Vaasa University of Applied Sciences (VAMK) successfully passed the audit carried out by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) and was awarded a Quality Label valid for six years.
According to FINEEC, the strengths of VAMK include close networking with working life, practice- and competence-based education and development of education based on versatile feedback. The student-centred approach and student wellbeing are supported by individual and group tutoring and close teacher-student relations. VAMK has implemented a participatory operating culture as basis for developing its activities.
The audit visit confirmed that VAMK has a strong impact on its operating environment through the various forms of cooperation, knowledge transfer and common projects.
– We genuinely make a social impact on our area. Our existance is based on tight cooperation with working life and companies. The conclusion FINECC has made about our work for the vitality and competiveness of the region praises our entire community, says Kati Komulainen, Rector and CEO of VAMK.
The purpose of the audit is not only to guarantee the high-quality operation of the university, but also to provide valuable information on its strengths and development focuses. FINEEC’s feedback emphasizes that VAMK develops education both from the students’ point of view and that of the working life.
According to the report, VAMK systematically develops its degree programs. Feedback from the staff, students and external stakeholders is widely utilised to evolve education. VAMK’s strategic partnerships effectively capture the needs of working life and cater to the provision of qualified workforce through practice- and competence-oriented education.
VAMK’s international audit team was chaired by Emerita Eva Werner, who has made a long career in education and, among other things, academic quality assurance in Austria. Werner emphasized VAMK’s strong student orientation, which is reflected in both the implementation of teaching and the guidance of students.
– There is a keen interest towards student feedback and the student union VAMOK has a strong voice in the institutional development. Group guidance and thesis work guidance have been developed successfully.
VAMK is currently strengthening its research, development and innovation activities with promising measures.
According to FINEEC, ambitious strategic goals especially in the field of RDI, continuous learning and internationalisation increase challenges for VAMK's staff. For this reason, the audit team recommends VAMK continuing to support the staff in the change and also ensuring the transfer of tacit knowledge within the institution.
It is also recommended to ensure more balanced learning experiences for students regarding international learning environments and integration of working life experiences into teaching in all degree programmes. Furthermore, the provision of continuous learning needs to be expanded.
Quality management efficiently supports the management of the UAS and implementation of the new strategy. The working life periods of staff members enhance transition of up-to-date knowhow from working life to education.
The audit report is available on FINEEC’s audit platform: https://auditoinnit.karvi.fi/luvut/abstract-11/
Kati Komulainen, rector and CEO, VAMK, 020 766 3400, email@example.com
Eva Werner, Rector Emerita, the Chair of the Audit Team, +43 (0) 6767787526, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sirpa Moitus, Counsellor of Evaluation, the Audit Project Manager, 029 533 5518, email@example.com