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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Tools of Quality Assurance


The process of Quality Assurance within the AVA accreditation and the achievement of the strategic goals of the Free University of Bolzano-Bozen is characterized by a series of instruments in the areas of teaching, Research and Third Mission, services and the recruitment of academic staff.

As stated in the Guidelines for Quality Management of unibz, the QA process is linked to the annual and long-term planning process of the university: it is monitored by a central digital monitoring system and they both create a quality cycle for the transparent control of teaching, research and human resources.

In addition, the Quality Committee provides additional instruments, which support the faculties and Degree courses: guidelines, explanations, templates, work instructions, legal notes and events.

  1. Quality in Teaching
  2. Quality in Research and Third Mission
  3. Quality in Services
  4. Quality in the Recruitment of the Academic Staff

1. Quality in Teaching

Dialogue with the Stakeholders

All interested parties in the industry, services and institutions are referred to as stakeholders of the university.

The continuous dialogue with the stakeholders - public and private institutions and companies, business and trade associations, professional organizations - is an important instrument for the Quality Assurance of the Degree Courses and PhDs.

The main objective is to regularly monitor the correspondence between the educational demand, the professional profiles, the specific teaching objectives of the Degree Course and PhDs, the employability of the graduates and PhDs, as well as identifying the concrete career opportunities for graduates and PhDs and the required skills. The university might also refer to sector studies for this evaluation. Stakeholders are consulted both when planning a new Degree Course and PhDs during subsequent surveys.

The Quality Committee developed the Guidelines  as well as a Degree Courses template and a PhDs template for the minutes of meetings.

The Annual Review Report

The annual and cyclical review reports of the Degree courses are part of the Quality Assurance process.

The Annual Review Report (Scheda di Monitoraggio Annuale) consists of a short and critical commentary on the quantitative indicators provided by ANVUR.

Each Degree course:

  • identifies the most important data out of a dataset of indicators, in relation to the features and objectives of the program;
  • comments on the indicators of their choice;
  • can be compared with the courses of the same field, level (Bachelor, Master, one-tier Master, etc.) and geographical area.

As such, the strengths and marked deviations from the national or macro-regional average can be identified, and corrective actions can be taken or are then taken, in response to problematic situations within the course.

The Quality Committee has created a template and guidelines.

The Cyclical Review Report

The cyclical review report is an integral part of the Quality Assurance of the Degree courses.
It consists of a detailed and overall self-evaluation of the course, based on all elements of analysis and the resulting actions in the reference period.

The cyclical review report is drawn up at least every five years and has no established deadline.
In the report, the Degree course identifies and analyses the main points of criticism and challenges, and proposes corrective actions to be implemented in the next cycle. In particular, the report is intended as a self-assessment of the corresponding quality requirements (R3), has a more flexible format than the annual monitoring report and is usually more comprehensive and detailed.

The Quality Committee provides a template according to the model and guidelines developed by ANVUR, to support the work of the course councils (in their role as quality commissions of the Degree courses).

The Annual Report of the Joint Studies Committee

The Joint Studies Committees (CPDS) are a fundamental part of the Quality Assurance process and prepare an annual report for the evaluation of teaching activities within the faculty, as well as proposals for corrective actions.

Special attention is paid to the results of the course evaluation by the students, which highlights critical situations in the individual Degree courses. The report is based on an independent analysis and not on the annual and cyclical review report of the Degree courses.

The Joint Studies Committee sends its annual report to the Quality Committee, the Evaluation Committee and the Degree courses by December of each year. Suggestions for improvement in the Degree courses are then considered, in cooperation with the Joint Studies Committee or other student representatives.

The Quality Committee provides guidelines and a template for the preparation of the annual report.

The "Scheda Unica Annuale" of the Degree Courses - SUA-CdS

The Scheda Unica Annuale is a tool for designing, implementing, self-evaluating and redesigning the Degree course.

The SUA database for a Degree course must be completed by end of May each year and consists of the following sections:

1. The "Quality" section is the main instrument of the self-evaluation, periodic evaluation and accreditation system and aims at providing:

  • a definition of needs within teaching;
  • an overview of the courses offered;
  • a certification of learning outcomes;
  • the clarification of roles and responsibilities in connection with the university's Quality Assurance system;
  • a regular review of the design of the Degree course, in order to make any necessary changes.

 2. The "Administration" section contains information on the establishment and activation of the Degree course as well as the courses offered.

Some parts of the SUA-CdS are public and accessible via UniversItaly in the course section.

Calendar for completion of SUA-CdS:

The Syllabi

In the academic year 2014/15, the Syllabi at unibz were standardized based on a common template. They have to be written in English and in the official teaching language of the Degree course (if not English). The Quality Committee provides a template in Italian, German and English.

