmes.

Here you can download UiB's entire Quality System for Education - System description