23 November 2017 | EQAF Paper

The perception of external quality management in times of change – Finland’s academic landscape as a case example

Jasmin Overberg, Timo Ala-Vähälä


While most of the European countries conduct accreditations, quality audits are the Finnish way to follow the Berlin conference’s demand of implementing an external quality assurance instrument on national level. Even though mainly considered as a highly effective instrument to improve the quality management of universities, they have not been without criticism. As the Finnish universities are facing profound external changes for the last decade, the question how the attitude towards quality audits changed is the key question the paper in hand follows.

By carrying out a cohort comparison between 2009 and 2017, we explore if the perception of external quality management changed in a positive or negative direction. The results show that the perception is slightly more positive in 2017 than in 2009. This might indicate that people working in higher education institutions became more familiar with quality work; external changes can be regarded as subordinated and distracting.


This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

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