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Quality Commitee: More power to the universities

Long-awaited second part of the report by the committee on Quality of Higher Education wants a stronger focus on teaching, and a shift of power away from the Minister

Universities should be less bound by regulations, so they are freer to focus on education and improved teaching quality. This is according to the second part of a report by the Quality Committee for Higher Education, released Monday.

While the topic in the last report was the overall quality of the education system, the new report targets more specific issues of teaching quality and the balance of authority and regulations between the institutions and the ministry.

”’The students are not being challenged to use their full time in their education, so there is room for them to learn more. The institutions should in future focus more on motivating and engaging lessons. Teaching should be a higher priority,” said head of the Quality Committee, Jørgen Søndergaard, in the press release.

Give authority back to the universities

Education quality is best assessed in the actual teaching environment, so the Ministry for Higher Education should focus more on the big picture, so that institutions do not use unnecessary energy to navigate the detailed rules and can focus on building and rewarding teaching quality.

Students should be spending 20 pct. more more time in teaching environment, according to the committee, and quality teaching should be better rewarded to promote a culture where excellent education is important for recognition, pay, and promotion.

In the future, the committee wants the institutions themselves to be responsible for the allocation of educational resources. The report calls to restore the balance of power, giving those responsible for the actual teaching the managerial and organisational authority.

Focus on teachers, students, and learning

“When we ask those who teach, the answer is quite clear,” said Søndergaard about the report, ”excellent teaching is not the way to better pay, promotion or recognition. This must change.”

A stronger focus on teachers, teaching, and student learning is also the central focus of the committee in their recommendations.

The report’s full findings and recommendations are listed as six fact sheets that can be downloaded from the Quality Committee’s website here (In Danish).

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