The objective of the project is to elaborate our understanding of quality in Norwegian higher education with focus on following three areas:

  • Ongoing quality work in national and institutional contexts
  • The organization and governance of study programs and degree structures
  • Quality work in educational processes, teaching, feedback and assessment

The project is based on a multi-level and multi-disciplinary approach and aims at examining the relationship between specific trends and patters in education strategies and practices. The project will also provide an overview of the quality of Norwegian higher education compared internationally. Findings from the project will provide a basis for recommendations for further strengthening quality work of Norwegian higher education.

Project summary

The project contributes to an improved understanding of the quality of higher education. This will be done by producing research-based evaluation identifying and examining factors affecting educational quality at system levels as well as in educational practices. The main focus of the investigation will be study-programs and concentrate on the Norwegian system of higher education, but also collaborate closely with relevant research milieus- and projects in other Nordic countries. The project progresses in three phases:

  1. Review of research and analysis of existing empirical data on the quality of higher education in general and the Norwegian context in specific. (Part A)
  2. Empirical examination of selected study programs with focus on (a) basic structural conditions for quality work (Part B), and (b) educational practices (Part C)
  3. Explanation of interplay between the structural/systemic and program-level educational practices involved in high quality work (Part D)

A multi-level approach is used to provide a comprehensive picture of quality issues documented during these three phases by identifying dynamics between external (new reforms, resource considerations, European/global trends) and internal (disciplinary developments, cultures and pedagogical choices/theories) pressures influencing quality work on the level of study programs. A final project outcome is to develop recommendations for further quality enhancement activities in Norwegian higher education.

The project was formally completed in January 2018, but publication activities are still ongoing.