Digital pedagogy and integration of international students central themes in Hanken's upcoming national quality audit
The Academic Council coordinates Hanken’s quality management in areas of research and education. Among other things, the council has approved an updated quality policy for the university. Practicalities of quality management, and the preparation of errands on the subject are handled by the Quality Assurance Committee, chaired by Programme Director Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen. Planning Officer Katarina Valkama and Special Advisor Tove Ahlskog-Pursiainen act as the committee's secretaries.
“For example, so far we have worked on renewing Hanken’s quality manual. We see that in order to include all Hanken staff in our quality management, it is important that the goals are presented as clearly as possible”, Holmlund-Rytkönen notes.
The new quality manual, recently on the academic council’s agenda, is shorter than before and has links to other descriptions. Hopefully, it can serve as a good tool when presenting quality management at Hanken to interested external partners and new employees, as well as for helping staff who are searching for more information on different functions, regulations, and processes.
The Quality Assurance Committee also works with developing the visual material.
“Through visualizations, good practice can be presented in a compressed format. We have also worked with annual clocks, providing quick insights into recurring processes that are central to ensuring a high quality of practice at the university”, Holmlund-Rytkönen brings to the fore.
In this context, an example of quality development and visualization is the model for rewarding teaching, introduced at Hanken in 2019. The model aims to encourage, reward, and give recognition for the quality of teaching for teachers who perform well. Visually, it was brought to life through a reward- and incentive pyramid for high-quality teaching.
Strengths are developed
The audit evaluates whether the university's quality system is appropriate, well-functioning, and efficient. Compared to international accreditations (EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA), the national audit is to a greater extent focused on the organisation’s processes.
The auditing model for Finnish universities was renewed ahead of the 2018–2024 auditing round. The new model emphasizes societal impact and student-centred education.
The audit includes an evaluation of an area chosen by the university as well as an evaluation of benchlearning. Hanken has selected support for digital pedagogy as its theme for benchlearning, which is performed within the framework of the Teaching Lab. The Learning Center at BI in Oslo acts as the partner.
“The idea behind benchlearning is to mutually share experiences and to learn from one another. Hanken has cooperated successfully with BI before, as such the choice to collaborate with BI was a natural choice in the given context”, Mikaela Krohn, Digital Education Officer, highlights.
Krohn stays in touch with BI together with Education Planning Officer Susanna Taimitarha.
“BI has a well-developed Learning Center to support teachers. They have already embarked on some ambitious projects – for example, the entire bachelor's program has been redesigned and taught consistently in mixed learning environments (blended learning). It has been great to see that both parties have seen considerable benefits from sharing experiences and learning from each other”, Taimitarha says.
As for the evaluation area of choice, Hanken has selected the integration of international students. Within the framework, Hanken International Talent™, with the aim of integrating international students to the Finnish labour market, will be renewed. A new coordinator will be hired during the spring of 2021 to embark on this process.
During 2021 the cooperation between BI and Hanken’s Teaching Lab, as well as the integration of international students will mainly continue as projects in a development phase. The quality manual is refined and will thereafter be updated continuously. Furthermore, the process for receiving feedback from students and alumni, and the reporting linked to this has been mapped out and is now being developed.
“At Hanken we are all responsible for the quality of our own work, with saying this, we also want to work for greater awareness about, and understanding of, what is being done at 'the Hanken level’. The main goal is not to pass the audit, but to develop Hanken into an even better organisation to work at, and through this pave the way for good results at all levels”, Holmlund-Rytkönen concludes.