In the following presentation, Peter Maassen provides a presentation: “Quality Management of Norwegian Higher Education: complexities and visions on possible future developments“. Before the presentation, professor Monika Nerland introduces the overall seminar.
Key results from the survey to study programme leaders have been summarized in a recent working paper published in NIFU series (available in Norwegian). The working paper presents some of the main results from the survey, which will be followed with more detailed analysis in various academic publications.
Key results include:
Educational leadership as a specific role is ambiguous and lacks of standardization. This can be interpreted as educational leaders lacking power, but it can also be interpreted as a flexible way to tackle complex institutional realities.
In a number of cases, this leadership function is instead viewed as a coordinating role, as there is little opportunities to influence academic and administrative aspects of the study programmes.
Educational leaders frequently co-operate with various other arenas and actors, thus the function is often enacted in a collaborative manner.
The working paper primarily maps this rather heterogeneous and complex landscape of educational leadership, highlighting key differences between disciplinary and professional study programmes. The study was sent to 1010 respondents from 33 institutions in December 2015. During the survey, 551 respondents provided their answers, making the response rate of 54,6.
The survey is first of its kind in Norway and thus provides fascinating new data to understanding the role of educational leaders in Norwegian higher education institutions, a population that has not been previously studied.
During the seminar, the results were discussed with a panel including Andreas Snildal (NOKUT) and Therese Eia Lerøen (NSO). Commentary was provided by Eirik Welo (Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo) and Vibeke Bjarnø (Oslo and Akershus University College).
As a part of Project B in this study, local quality enhancement procedures and practices are being examined. For this purpose, a comprehensive nation-wide survey was sent to over 1000 study programme leaders in Norway. The survey was sent out in December 2015 and data collection was completed in the beginning of 2016.
The survey is first of its kind in Norway, as the first report from the project identified that educational leadership in higher education on study programme level is an area that has been understudied. Researcher on the project, Elisabeth Hovdhaugen comments:
We are now underway with analyzing the survey data. In the Norwegian context, no one has this kind of comprehensive data on the staff responsible for study programmes. This is a topic that appears to have gained increased attention in recent years and knowledge about what study program leaders do is essential and much needed.
Initial results are expected to be ready before the summer.
NIFU is hosting a comprehensive project meeting for parts A, B and C of the project, with project partners attending from Norway and from Finland (University of Helsinki) and Denmark (Århus University).
Per Olaf Aamodt was presenting some of the key results of the comprehensive review of existing data sources in Norwegian higher education and their applicability for indicators on input, process and output quality. He argued that there is considerable data collected in the Norwegian system, but much of it is collected for other purposes than quality measurement.
“It is very exciting to see what data is available and what can it be used for, to have this comprehensive view on all data sources that we already have,” says Per Olaf Aamodt.
Project leaders for B and C also gave updates on the work done in the sub-projects. Monika Nerland, project co-leader for part C updated the whole project team on the preparatory work for case studies in part C. Currently, work is underway to map the field and prepare for empirical data collection period that is about to start shortly. Observation studies in project part C will be carried out in spring and fall of 2016, accompanied with interview and document studies. Peter Maassen, project co-leader for part B gave brief overview of status in project B regarding study programme dynamics, as well as plan for work in the institutional cases studied in part B where main emphasis is to examine how work on quality on institutional level is related to what is taking place on study programme level.
The six case studies in both sub-projects overlap, and will allow for a comprehensive analysis – from institutional strategies to quality work on various levels, as well as the actual teaching and learning practices that take place.
In addition to work with the whole group, the meeting included more detailed work in projects part B and C to discuss sub-project specific issues and current work in the sub-projects.
On Friday, the project meeting will continue with discussions in the sub-projects and plan ahead for the remaining of the work this spring.