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University of Copenhagen
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UCPH risks receiving a conditional positive accreditation

Quality — The University of Copenhagen does not often enough check whether individual study programs are research-based, according to an assessment from a panel of experts. This means that UCPH only receives a slightly pleased smiley and possibly two years of government control rather than the freedom to establish new study programs.

The University of Copenhagen stands to only receive a conditional positive  institutional accreditation.

The verdict comes from a panel of experts that visited UCPH twice in 2016.

In the report, which UCPH has received for consultation until 20 March, the panel raise questions about whether the university conducts controls often enough to check if individual study programs are research-based, according to a story on (the University’s intranet).

Prorector: We have refined the system

The control is conducted every six years, but according to the accreditation panel, the gap between controls is too long.

UCPH hopes that it can convince the panel and the council that the university will implement the recommendations before June.

Lykke Friis, prorektor for Education.

The panel also writes that UCPH should tighten up the rules for the use of external experts, when the university conducts study program evaluations.

»There does not exist a quality assurance system that is able to perfectly asses the ever-evolving requirements that a university has to live up to. By definition, such a system will always be a ‘work in progress’. And since we submitted our self-evaluation report, we have already made some refinements to the system. The panel’s specific attention points will be promptly addressed, and we will adjust the relevant procedures. Since UCPH’s study programs are characterized as being strong research-based programs, I do not think we will have problems with conducting controls more frequently,« says Prorector for Education Lykke Friis according to Kunet.

Administrative relief at stake

Anette Dørge, director of the Danish Accreditation Institution, said in May 2016 to Uniavisen that it wil be a huge administrative relief for UCPH to get a positive accreditation.

»A positive accreditation proves that a university has its own house in order and that therefore we as a society can trust the organization and the management,« said Anette Dørge.

It will result in UCPH receiving the freedom to establish new study programs without having to go through an extensive approval process. Professors will no longer have to worry about the possibility of accreditation consultants showing up and checking up on them, and perhaps shutting down their study program or giving them a yellow card.

In case of a conditional positive institutional accreditation, a university gets up to two years to make adjustments and fix any issues that have been highlighted. In that period, any new study program that is proposed has to first be approved before it can be established.

A refusal means that the educational institution can no longer create new study programs, and that the quality of existing study programs must still be assessed in an accreditation process.

In May 2016, the Danish Accreditation Institution made nine decisions and issued a rejection to the University College Lillebælt.

Copenhagen Business School and the IT University were both given a conditional accreditation, while the University of Southern Denmark and DTU received a positive accreditation.

UCPH will receive the final verdict in June

According to it is formally the Accreditation Council, which must take the final decision on the panel’s report. The decision will take place in June.

The work with UCPH’s consultation responses and the specific adjustment of the procedures will now start.

»UCPH hopes that it can convince the panel and the council that the university will implement the recommendations before June,« says Lykke Friis according to KUnet.