The deadlines for uploading the syllabi to the SUA-CdS are set for the end of February for the courses taking place in the second semester of the current academic year, and the end of September for the courses of the first semester of the new academic year.

The Founding and Revision of the Degree Courses

The founding or revision of a degree course is based on the guidelines of the Consiglio Universitario Nazionale (Guida alla scrittura di ordinamenti didattici del Consiglio Universitario Nazionale) and on the guidelines for initial accreditation (Linee Guida per l'Accreditamento iniziale dei Corsi di Studio di nuova istituzione). For more information please see Legal Framework.

unibz has set up specific workflows for the analysis and approval of degree courses, which apply both to the establishment of new degree courses and to proposals for changes to the regulations or teaching regulations of existing courses.

Guidelines, templates, and a glossary are accessible (via login) for support.

Guidelines, template and glossary

2. Quality in Research and Third Mission

2. Quality in Research and Third Mission

The Autonomous Province of Bolzano-Bozen, together with unibz and Eurac Research, has defined some areas of research that respond to the regional objectives formulated in the Province's Smart Specialization Strategy.

unibz promotes high quality, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, supported by an efficient research management system. It promotes Quality Assurance in research in all scientific-disciplinary areas and structures collaborative processes.

unibz regularly reviews the scientific production of its lecturers and researchers and ensures transparency through digital applications for analysis, review and evaluation.

The Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Research and in the Third Mission define the stakeholders, methods and guidelines involved.

For Quality Assurance in research, the Faculties and Competence Centres are the contact partners. The focus is on the precise evaluation of research results, as well as the instruments made available at national level, the SUA-RD and the VQR.

Scheda Unica Annuale per la Ricerca Dipartimentale

The Research Monitoring Report SUA-RD (La Scheda Unica Annuale per la Ricerca Dipartimentale - SUA-RD) is an integral part of the system of self-evaluation, evaluation and accreditation (AVA) and contains information and data used for the evaluation of research.

The SUA-RD is divided into three parts:

  • Part I: Objectives, resources and management of the academic structure
  • Part II: Research results
  • Part III: Third Mission

The Quality Committee has created a template and some guidelines for the editing of the SUA-RD. In the template, the collection of data referring to research is combined with the self-evaluation and the indication of Corrective Actions, where necessary.

The Assessment of Research Quality - VQR

The Research Quality Assessment Project (VQR) aims to evaluate the results of scientific research carried out by public and private universities, by public research institutions under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and by other public and private research institutions. The VQR consists of 16 research areas.

The most recent VQR refers to the four-year period 2015-2019.

Third Mission

As part of the Third Mission of unibz, culture and innovation transfer serves to promote value creation for industry and society.

The activities for the Third Mission of unibz are related to:

a) Public engagement and dissemination of culture;

b) Third-party research, training and development;

c) The management and value creation of intellectual property rights;

d) Companies founded based on research results (spin-offs and start-ups);

e) Lifelong learning;

f) The promotion of creativity and entrepreneurship among graduates.

Third Mission activities at unibz are therefore related to the Knowledge and Technology Transfer, the Studium Generale, Lifelong Learning initiatives such as Junior Uni, Senior Students, Masters of Basic and Advanced Level, the Professional Training Course and Placement (TFA) for aspiring teachers or the unitedbz project, a project for asylum seekers and refugees enrolled as non-traditional students.

3. Quality in Services

3. Quality in Services

unibz works closely with the local school system and beyond to raise students' awareness when choosing a university, as well as sensitizing secondary schools in supporting their students seeking university education.

The Advisory Service offers prospective students information about the course offer and about the world of the university. It organizes specific initiatives such as the Open Day, participation in orientation fairs and visits to secondary schools in Italy and abroad, sample lectures in schools and at the university, as well as the Study Advice Summer School, in collaboration with the University of Trento.

The internationality of unibz is reflected in our many partner universities, in the international Degree courses with double or joint degrees and in the high percentage of students and professors from abroad. The Language Centre offers intensive preparatory courses and supports students in their careers.

unibz is also in constant dialogue with representatives of the working world, who are involved in the planning and review of the Degree courses.

As described in the document Quality Policy, unibz strengthens the efficiency of its services by creating a climate of mutual trust and dialogue between administration and academy/academic staff.

4. Quality in the Recruitment of the Academic Staff

4. Quality in the Recruitment of the Academic Staff

The appointment, career and professional development of the academic staff at unibz are regulated by the relevant appointment procedures for tenured professors, endowed and renowned professors and researchers with fixed-term contracts.

unibz promotes the career of academic staff and offers scientific staff further training opportunities according to its own internal procedures. It promotes the improvement and innovation of teaching practices as well as the combination of teaching and research.

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